24 July 1998
MP warns of milk industry crisis

By Press Association

TORY James Paice yesterday called for an emergency Commons debate on the concerns of dairy farmers who he said had been deprived of an outlet for their milk – only to be denied.

The Cambridgeshire SE MP told Leader of the House Ann Taylor there was a crisis in the milk industry.

During questions on forthcoming parliamentary business, Mr Paice asked her: “Did you know that a week ago the major dairies in this country all refused to bid for this round of milk sales, with the result that some 40% of dairy farmers in this country do not have an outlet at any price for their milk in the coming months?

“Would you try to arrange for an emergency debate or at least a statement by the Minister of Agriculture, Jack Cunningham, as to what could be done, or perhaps by the President of the Board of Trade, Margaret Beckett?”

He stressed: “I hope you will understand that out there in the country the dairy farmers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are very, very worried about what is going to happen to their milk.”

Mrs Taylor replied: “I cant arrange for the debate that you request, but I would remind you that it is agriculture questions on Thursday.”

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