§ MR. E. H. LAMB (Rochester)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that, at a recent auction in the City of London (21st March, 1907), a large quantity of tinned goods were offered for sale, some of which were seized and destroyed as unfit for food by the port sanitary authority in whose district they were lying, although the owner of the goods stated that some of these goods were returned military stores from South Africa; and whether he is aware that a quantity of these goods are still in this country and on the way, and that arrangements are apparently being made to put them on the market from time to time at the rate of one-halfpenny per pound after expense of freight, storage, etc., has been paid; and whether, under these circumstances, he will take such steps as may be necessary in the interests of public health to prevent such sales.
(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) The facts appear to be generally as stated. Further legislation of the kind contemplated by the Public Health (Regulations is to Food) Bill now before Parliament is necessary for the proper dealing with a matter of this kind, but in the particular instance mentioned attention was given by the local authorities concerned to the condition of the goods sold at the auction. A special notice was exhibited at the auction to the effect that they were sold subject to being passed by the medical officer of health of the district in which they were lying; and steps were taken by the medical officers of health of the City and Port of London, of Stepney, and of Finsbury to obtain the surrender of such articles of food as were considered to be unfit for human consumption.