25 NOVEMBER 1938, Page 3

The Milk Bill - The Minister of Agriculture has promised

to push his Milk Bill through Parliament even though it " costs him his job " ; nevertheless the Bill is in a bad way. At the week-end the farmers' representatives expressed their whole-hearted dis- approval. The farmer's friend, the Daily Express, asserts that the Bill is already dead, if not buried. The Milk Market- ing Board, in the person of its general manager and secretary, has lectured the ConservatiVe Agricultural Committee on its defects. 'The Co-operators, and hence the Labour Party, are equally hostile. Six Conservative M.P.'s have put forward a motion demanding its complete rejection. It is to be hoped that Mr. Morrison will not be overawed by such opposition, which springs from the most heterogeneous sources. The farmers, though the whole of the milk industry now depends on Government regulation and subsidies, object to " Government interference." The Co-operators fear they will be hindered in expanding their distributive milk business.- The retailer fears his small " round " will be swallowed up by monopolies. The Milk Marketing Board fears the supervision of an independent and permanent Milk Commission. In this outcry of particular interests, there is a grave danger that the general interest of the: consumer, who hopes for a reduction in the cost of distribution and a closing of the gap between consumers' and producers' prices, will go by the board..

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