HC Deb 25 June 1883 vol 280 cc1406-7

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the attention of Government has been called to the severe strictures of the Richmond Commission upon the constitution and management of Cork Butter Market; whether his attention has been more particularly directed to the evidence given with regard to the system of inspection, under which the broker, who employs and pays the inspector, is permitted to stand at his elbow during the inspection and endeavour to influence his judgment; whether, as a matter of fact, such scandals do exist; and, whether, under all the circumstances of the case, and considering the importance of this market, and the fact that its quotations govern the price of butter throughout the whole of Ireland, Government will consider the advisability of legislating to remove such abuses?


Sir, the Report of the Richmond Commission and the notes of the evidence affecting the Cork Butter Market were brought before me in Ireland in October last. After consideration, I came to the conclusion that it would not be expedient—perhaps not possible—for the Irish Government to interfere by legislation in the matter. The hon. Member is, no doubt, aware that much litigation has from time to time taken place to decide the rights of the brokers and the public as to the market; and, further, that the Richmond Commission to which he refers makes no recommendation or suggestion as to how the alleged abuses in the market can be abated. The importance of the market is not overstated by the hon. Member; but, notwithstanding this, it seems to involve questions of private rights, rather than rights with which the Government can interfere.