§ MR. LAMBERT
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if he can state when the Departmental Committee on the use of preservatives in food may be expected to report; whether he is aware that summonses are being now issued by local authorities for adding to Devonshire clotted cream a small quantity of boracic acid solely as a preservative; and whether he will communicate to such local authorities the undesirability of proceeding with prosecutions on this point until the Report of the Departmental Committee has been issued.
§ MR. CHAPLIN
I am informed that some delay has been occasioned by a series of experiments the issue of which will not be known for some months yet, but the Committee hope to complete their Report by the end of this year. I understand that some local authorities have recently instituted proceedings in cases such as those referred to in the question. The Local Government Board, however, have no authority to prevent such proceedings being taken, and they could not undertake to interfere with the discretion of local authorities in the matter.
§ MR. LAMBERT
Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to communicate to the local authorities the fact that the Committee will report by the end of this year?
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
As this is a matter which affects Ireland, I will ask, if it be considered a reasonable request, that the Home Office should issue a circular to magistrates advising them to defer prosecutions in relation to these matters until the scientific point has been settled.