HC Deb 11 May 1866 vol 183 cc844-6

Bill, as amended, considered.


called attention to the clauses of the Bill requiring every package or pocket of hops to be marked in a certain way with the names of the grower, and every particular respecting the place of their growth, their weight, &c, and said, that the Bill converted what was intended as a privilege to the trader into a burden. The business was now thrown open, and this Bill would interfere with the new class of growers and traders. How could a seller of hops by retail be supposed to fix these marks on the smallest possible packages? He admitted the object of the Bill was to prevent fraud in the sale of hops, but this was too arbitrary a measure. If a system of compulsory marking were to be adopted, he did not see why cotton should not be marked, and brewers' barrels be marked. The argument that hops furnished an exceptional case was the monopolist argument. With the view of assimilating legislation with regard to hops to that which related to other commodities, and bringing this Bill into harmony with the Merchandise Marks Act, 1862, he should propose the omission of the second and third clauses. He moved the omission of Clause 2.

Amendment proposed, to leave out Clause 2.—(Mr. Dodson.)


could have wished that the hon. Member had given the House the benefit of his suggestions on the occasion of the second reading. [Mr. DODSON: I was in the Chair.] The hon. and learned Member recapitulated the regulations of the existing law, and insisted that it was desirable not only for the planter but the consumer, and the brewer especially, that the class of hops desired should be obtainable in the market. This Bill involved no new principle, and only provided that the mark of the year and weight should be put on by the owner instead of by the Excise officer. 154 petitions had been presented, signed by 1,700 persons in favour of this proposal. Growers, factors, and merchants had signed these petitions. The Legislature had already declared in favour of exceptional legislation with regard to hops. And before the Committee of 1857 evidence was given that the marking of hops was essential for the protection of the trade against frauds. The objection to the Bill came from the Sussex growers, who grew an inferior quality of hops which, without being compulsorily marked, as proposed, might appear in the market with the Kent brand upon them.


opposed the Bill, and should vote against the retention of the clause.


, as a brewer, said, it was necessary for the protection of the trade that this Bill should be passed. It was sometimes necessary to pass an Act of Parliament to make men honest. He expressed his surprise that any hon. Member should be found to oppose this Bill.


said, there was no necessity for protecting the brewery trade. Hops should go into the market like any other article, and be dealt with as the trader felt disposed.


said, the brewers felt that such an Act of Parliament was necessary to prevent fraud. Without it they were unable to discover the fraud until it was too late. To deal with hops as the trader pleased led to fraud, and the only way to prevent it was to compel the grower to mark them The Bill would be worthless without the clauses to which the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Sussex objected.

Question put, "That Clause 2 stand part of the Bill."

The House divided:—Ayes 60; Noes 20: Majority 40.

Bill to be read the third time upon Monday next.