§ LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a case which came before the Borough Bench of Bury, on the 6th March, in which the Bench refused to grant a summons to the purchaser of adulterated butter on the ground that the samples had not been submitted to the borough analyst but to the; county analyst; whether he is aware that the town clerk of Bury appeared before the Borough Bench to oppose the granting of such summons on the above ground; whether the action of the purchaser in relying on the analysis of a county analyst was regular; and, whether a Borough Bench is justified in 1628 refusing to deal with a case of adulteration merely on the ground that the analysis had not been made by their borough analyst?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
My attention was first called to this case by the Question, but I have communicated with the Borough Justices, and understand that the facts are as stated in the first two paragraphs. The purchaser subsequently produced a certificate from the borough analyst, and obtained the summons. Whether the magistrates were justified in their action depends on the construction which should be placed on certain sections of "The Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875." That is a question which can only be authoritatively decided by the Courts, and on which, therefore, I must decline to express an opinion.