HC Deb 11 February 1881 vol 258 cc627-8

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether, under the uncertainty existing as to the interpretation of the forty-fifth section of the Weights and Measures Act, 41 and 42 Vic. c 49, he proposes any legislation on the subject by which an inspector should be bound to accept as correct any measure or vessel duly stamped by an inspector outside his district, without himself verifying the accuracy?


Sir, the 4.5th section of the Act is as follows:— A weight or measure duly stamped by an inspector under this Act shall be a legal weight or measure throughout the United Kingdom, unless found to he false or unjust, and shall not be liable to he re-stamped, because used in any place other than that in which it was originally stamped. It is only when found to be "false or unjust" that a weight or measure is liable to be re-stamped. There has been a recent conviction by magistrates for the use of a druggist's measure, on the ground of inaccuracy, though it had been stamped by an inspector; but this conviction has been quashed on appeal, on the ground that, though slightly inaccurate, the measure was not shown to be false or unjust. Under these circumstances, I do not at present anticipate any difficulty from the action of different inspectors, and I do not think it would be desirable to make the stamp of an inspector an absolute protection where "falsehood or injustice" can be proved. I may add that the Board of Trade are preparing a Table of the errors which may be allowed in druggists' measures, and I hope that this may help to remove the difficulties local inspectors have found in dealing with these minute quantities.