The Right Hon. Earl De La Warr, P.C., J.P., in his inaugural address to the Congress, expressed his appreciation at being elected President for the ensuing year. He continued Your task, whether you be members or officers of local authorities or members of other professions, is to prevent sickness and disease, rather than to cure it, or, rather, I should put it more positively by saying that you give us the conditions which we need for living healthily. . . . As an agriculturist I cannot but notice your interest in both farming and veterinary problems. You have given time to them in your discussion programme and also in the arrangements that you have made for visiting neighbouring farms. Three years ago I set myself the task of having an all tuberculin tested estate and I am proud to tell you that threequarters of my tenants have already achieved that happy state of affairs. Perhaps you will allow me to mention one point here. The cleaning up of our dairy herds and of our milk supplies is of firstrate importance in any scheme for improving the national health. I hope that in your travels round you will see something of the progress that has been made in clean milk production. The proportion of milk produced on T.T. farms is increasing this is shown by the fact that the percentage was 184 in 1947, 222 in 1948 and 259 in 1949. It has risen by over 100 million gallons even during the last statistical year, and the first six months of this year look like giving us an almost equally large increase. The inspection of cowsheds has now become the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, but you can still help to encourage clean milk production by your influence on the distributive and consumer side. Not all consumers, by any means, realise the significance of designated milk. You could give them guidance. It is very important also that farmers and landowners should feel that you are their friends and that you consider their efforts to improve this milk to be worth while. If the impression was ever given that doctors and public health authorities rely so much on pasteurisation that it does not really matter very much what sort of milk is produced, great harm might be done. The decision to enter the T.T. scheme involves quite a considerable risk of cows failing in the test, and a considerable initial expenditure of both effort and money. Nobody is ever the worse off for a bit of encouragement, and if you feel able to give it, so much the better for us all. Certainly I for one have a possibly oldfashioned feeling that, pasteurised or not, I should prefer my milk to start its life clean, all the more so in view of the fact that by no means every pasteurising plant is completely infallible and independent of the care with which human beings operate it. . . . I close by offering you the consolation of not being very much in the news, of not receiving the thanks or gratitude that is due to all the services that you administer, for the sound and simple reason that you are doing them too well to attract attention.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 1950
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