§ *MR. NUTTALL (Lancashire, Stretford)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether his attention has been drawn to the conviction of certain butter merchants at Bath on the 20th March, who were fined £50 and costs for selling butter† See Col.373 alleged to contain 16.4 percent, of water, whilst the analysis made at the Government laboratory showed only 15.82 per cent, of water, or 0.18 per cent, less than the presumptive limit of the Board of Agriculture; whether he is aware that the Government analyst stated that the difference between his own percentages and those of the prosecution might be largely accounted for, if not entirely, by the process of evaporation; and whether, seeing that the Government analyst corroborated the analysis of the prosecution by a statement founded on mere surmise, when his own analysis showed that the legal limit had not been exceeded, he proposes to take any action in the matter.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somerset, S.)
The Answer to the first two parts of my hon. friend's Question is in the affirmative. With regard to the third part, I may say that notice of appeal against the decision of the magistrates has been given, but that in any case the Board have no authority to interfere.