asked the Minister of Food why, in paragraph 6 of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Food (Tartaric Acid) Order (S.R. & O., No. 539, of 1944), it is provided that the production of a document purporting to be a certificate signed by the Government chemist shall be evidence unless the court or other party asks for the party concerned to be called as a witness; and whether he will amend the Order so that parties involved can accept the document in advance.
The provision to which my hon. Friend refers was approved by Parliament in the Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act, 1926 (Section 22) and in the Food and Drugs Act, 1938 (Section 81). I should not be justified in amending the Order in the way my hon. Friend suggests as this would prevent a court, exercising criminal jurisdiction, from requiring the attendance of the person making the analysis in cases where, despite the agreement of prosecution and defence, the court might consider this to be necessary.