§ MR. HUNT
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he has seen the present regulations of the United States and of South America for preventing the importation of tuberculous meat into this country; whether he will have them issued to Members; and what means he has of knowing that they are carried out efficiently.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
I have seen the regulations concerning meat inspection which are now in force in the United States and which have been prescribed for the purpose of preventing the use in foreign commerce of meat and meat food-products which are unfit for human food. Immediately after the passing of the Act of Congress under which these regulations were made, the staff employed in the Federal Meat Inspection Service was considerably increased, and it appears that on 1st July, 1907, 2,290 persons were employed on this service as compared with 981 persons so employed on 1st July, 1906. I am not aware that it is necessary to lay the regulations on the Table, but I will show the hon. Member a circular issued by the United States Bureau of Animal Industry containing a description of the Federal Meat Inspection Service, if he so desires. As regards South America, the country principally concerned is Argentina. By a decree made in October, 1906, Argentina meat products are required to be submitted to a technical inspection before exportation, and the Cattle Department are empowered to make detailed regulations. I have not seen these regulations, or any statement as regards the inspecting staff. I am endeavouring to obtain information on the subject through the Foreign Office.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
That ought not to affect the position of our inspectors with regard to foreign meat which may have been inspected prior to its despatch and which, prior to its arrival in England, may have deteriorated and become unfit for food.
SIR GILBERT PARKER
Have the new regulations of the Local Government Board dealing with the importation of American meat been laid on the Table of the House?