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Tuesday, 9 August 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - There is one matter in connexion with this item which I overlooked, and which I might mention for the information of honorable senators. Up to within a few months ago Horlick's advertised that their malted milk was good for children of any age, but the Board of Health threatened to take action against them unless they ceased to advertise in that way, and stated on their labels that it was not suitable for children under six months old.

Senator Senior - Does the Minister say that Horlick's malted milk is not suitable for infants?

Senator RUSSELL - I say that they have agreed to state on their labels that it is not fit for children under six months old.

Senator Senior - There are doctors' certificates to show that it is suitable for infants.

Senator RUSSELL - All the milk companies, including Horlick's, have agreed to print this statement on their labels.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister is bringing all the big artillery of the Trade and Customs Department against a particular firm, in order to get his own way.

Senator RUSSELL - I am informed that the Board of Health brought pressure to bear upon the milk companies in the direction I have indicated, under a threat that if they did not do as requested action would be- taken against them.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - What Board of Health?

Senator RUSSELL - The Victorian Board of Health. The purpose was the protection of infant life. The companies have agreed to advertise on their labels that the article is not suitable for children under six months old.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Who put the Board of Health up to that?

Senator RUSSELL - I do not know.

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