HC Deb 23 March 1871 vol 205 cc460-1

Sir, the President of the Poor Law Board is reported to have said—"that, among the samples of milk which had been analyzed, many were supposed to have been lowered by admixture, but none to have been adulterated." I wish to know—1. What is the Poor Law Board's definition of adulteration. 2. Whether the President thinks there is any difference between the lowering of milk by admixture with water or any other liquid and ordinary adulteration. 3. Whether he is aware that there is as much as tenpence difference per gallon between the contract prices of St. George's, Hanover Square, Union, and some of the East End Unions of London. 4. Whether he thinks that such a lowering of milk by admixture as these prices demonstrate is, or is not, a subject for inquiry, with a view to applying a remedy?


said, in reply, that what he intended to say in reply to the noble Lord a few days ago was that he did not think the word "adulteration" was correctly applied to the lowering or impoverishing of milk. It was matter of opinion, for instance, whether wine was "adulterated" by the admixture of water. But, be that as it might, what he had stated with respect to the samples of milk referred to in The Milk Journal, to which the noble Lord had called his attention, was that, in his opinion, there was no justification for speaking of them as furnishing "an exposure" as to the system of contract in supplying milk to the Metropolitan Unions. As hon. Gentlemen were aware, articles of common consumption like milk varied very much in quality and richness, not only as supplied to workhouses, but to noble Lords and Members of that House; but although he did not think a strong case had been made out in the present instance, he was ready to admit that it would be of service, not only to the public, but to the Boards of Guardians themselves, that some general inquiry should be made into their system of contract and method of purchase, and he had accordingly informed the noble Lord that the subject should receive early consideration.