asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state whether any effective steps have been taken to end the deadlock which has arisen by the decision of the Meath, Monaghan and Cavan Milk Producers-Retailers' Association to cease supplies to their customers from the 1st June, 1948, by reason of the uneconomic price which his Department allowed them for their milk.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Milk Supplies.
The Milk Producers-Retailers' Association has endeavoured to prevail upon the milk producers in the counties of Cavan, Meath and Monaghan to discontinue supplying milk as from the 1st June, 1948, unless an increase in price is authorised. Milk producers throughout the State, including the three counties mentioned, have been permitted an increase of over 4½d. per gallon in the price of milk since May, 1947, and I am satisfied that the existing maximum retail prices are sufficient to cover production costs and to allow a reasonable measure of remuneration to the producers. In the circumstances, I am not prepared to authorise any further increase in the price of milk.
A number of producers in the counties which are affected by the dislocation of supplies have, I understand, resumed deliveries, and I hope that the remaining producers, realising that there is nothing to be gained by withholding supplies, will also arrange for an early resumption of deliveries to their customers.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this is not a milk strike proper but rather a discontinuance of supplies owing to what producers consider the uneconomic price offered, after having given a month's notice to their customers to provide themselves with an alternative supply as they intended going out of production if present prices were not increased?