§ MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)
To ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that quantities of spurious basic slag have been imported recently into the United Kingdom; that a foreigner has been apprehended on a charge of alleged fraud in connection with these importations and committed to take his trial in London; whether he will watch these proceedings in the interest of his Department and take steps, and, if so, what steps, to prevent farmers being imposed upon by this article, sold as containing a percentage of phosphoric acid much in excess of the actual facts.
(Answered by Mr. Hanbury.) My attention has been directed to the case referred to in this Question, which apparently relates to a recent prosecution at the Mansion House in which an agent living in Brussels was charged with selling under a false warranty two cargoes of inferior basic slag. The defendant was committed for trial on the 3rd inst. I shall continue to watch this case. I have directed our inspectors' attention to the prosecution in order that they may bring the matter to the notice of the local authorities they visit, and have also communicated the particulars in our possession to the Irish Department of Agriculture, as it is understood that the greater portion of the consignments in question have been sold to dealers in that country.