HC Deb 03 November 1954 vol 532 cc432-3
Captain Duncan

I beg to move, in page 16, line 35, at the end, to insert: (5) Any sample taken by a sampling officer shall be paid for at the time it is taken.

The Temporary Chairman

I think it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we discussed with this Amendment the next Amendment, in the name of the hon. Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer).

Captain Duncan

The object of the Amendment is that a sampling officer should pay for a sample of milk when he takes it. I believe that that principle operates already under the Public Health Act, and it seems to me that we should apply the same principle under this Bill.

I recognise that there may be some occasions when it will be difficult to do this. For instance, when a sampling officer takes one-third of a pint of milk from a travelling milk tank it may be impracticable for him to pay for it. But this Bill covers far more than that type of incident, and wherever the value of the sample taken, which may be in four parts, amounts to a very considerable sum, it seems to me right that the sampling officer should pay.

I think that the principle is self-evident; there is a precedent in the Public Health Act and I hope that even if he cannot accept the Amendment as it stands the principle may be accepted by the Minister and included in the regulations.

Dr. Hill

The difficulty is that very often it is impossible to find anyone to pay when a sample is taken. Many samples are bought because if anything defective is found in them it is desired to take action under Section 3 of the 1938 Act. However, there are many circumstances in which the sampling officer taking a sample, say from a churn, is quite unable to find anyone to pay. Although, in general, I think that it is a sensible thing that one should pay for what one takes from other people, it is because of the practical difficulties that I ask my hon. and gallant Friend to withdraw the Amendment.

The hon. Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer) did not speak——

Sir L. Plummer

So help me, I have been convinced by the Minister for the first time, and I think the last time, in my life. That being so, I do not propose to press my Amendment.

Dr. Hill

I will not pursue the matter further.

Amendment negatived.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.