Future legislation relating to the control of the national milk supply formed the subject of discussion in the House of Commons on the 5th March. Although no new points were brought out, the need for fresh legislation was emphasised in this discussion, especially the need for a general Act that would, while giving the central authority increased powers, do away “with the piecemeal, voluntary, and local enactments at present in existence. It is evident that if any radical change in the present system is to be effective it must not only be general as regards this country, but it must also be imperial” and international; inasmuch as it must deal both with the supplies that are produced at home and with those imported from abroad. It would obviously be in the highest degree unfair to the English farmer to make his stock, workpeople, and premises liable to the frequent expert inspection demanded, and, at the same time, to allow milk to enter this country from abroad without the application of an equally rigorous inspection on this side, and without some form of guarantee from the government of the country of origin. In all matters connected with food supply improved methods of preserving and sterilising as well as increased facilities for international commerce have resulted, as time has gone on, in a large number of food preparations of all kinds being thrown upon the markets. The trade in cheese and butter substitutes as well as that in canned and otherwise preserved meats, and the supply of cereal preparations, afford well known instances, and the milk trade is not singular in the circumstance that a considerable and increasing amount of, milk is treated in various ways, both at home and abroad, for consumption in this country.
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