HC Deb 22 June 1896 vol 41 cc1561-2

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether his attention has been called to a decision given by the Deputy Chairman of the County of London Sessions, condemning preserved peas as injurious, in the preparation of which sulphate of copper is used; whether he is aware that in France the Government, after an exhaustive Inquiry, permits the unrestricted sale of such peas as quite harmless, and the same is the case in the United States, Denmark, and other countries; whether, as the Justices of Glasgow and Bristol have held that such peas are harmless, he will consider what steps can be taken to prevent the retail grocer being subjected to such prosecutions; and whether, if satisfied that such peas are harmless, he will issue a recommendation to the local authorities to discontinue such prosecutions?


My attention has been drawn to the decision mentioned in the Question; but I am not in possession of any reports which have been made in France or other countries, and which have led to the unrestricted sale of peas coloured with sulphate of copper, at the rate of three grains of copper salt to one pound of peas, on the ground that peas thus coloured are quite harmless. Nor have I seen the decisions of the Justices of Glasgow and Bristol to which my hon. Friend refers. Indeed, I am not in possession of any evidence which proves that peas, coloured as described, may be habitually consumed without injury to health, and under these circumstances I am unable to make the recommendation which my hon. Friend suggests.


Has the right hon. Gentleman had a representation from the Grocers' Association upon this matter?


I am not aware of it.