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Milk Chocolate (Eire)

Volume 462: debated on Monday 14 March 1949

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38.

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that the allocation of milk supplies by his Department has resulted in the transfer to Eire of the manufacture of milk chocolate formerly undertaken in England; how much milk chocolate is to be imported from Eire in the current year; how the promised supply of butter from Eire will be affected; and what is the cost of the extra subsidy that will be payable to milk producers in the United Kingdom to compensate for the loss of this market.

The answer to the first part of the Question is "No, Sir." Since 1939 there has been a decline in, the manufacture of chocolate milk crumb in this country because the milk available here for manufacture is required for priority products, such as baby food and cheese. Since we are not in a position to supply to chocolate manufacturers all the milk they require, they obtain a certain amount of chocolate milk crumb from Eire. We do not expect to import either chocolate confectionery or butter from Eire this year. The answer to the final part of the Question is that no extra subsidy is payable. Payments to milk producers do not vary with the product into which the milk is made.

Is the Minister of Food taking credit for this as a piece of good Socialist planning? As we are getting more milk available for manufacturers, will he not allow milk chocolate to be made here instead of buying it more expensively from Ireland?

The hon. Gentleman does not know all the facts. This year we are giving the chocolate manufacturers one million gallons of whole milk and one million gallons of skimmed milk.