Foreign Eggs.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 22nd March 1922.

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Photo of Sir Philip Colfox Sir Philip Colfox , Dorset Northern

67.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, owing to eggs from foreign countries being allowed into Great Britain without being marked, large proportions of these eggs are mixed with new-laid British eggs and sold as such, thus perpetrating a gross fraud on the consuming public; and whether he will be prepared, under the Merchandise Marks Act, to take steps to make it compulsory for all eggs imported into this country to be stamped with indelible ink with the name of the country of origin?

Photo of Sir William Mitchell-Thomson Sir William Mitchell-Thomson , Glasgow Maryhill

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative; but if my hon. and gallant Friend has any definite evidence that foreign eggs are, in fact, being sold as new-laid British eggs, I should be glad if he would submit it to me. As regards the second part of the question, the Merchandise Marks Act, 1887, does not confer on His Majesty's Government any power such as he suggests, but I would refer him to the answer which I gave on 7th March to the hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke.

Photo of Sir Philip Colfox Sir Philip Colfox , Dorset Northern

68.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that dried eggs, which are brought from China without any guarantee as to the conditions in respect to sanitation under which they are produced, are being advertised in such a manner as to suggest that these are of home production, thus misleading consumers; and whether he is prepared to take such steps as may be necessary in order to compel the vendors to state upon the carton in which these dried eggs are sold the name of the country of origin, as provided by the Merchandise Marks Act?

Photo of Sir William Mitchell-Thomson Sir William Mitchell-Thomson , Glasgow Maryhill

My attention has been drawn to the importation of these dried eggs from China, and to their sale in this country. My hon. and gallant Friend is, however, mistaken in his assumption that His Majesty's Government can take any such steps under the Merchandise Marks Act as he suggests in the second part of his question.

Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD:

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Chinese think the egg is much better if it is five or six years old?