§ MR. AUGUSTINE BIRRELL (Fife, W.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that at Messrs. Swan's Auction Mart, at Thornton Junction, Fifeshire, where a dial cattle-weighing machine has recently been erected, a Fifeshire farmer, who was exposing fat cattle at the mart, challenged the accuracy of the weight of his bullock as indicated by by the finger of the automatic dial; that Mr. Thomas Swan ordered the bullock to be again placed on the weighbridge when the weight indicated was 1 cwt. 3 qrs. more than the first weighing; and that the second weighing was accepted as the correct weight; and whether he will take steps to prevent the use of dials which vary to such an extent in a few minutes in weighing cattle worth £40 a ton?
§ *MR. HERBERT GARDNER
I am informed by the auctioneers that on the occasion to which my hon. Friend refers a mistake was made by the man whose duty it was to write on a board the weights of the animals about to be sold, but I do not gather that the error was in any way due to the faulty construction of the machine, or to its being out of order. As I explained the other day to my hon. Friend the Member for Stirlingshire, there ought to be no difficulty in securing the maintenance of these machines in proper working order, the Weights and Measures Acts affording ample machinery for the purpose.