HC Deb 12 July 1898 vol 61 cc696-7

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether any facts have come to the knowledge of his Department as to whether the maize flour, which is now being so largely manufactured, is also largely mixed with wheat flour (since the rise in the price of wheat), thereby constituting a fraud very prejudicial to the British farmer; and if no such facts have come to the knowledge of his Department, will he, in the interests of agriculture', cause some inquiries to be made by the Agricultural Department; and I beg also to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the mixture of maize flour with wheat flour, the whole being sold as flour (which the consuming public in England has always hitherto understood to be wheat flour), is punishable under the Food Adulteration Acts; and whether he will put the machinery of his Department to work to stop it?


Representations have from time to time reached me on this subject, but no authenticated case of the adulteration of wheaten flour with maize flour has been brought under my notice, and I gather from the last annual report of the National Association of British and Irish Millers that the experience of the Association, which has decided to prosecute any offenders under this head, is the same as my own. I shall, of course, keep the matter in view, and perhaps I may be allowed now to say, in reply to the Question addressed by my honourable Friend to my right honourable Friend the President of the Board of Trade, that I do not doubt that either under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts or the Merchandise Marks Acts the law affords a sufficient means of punishing malpractices such as those referred to.