HC Deb 08 June 1847 vol 93 cc243-4

wished to put a question to the noble Lord the First Lord of the Treasury. Referring to a petition he held in his hand of considerable importance, but which he had not as yet had the opportunity of presenting—in consequence of the nature of the private business it had now, in fact, become an impossibility to present public petitions at all—the question he had to put was, whether the Government had taken the subject of the sale of bread into consideration, and whether they proposed to review the laws relating to the weight of bread? During the many fluctuations which had taken place during the last ten months in the prices of corn, the public had been very great sufferers from the absence of a proper control over the weight and price of bread. The bread never followed the prices of corn, and it was the prayer of the petition to which he referred, that, if they were to have cheap corn, they might have cheap bread also.


I thought the hon. Gentleman meant to make some inquiry with respect to an Act which once passed this House, and enacted that the sale of bread should not be permitted till a certain time after it is baked. The subject has been under the consideration of the Government, but we do not think it practicable to enforce such an Act. I am convinced that very great waste takes place from the consumption of new bread before a certain number of hours have elapsed after it has been baked. But we do not think it desirable to introduce any Bill which it would not be practicable to enforce. The hon. Gentleman asks whether the Government intend to propose an assize of bread; we do not mean to introduce any measure on that subject.