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Milk Supply (Children)

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 13 April 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if it is now possible for children in the British zone of Berlin to be given fresh liquid milk instead of the dried hitherto supplied.

The three Western sectors of Berlin are fed as one unit. Children up to one year of age in all three sectors receive fresh milk which is produced locally. Considerations of space in the airlift and of hygiene have prevented the supply of fresh milk to older children.

Have the Russians been asked whether they would be willing to relax the blockade for the provision of fresh milk for children, and if they have refused, can we do what the Americans are doing and bring fresh milk every day from Sweden in the interests of the health of the children?

I cannot recall if a formal request has been made to the Soviet Government, but the need for this has been made plain by us before.

In regard to considerations of air lift space, would it not be just as economical to take the same bulk of fresh milk powder rather than the skimmed milk powder?

In so far as fresh milk is obtained from the Russian zone, is it not the case that Berliners in Western Berlin can obtain fresh milk without hindrance in the Eastern sector of Berlin?

I know that we are prevented by the blockade from obtaining sufficient milk for children in the Western zone of Berlin.

Will the hon. Gentleman consult his right hon. Friend and see if representations can now be made to the Russians to relax the blockade to allow the entry of fresh milk for children only?