HC Deb 06 December 1906 vol 166 cc1159-60
MR. E. H. LAMB (Rochester)

To ask the President of the Local Govern- ment Board whether he is aware that consignments of goods sent out to South Africa for the use of the troops during the late war are being sent back to the United Kingdom, and that a part of such returned consignments consist of unsound tinned food; whether his attention has been called to the fact that more than 10,000 tins of food returned from South Africa were lately advertised for sale by public auction in the City of London and seized by the medical officer of health as being unfit for human food; and whether any, and, if so, what, steps are being taken to guard against the introduction of future consignments of unsound food from this source.

(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) The facts are, I believe, substantially as stated in the Question. As regards the last paragraph of it, the Local Government Board have given attention to the matter, and special inquiries have been made by them, with the assistance of the Board of Customs, regarding the importation of meat essences from South Africa, the condition of which was unsatisfactory. Where possible, steps have been taken to obtain such action as local authorities have been able to take to deal with the matter Moreover, inquiries are being made regarding other food stuffs returned from South Africa. Further legislation, however, of the kind contemplated by the Public Health (Regulations as to Food) Bill, now before Parliament, is necessary to guard effectively against the introduction of consignments of unsound food.