HC Deb 07 December 1931 vol 260 cc1507-8
23. Captain HEILGERS

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that poultry farmers have to make their arrangements for rearing poultry in December, he can give any indication to the poultry industry that he will give favourable consideration to their claims when framing the Government's agricultural policy?


I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply I gave on the 30th November to a question on this subject by the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner).


asked the Minister of Agriculture if his Department has any definition of the term "new-laid" as applied to eggs; and whether any action can be taken to prevent provision merchants selling eggs from Australia and South Africa as new laid?


The term "new-laid" has not been defined either by statute or regulation. In reply to the second part of the question, the requirement that all imported eggs, wherever they may have been laid, must be marked with an indication of origin, enables the consumer to form his own opinion as to the value of any such description as "new-laid" which may be applied to them. Purchasers of eggs sold under the National Mark, however, should be in no difficulty, as by regulations under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1928, the term "first quality" is applied to freshly laid eggs produced in England and Wales.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether at an early date we cannot expect a scientific interpretation of a new-laid egg?


No, Sir.


When these eggs are marked, could they not also be marked with the date of their birth?


asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that large quantities of eggs are imported unmarked; and if he will take steps to see that the Merchandise Marks Act is enforced?

24. Captain ELLISTON

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the continued importation of unmarked eggs; and whether he will take steps to prevent this evasion of the Marking of Imported Goods Act?


As I said in the replies which I gave on Thursday to somewhat similar questions, my atention has recently been called to the exhibition (but not for sale) of some unmarked imported eggs, and I am now inquiring into the matter. I have no evidence to show that Marking Orders under the Merchandise Marks Act are not being enforced.

30. Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the dumping of imported eggs from Russia and elsewhere in the early spring and summer when eggs are plentiful and cheap at home, he will consider a seasonal duty on eggs and poultry as part of the agricultural policy of the Government?


As indicated in my reply to questions on the 26th November last, urgent and close attention is being given to the various aspects of agricultural policy, and I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that his suggestion will receive full consideration.