HC Deb 03 May 1883 vol 278 cc1703-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether any steps have been taken by the Statistical Department of the Board of Trade, or the Board of Customs, to tabulate more accurately the different imports of butterine, oleomargarine, and other butter substitutes?


Sir, my right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this Question. The proposal to raise a separate heading in the Trade Returns for butterine, and also for lard and other imitation cheese, has been considered by the Statistical Inquiry Committee, who have recommended, though not without doubt, that new headings should be raised for these articles. But as the officers of Customs have no means of verifying the importer's description in such cases, it was advised that a note should be added to the effect that there was no guarantee that the articles described as cheese and butter are not largely composed of mixtures. The Treasury are prepared to adopt this scheme as an experiment, and have embodied their views in a Minute dealing with the whole Report of that Committee. Before actually carrying out the various changes approved, we are awaiting the observations of the Departments upon the Treasury Minute.