Orders of the Day — Food (Weights and Measures)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14 December 1949.

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Photo of Mr John Edwards Mr John Edwards , Blackburn 12:00, 14 December 1949

This is the first time since the Act of 1926 was passed that the Board of Trade have sought to use their powers under the Act to vary the list of products set out in the First Schedule. The hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson) raised two points—the first, that about consultations. As far as I am aware we consulted the following bodies—the Ministry of Food, the National Federation of Grocers and Provision Merchants' Associations, the Food Manufacturers' Federation and the Local Authority Association. Although certain contentious items were contained in our original proposals those have not been proceeded with and the proposals which I now make to the House in these draft regulations are completely agreed, I think, by all the parties with whom we consulted. I am not aware of any contention on the point at all.

I recognise the point which the hon. Member made as important and one which, no doubt, a departmental committee will be looking into again, but I do not think it has arisen at all acutely in this case. I would not expect it to do so, since in the case of Part II of the Schedule we have merely included compound cooking fat, which is, for practical purposes, very much like lard; and in the second place, in Part III of the First Schedule we have included such things as semolina—we had sago in already—and we have included a number of dried fruits besides currants, raisins, and so on. I think the hon. Gentleman may rest quite assured that there is no disagreement about this at all, and that all parties are satisfied that this is the kind of step we ought to take.