HC Deb 29 June 1954 vol 529 cc1250-2
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Charles Hill)

I beg to move, in page 4, line 10, at the end, to add: (5) The provisions contained in Schedule (Special saving for certain slaughterhouses licensed or registered before 1st October, 1939) to this Act (being provisions which, in relation to slaughterhouses, reproduce in a modified form and with temporary effect the enactments mentioned in paragraph (a) of the last foregoing subsection) shall have effect with respect to slaughterhouses to which those enactments apply. (6) Where a person was immediately before the commencement of this Act authorised to keep any premises as a slaughterhouse by virtue only of a notice served on him under subsection (3) of the said section fifty-seven (which makes a local authority's notice to carry out works equivalent to a temporary licence), that person shall for all purposes of the Food and Drugs Act, 1938, and this Part of this Act be deemed to be the holder of a slaughterhouse licence in respect of those premises limited to expire at the end of six weeks beginning with the date of the commencement of this Act. This Amendment has two purposes. The first subsection refers to the new Schedule—(Special saving for certain slaughterhouses licensed or registered before 1st October, 1939). In Committee upstairs my hon. Friend the Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley) raised the question of one category of slaughterhouse, the so-called pre-1890 slaughterhouse, which enjoys in perpetuity the right to a licence, subject to the local authority being satisfied as to the occupier, and subject to the occupier meeting the requirements of the local authority in the matter of maintenance, repairs and structure.

It was pointed out that by the process of delaying an application on the part of the owner occupying such a slaughterhouse it might be possible to exclude the slaughterhouse from the ambit of compensation. That is not the intention. The Bill ends perpetuity of licence and places these slaughterhouses in the same category as other slaughterhouses. The procedure, broadly speaking, is to give such licence holders an opportunity up to the end of this year of making an application and so reduce, indeed remove, the risk, that they might suffer the injustice of being excluded from the compensation provisions.

The additional subsection (6) is designed to meet a very small point. It is that under the existing law, in respect of the pre-1890 slaughterhouses, where the authority requires repairs and alterations of structure to be undertaken the licence is deemed to be in force while the licensee is carrying out those modifications. On the coming into operation of the Bill, a period of six weeks is provided for such interim licences to bring the slaughterhouses within the ambit of the new Schedule which appears on the Order Paper.

Mr. Alfred Robens (Blyth)

We had a good discussion on this subject in Committee, and I am glad that the Parliamentary Secretary has been able to bring forward at this stage the necessary additional Amendment to the Clause to provide for these older slaughterhouses. We welcome these provisions and have no objection to the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.