Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 1919. MILK SUPPLY.
i There are, rightly, various saf e- | guards governing the purity of the milk supplied for household purposes>.but unfortunately, there is no law apart from the War 'Regulations Act, compelling those who have the milk i-to retail a proportionate quantity. There can be little doubt that future legislation will guarantee, as far as is humanly possible, the quantity as well as the quality of food supplies for the public, but meanwhile the best must be made of the present system. Competition and the desire for mercenary remuneration are usually sufficient to leave the public little to complain of, but if the supply of any necessary commodity becomes short, scope arises for profiteering, or what is worse, an utter indifference to an obvious duty to the public. A retailer of fopd cannot justly claim to be able to do what he likes with his own, and were many food suppliers to act arbitrarily, the >- authorities would soon step in and prove the futility of the attitude.. When public support creates a business of any description, the beneficiary becomes indebted to his customers and should not imagine that he can play fast and loose just as the mood of the moment dictates. Where babies and children will be affected by any decision, the duty of fair judgment and considerate conduct becomes more imperative. A retailer of food who "downs tools" without adequate notice or cause, is as much to blame as- the miner, who acts similarly. The law can take action against some strikers, and should be so amended as to make others realise their responsibilities. Speaking this week in reply to a deputation at Wellington in connection with the city's milk supply, the Hon. G. W. Russell incidentally declared that as Minister of Public Health> he could not allow an inadequate or an unsatisfactory system of milk ■ supply for the city. This should encourage the Ashburton, Borough Council to be bold and energetic in its attitude towards the milk crisis in the borough. We have never claimed that the Council would be within its present strictly legal powers to open a milk depot, but we do express the opinion that under the circumstances no action would be taken by the Minister against the Council if they assisted to relieve the present difficulty. The experiment should not cost the borough finances a penny, and the lessons gained would be valuable when the question of a permanent municipal milk supply system is seriously raised. The Ashburton Dairy Factory directors have _ expressed their desire and willingness to help the public, 'the only condition they make being that the Borough Council should undertake to be the intermediary. The next move must come from the Council, and that move should be such as to safeguard public interests.