§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
Having considered the Amendment of the Tuberculosis Order referred to on the Committee Stage of this Bill, I am satisfied that the Minister has done as much as he can to meet the point which I raised having regard to the restricted area covered by this Bill. That does not mean that I am satisfied that my contention has been met with regard to the use of the remains of carcasses for human consumption. I can only deal with the wider question of the inspection of meat generally in the interests of the consumer by drafting a separate Bill which I will introduce at an early date.
§ Mr. FENBY
With reference to the resale of carcasses I am glad to observe that the Minister has drafted an Amendment, a copy of which I have just received, under which it will be possible for an authority to sell the carcass but there must be special authority in writing given by the medical officer of the local authority, or other officer of the sanitary authority. The point I with to put is to ask the Minister to insert in the draft Amendment the word "Competent," so that the Amendment will read:and in any such case the carcass of the animal shall not be removed for human con- 397 sumption from the premises on which the slaughter takes place except with the permission in writing of the medical officer of Health or other competent officer.A good many small Authorities are burdened with heavy expenditure in other directions in their administration, apart from the inspection of meat, and it may be that for reasons of economy the officers appointed to carry out this inspection may not be particularly trained or competent. I am very much concerned that no carcass that has been suspected or has a taint of tuberculosis shall be passed on for human consumption, and if the Minister will add to his Amendment the word "competent" he will satisfy me, and it will be an additional safeguard for the community.
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Edward Wood)
So far as I can give an answer off-hand, I see no objection of the insertion of the word "competent", and I will certainly undertake to accept it unless I find that there is some objection to it of which I am not aware for the moment. I do not think there will be any objection, and if that turns out to be the case the word "competent" will accordingly find its place in the Order. I do not think it is necessary to insert this word, because I assume that all the officers of a sanitary authority are competent, otherwise they ought not to be appointed. You might also say that any individual Member of this House, unless he was competent, would not be in the House of Commons. With regard to what the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander) said, I am grateful to him for accepting my Amendment. I notice that he has decided to take a wider course and treat the question on more general lines. I hope that when the hon. Member has investigated this question on general lines, after consultation with the Minister of Health, he will find that his fears are not so well founded as he appears to think.