HC Deb 03 November 1954 vol 532 cc421-2

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Dr. Stross

As drafted, together with lines 30 to 40 of the Second Schedule on page 36, this Clause is intended to protect the public from buying cream substitutes of poor quality, and it is also an attempt to prevent them from being deceived whenever they purchase anything which is an alleged substitute for cream. The method used is apparent. The original two terms for cream, namely, "cream" and "artificial cream," are no longer to be used, and instead we shall have "reconstituted cream" and "imitation cream."

Section 29 of the 1950 Act, as it is now amended, would make it an offence to sell as cream any substance which purports to be cream or reconstituted or imitation cream, unless it is accurately described. I know I am pushing at an open door here, because I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman and his Parliamentary Secretary have had this fully in mind for some time. Therefore, I ask them to withdraw this Clause for reconsideration and bring forward amended words in order to make sure that what they have in mind shall be carried out. We all know that with the existing words it might be possible for anyone who cared to use the old and now rejected term "artificial cream" to provide something comparatively worthless and, as that term has been in use for some time, the public might be deceived.

We cannot forbid the use of the word "cream" for obvious reasons. It is used for all sorts of purposes which have nothing to do with a cow. For example, cream cracker, face cream, and the well-known Bristol cream, chocolate cream and a host of others. Indeed, my wife mentioned foundation cream to me, and there is also cream of tartar. Therefore, we cannot forbid the use of the word "cream," and so, in order to prevent a specious abuse of private—I will not say enterprise, but buccaneering on the part of some bright people in the future, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will take this Clause back and bring forward another.

Dr. Hill

The hon. Gentleman has made an admirable point. There is a case for an attempt to be made to redraft this Clause to make it clearer. I am glad to give him the assurance that we will seek to do that between now and the Report stage.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.