§ MR. D. SHEEHY (Galway, S.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for South Meath, Mr. J. H. PARNELL, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he will inquire into the number of prosecutions which have been instituted in Ireland during the past five years for the sale of liquors adulterated with water, and cases in which the adulterations were of a poisonous nature dangerous to public health; and, in how many cases convictions were obtained?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
During the five years ended the 31st December 1895, the number of persons proceeded against throughout Ireland, outside the Dublin Metropolitan Police District, for selling adulterated spirituous liquors was 458, of whom 394 were convicted and 64 discharged. As evidence of the vigilance of the members of the police force, who have been appointed by local authorities to carry out the provisions of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, and whose duty it is to use every effort to detect the sale of adulterated liquors, I may mention that during the past five years in question the number of samples suspected to have been adulterated and submitted for analysis by the police outside Dublin was 5,216, and that the number of such samples submitted for analysis in each of those five years shows a progressive increase from 514 in 1891 to 1578 in 1895. The Returns made to me by the police do not show the nature of the ingredients used in the adulterations, though I believe it is probable that in many cases water only was used. In the case of Dublin, prosecutions for the sale of adulterated liquors are instituted by the Corporation, and the police have no records which would afford the information desired by the hon. Gentleman so far as Dublin is concerned.