HC Deb 01 May 1902 vol 107 cc451-2

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, when he is dealing with the question of the standard of water in butter, he will see his way to safeguard the interests of the Irish salt butter trade so that nothing may be done that will injure or jeopardise this branch of industry.

I beg also to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, in the contemplated regulations respecting the percentage of moisture in butter, it is intended that a limit of 16 per cent. shall apply to Irish salt firkin butter; and, if not, can such butter be sold if it contains more than 16 per cent. of moisture, provided that a sufficient disclosure be made to the purchaser at the time of sale, as stated by the Departmental Committee in their Report.


I will answer both the hon. Gentleman's Questions at the same time. So far as regards the sale of salt firkin butter in Ireland, the Question is one for the Irish Office. In Great Britain the limit of 16 per cent. applies to all butter. I cannot express an opinion upon the legal point raised in the second part of the Question.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the vast proportion of the salt butter made in Ireland is sold in this country?


I quite understand that, and I am aware of the fact; but I gather from the evidence that there is no reason for the use of brine in this butter, and if salt were used instead, it would bring it within the standard.

MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY (Limerick, W.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give us an opportunity of discussing this question?


I have no means of doing that.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that insistence of the 16 per cent. standard will practically annihilate the Irish salt butter trade?


Order, order!