HC Deb 05 July 1909 vol 7 cc799-800

asked the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether his attention has been called to the Report of the analysis of samples of butter taken by the New Zealand Government at New Plymouth, including Auckland and Wellington; is he aware that of 177 samples taken over 115 contained over 16 per cent, moisture, and some of them showed percentages of water varying from 20.25 to 25.50; whether he can say if the butter imported from New Zealand into this country is Government graded; and what steps, if any, are taken by the Department, in conjunction with the Customs or other responsible Government Department, to protect importers and consumers of butter in Great Britain?

The TREASURER of the HOUSEHOLD (Sir Edward Strachey)

Yes, we have seen the Report to which the hon. Members refers. Under the New Zealand Butter Export Act, which came into operation on 1st January, 1908, it is illegal to export butter containing more than 16 per cent. of water. All butter exported from New Zealand to this country is now Government graded and analysed by Govern- ment analysts. Our own Customs officers take samples of it at the ports at which it arrives, and proceedings will be taken if it is found to contain more than the legal amount of moisture.


Can the hon. Baronet say whether many samples have been taken by Customs' officers in the last six months, and is he aware that the Home and Foreign Produce Exchange passed a resolution calling the attention of the various Departments to the great amount of moisture in New Zealand butter?


The hon. Member must give notice of that question.