§ GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board 580 whether he has received a communication from the Vestry of Paddington relative to the failure to obtain a conviction against the proprietor of Mortimer's Stores, 161, Praed Street, for selling as coffee a mixture found on analysis to contain 50 per cent. of chicory, and as butter a mixture containing 88 per cent. of margarine; whether he has been informed that the summonses were served by the warrant officer of Maryle-bone Police Court leaving them at the shop 161, Praed Street, and that the magistrate decided that this was not a service in accordance with section 20 of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875, and section 10 of the Amendment Act, 1879; Whether he has been informed that, it has been ascertained that the defendant is somewhere in Australia or New Zealand, and that he has no address in this country other than his stores in various districts, and that the same difficulty was experienced in 1896 in connection with a purchase of coffee from the same defendant, in the same shop, and which coffee was found to be adulterated with 60 per cent. of chicory; and whether he will make such provision in the new Bill it is proposed to introduce, or will introduce such Amendments in the present Act, as will enable local authorities who are anxious to carry out the law to enforce it against those who so persistently sell adulterated food products?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
I have received a communication from the Vestry of Paddington containing the statements referred to in the Question of my honourable Friend, and I am considering what amendment of the law may be desirable in view of the circumstances.