PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES:

Official Report.

STANDING COMMITTEES A and B.

From 8th March to 26th July, 1927.

1927

CONTENTS:

COL.

SALE OF FOOD AND DRUGS BILL 1 AUCTIONS (BIDDING AGREEMENTS) BILL 13 MONEYLENDERS BILL 117 SEDITIOUS AND BLASPHEMOUS TEACHING TO CHILDREN BILL 493 MENTAL DEFICIENCY BILL 641 ROAD TRANSPORT LIGHTING BILL 665 NURSING HOMES (REGISTRATION) BILL 729 FORESTRY BILL 777 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (INDIAN NAVY) BILL 817 DISEASES OF ANIMALS BILL [Lords] 849 POLICE APPEALS) BILL [Lords] 877 LANDLORD AND TENANT (No. 2) BILL 951

LONDON:

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1928.

Price 25/- Net.

SALE OF FOOD AND DRUGS BILL.

TUESDAY, 8th MARCH, 1927.

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The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Mr. Short (Chairman)

Albery, Mr. (Gravesend)

*Alexander, Mr. A. V. (Sheffield, Hills borough)

Apsley, Lord (Southampton)

Baker, Mt. John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)

Barker, Mr. (Monmouth, Abertillery)

*Barnes, Mr. (East Ham, South)

Bethel, Mr. (Eccles)

Bird, Mr. (Skipton)

Blundell, Mr. (Ormskirk)

Campbell, Mr. (Camberwell, North-West)

Carver, Major (Howdenshire)

*Clayton, Mr. (Lancaster, Widnes)

Colfox, Major (Dorset, Western)

Connolly, Mr. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East)

Cooper, Mr. Duff (Oldham)

Dunnico, Mr. (Durham, Consett)

Fermoy, Lord (King's Lynn)

Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel (Bradford Central)

Graham, Captain Fergus (Cumberland, North)

Greenall, Mr. (Farnworth)

*Gunston, Captain (Gloucester, Thornbury)

Harvey, Mr. George (Lambeth, Kennington)

Henderson, Captain Robert (Henley)

Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel (Louth)

Hilton, Mr. (Bolton)

Holbrook, Colonel Sir Arthur (Basingstoke)

Holt, Captain (West Ham, Upton)

Hopkineon, Mr. (Mossley)

*Jacob, Mr. (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

Jones, Mr. Haydn (Merioneth)

Knox, Major-General Sir Alfred (Wycombe)

Lawrence, Miss (East Ham, North)

Makins, Brigadier-General (Chester, Knutsford)

Montague, Mr. (Islington, West)

Sandeman, A. Stewart, Mr. (Middleton and Prestwich)

Scurr, Mr. (Stepney, Mile End)

Sinclair, Major Sir Archibald (Caithness and Sutherland)

Slaney, Major Kenyon- (Devon, Tavistock)

Stott, Lieut.-Colonel (Birkenhead, East)

*Tinne, Mr. (Liverpool, Wavertree)

*Viant, Mr. (Willesden, West)

Waddington, Mr. (Rossendale)

Ward, Lieut.-Colonel Lambert (Kingston-upon-Hull, North-West)

Warner, Brigadier-General (Bedford, Mid.)

Watts, Dr. (Manchester, Withington)

*Williams, Mr. Herbert (Reading)

Williams, Dr. John (Carmarthen Llanelly)

Windsor, Mr. (Bethnal Green, North-East)

*Womersley, Mr. (Grimsby)

*Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, West)

*Added in respect of the Sale of Food and Drugs Bill.

MR. COODE, Committee Clerks.

MR. EDENBOROUGH, Committee Clerks.

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5 STANDING COMMITTEE A Tuesday, 8th March, 1927.

[Mr. SHORT in the Chair.]

SALE OF FOOD AND DRUGS BILL.
[OFFICIAL REPORT.] CLAUSE 1.
—(Amendment of 33 & 39 Vict. c. 63.)

Where any Regulations made under the Public Health (Regulations as to Food) Act, 1907, prescribe the composition of any article of food or drink or prohibit or restrict the addition of any preservative or other ingredient or material to any such article, such Regulations shall be deemed for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, 1875 to 1907, to define the nature, substance and quality of the article as regards the presence or amount of any ingredient or material specified in the Regulations and to determine whether the addition of any such ingredient or material, and, if so, what amount thereof renders the article injurious to health.

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood): I beg to move, after "1907" ["Act, 1907, prescribe"] to insert the words "as amended by any subsequent enactment and the enactments mentioned in that Act," Perhaps it would be convenient to the Committee if I made a brief statement with regard to the first Amendment and others which follow on the Paper. For the convenience of the Committee, I have circulated a copy of Clause 1, with the proposed Amendments incorporated, in order that Members may more readily follow the alterations that are being made. All these alterations are designed to give effect to the intentions of my hon. Friend the Member for East Toxteth (Mr. Jacob), the promoter of this Bill. The Bill has been submitted to the Parliamentary draftsman, and I am advised that the alterations I propose to make will not in any way interfere with the intentions of the Bill, but are designed to put the Bill into better form. The Amendments are really in the nature of drafting Amendments. If any hon. Member desires an explanation of any of them, 6 I shall be very glad to give it. For instance, as an indication of the necessity of these Amendments, the first is simply designed to include all the other enactments which relate to this particular subject. If the Bill were left as drafted, it would leave out the Public Health Acts of 1875 and 1896, which it is necessary to incorporate.

Amendment agreed to.

Sir K. WOOD: I beg to move, after the word "drink," to insert the words "intended for sale." These words have to be incorporated, because the Act of 1907 deals only with articles of food or drink which are intended for sale.

Amendment agreed to

Sir K. WOOD: I beg to move, to leave out the words "such regulations shall," and to insert instead thereof the words "a purchaser of such article shall unless the contrary is proved." This Amendment is necessary to safeguard the purchaser who specifically asks for an article of a superior quality to those prescribed by the Regulations. Obviously, a purchaser of that kind must be protected, and it is with that object that the Amendment is moved.

Amendment agreed to.

Sir K. WOOD: I beg to move, after the word "of" ("for the purposes of the Sale"), to insert the words "section six of." This is moved to incorporate Section 6 of the Act, which is the Section of the sale of Foods and Drugs Act under which proceedings are more commonly taken. It is only in proceedings under that Section that questions of the "nature, substance, and quality" and of the purchaser's demand arise. It is necessary to have these words inserted.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: Leave out the word "Acts," and insert instead thereof the word "Act."—(Sir K. Wood.)

Sir K. WOOD: I beg to move, to leave out the words "1907, to define the nature, substance and quality of the article," and to insert instead thereof the words "have demanded an article complying with the provisions of the Regulations." This is a consequential Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

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Sir K. WOOD: I beg to move, after the word "any" [any ingredient or material"], to insert the word "constituent." The purpose of this Amendment is to make it clear that the regulations are to be conclusive, not merely in regard to the presence or amount of such added ingredients as are referred to earlier in the Bill, that is, preservatives or colouring matter, but also in so far as they deal with this point in regard to the natural constituents as well. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Health is advised that he has no power to prescribe standards for food generally by Regulations under the Act of 1907, and, therefore, without further statutory authority no article other than dried or condensed milk could be affected by this particular Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Sir K. WOOD: I beg to move to leave out the words "to determine whether." This follows out the intentions of the Bill. When this Amendment is carried, it will save the local authorities of the country from having to prove, no doubt as often happens in these cases of a conflict of expert evidence, that the presence of a forbidden preservative or the excessive amount of restricted preservative, is injurious to health. The Amendment will carry out what the promoter of the Bill intends, namely, a fixed standard, as designed in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: Leave out the words "and, if so, what amount thereof renders," and insert instead thereof the words "in contravention of the Regulations shall for the purposes of the said Act of 1875 be deemed to render."—[Sir K. Wood.]

Sir K. WOOD: I beg to move, at the end of the Clause, to add a new Subsection: "(2) Where any such Regulations restrict the addition of any preservative, or other ingredient or material, to an article of food or drink the addition of any such ingredient or material to an amount not exceeding the limit specified by the Regulations shall not, for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875, be deemed to render the article injurious to health." 8 This completes the Bill, and really protects the trader in just the same way as the local authority has been protected. The Amendment sufficiently explains itself: "(2) Where any such Regulations restrict the addition of any preservative, or other ingredient or material, to an article of food or drink the addition of any such ingredient or material to an amount not exceeding the limit specified by the Regulations shall not, for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875, be deemed to render the article injurious to health." In other words, the trader, provided that he complies with the conditions of this Bill when it becomes law, will be protected and will not be open to a prosecution, under Section 6, that he is selling articles injurious to health. It makes the matter more certain both for the local authorities and the traders, and it is for that purpose, following the recommendation of the Departmental Committee, that we are giving support to this Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 2 (Short title), and 3 (Commencement) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, as amended, be reported to the House."

Sir K. WOOD: I wish to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your conduct of the proceedings and to congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for East Toxteth (Mr. Jacob) on the progress of his Bill.

Mr. JACOB: I wish to express my sincere gratitude, not only to the Ministry of Health, but to all parties in the House, and I may say to every individual Member in the House, for the assistance which has been given to the Bill. When I reflect that one single objection would have delayed, and perhaps destroyed the Bill, I am profoundly grateful to everyone concerned, and I desire to express my special thanks to the Chairman, and to the members of this Committee.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported to the House.

Committee rose at Sixteen Minutes after Eleven o'Clock.

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THE FOLLOWING MEMBEES ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:—

Short, Mr. (Chairman)

Baker, Mr. John

Barker, Mr.

Campbell, Mr.

Clayton, Mr.

Connolly, Mr.

Graham, Captain Fergus

Gunston, Captain

Harvey, Mr. George

Henderson, Captain Robert

Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel

Holbrook, Colonel Sir Arthur

Jacob, Mr.

Makins, Brigadier-General

Slaney, Major Kenyon-

Stott, Lieut.-Colonel

Tinne, Mr.

Viant, Mr.

Waddington, Mr.

Watts, Dr.

Williams, Mr. Herbert

Williams, Dr. John

Womersley, Mr.

Wood, Sir Kingsley

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