Liquid Milk

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1979.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South 12:00 am, 29th November 1979

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has for maintaining the volume of liquid milk sales in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

The doorstep delivery service is a vital factor in maintaining the high level of liquid milk consumption in this country. I have repeatedly expressed my determination to do all that I can to sustain that system.

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is already a large liquid surplus in Britain, as £70 million was spent last year on intervention? If he wishes to pursue his admirable objective, does he agree that he must ensure that the retail margin is sufficient to maintain the service, for without that the farmer will not be able to sell his milk?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

I agree that it is essential to maintain a proper retail margin. If it is not maintained, the delivery service will disappear. The maintenance of a proper retail margin will be the Government's objective.

Photo of Mr Donald Thompson Mr Donald Thompson , Sowerby

Is my right hon. Friend able to give the producer-retailer any hope for the future?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

Yes. It is a service of immense importance. If we are to succeed in our policy, the producer-retailer will have to play a profitable role.

Photo of Mr Allen McKay Mr Allen McKay , Penistone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that two weeks ago he said that there would be an answer to the green top milk question in a few weeks? How long will those few weeks be now?