asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce legislation compelling milk retailers to provide half-pint bottles for milk, in view of the number of retired persons and individuals living on their own who have no means of storing milk overnight.
I must say that it is a little difficult to hear what Questions are being asked.
Some dairies have discontinued the sale of milk in half-pint bottles because they find it uneconomic. I am not satisfied that it would be desirable to introduce an element of compulsion into the present arrangements governing the sale of milk.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the present system creates a great wastage of milk and also creates a wastage of money? Does he not think that, in the interests of those living on low fixed incomes and of people having to live on their own, this legislation is long overdue?
I have had a look at this. If we are going to insist on this, we are going to put up considerably the cost of delivery. We also have to remember that, in at least half of the country, people are still able to get these half-pint bottles, and we do not want to cause an increase in their cost of living by forcing them upon the others. On the other hand, I am informed by the people concerned that today milk bought in one-pint bottles and kept in a cool place will last two days.