§ SIR HENRY CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether an auctioneer, who advertises and sells cattle by public auction, and whose mart has not been exempted from the provisions of the Markets and Fairs (Weighing of Cattle) Act, 1891, is bound to weigh and deliver a ticket specifying the true weight of cattle, whenever required by a buyer to do so, or is entitled to keep the buyer waiting until the end of the sale (sometimes two or three hours) on the ground that the weighing machine is being used as a collecting pen for holding cattle previous to sale, and that the machine must be balanced and the cattle weighed afterwards; and whether a buyer is entitled to have his cattle weighed in hundredweights and pounds, in the same way that coals are weighed under the Third Schedule of the Weights and Measures Act, 1889?
§ * THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. WALTER LONG,) Liverpool, West Derby
The law provides that in every auction mart at which cattle are habitually or periodically sold there shall be some person appointed to have charge of the weighing machine which is required to be provided, and if any such person refuses or neglects to weigh cattle when required, or to deliver a ticket specifying the true weight of the cattle weighed, he is liable to be fined. Whether it would be held that such liability would be incurred under circumstances such as those suggested is a hypothetical question with regard to which I do not feel that I could with advantage express an opinion. I am advised that a buyer of cattle is only entitled to require such information as to their weight to be given to him as is afforded by the particular machine provided at the market or mart at which they are sold.