HC Deb 11 November 1954 vol 532 cc1511-2
Dr. Hill

I beg to move, in page 22, to leave out lines 14 to 19, and to insert: (4) For subsections (3) and (4) of section sixty-nine of the principal Act there shall be substituted the following subsections:— (3) The public analyst shall analyse as soon as practicable any sample submitted to him in pursuance of this section but may, in the case of a sample submitted by a person not being an officer of the food and drugs authority, demand in advance the payment of such fee as may be fixed by the authority. (4) If—

  1. (a) the office of public analyst for the area in question is vacant; or
  2. (b) the public analyst determines that he is for any reason unable to perform an effective analysis
the sample shall be submitted or, as the case may be, sent by the public analyst to whom it was originally submitted, to the public analyst for some other area, and he shall, upon payment to him of such sum as may be agreed analyse the sample. (5) A public analyst who has analysed a sample shall give to the person by whom it was originally submitted a certificate specifying the result of the analysis; and any such certificate shall be in a form prescribed by regulations made by the Minister of Food and the Minister of Health acting jointly. (6) Where a sample taken or purchased by a sampling officer has been analysed by a public analyst, any person to whom a part of The sample was given under the Schedule (Provisions as to manner in which samples taken and purchased for analysis are to be dealt with) to the Food and Drugs (Amendment) Act, 1954, shall be entitled, on payment to the authority by whose officer the sample was procured of a fee of one shilling, to be supplied with a copy of the certificate given by the public analyst under the last foregoing subsection. This Amendment deals with two points. The first was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead), and the second by the hon. Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer). The first point raised was this. When a sample has to be sent to a public analyst in another area it shall be sent by the public analyst to whom it was first submitted. We shall be glad to accept this suggestion of my hon. Friend.

The hon. Member for Deptford raised a series of points in connection with sampling. We feel that he sustained the point that the individual who retains the third part should have the right, on application, to obtain a copy of the analyst's report. This is a small but quite important change, and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would wish us to extend it to all samples, as we have done, and not merely to milk samples. We feel that the argument which he made out was a powerful one, and although the Amendment does not meet all the points he made, I think that he will agree that it covers the most important one.

Mr. Pargiter

The public analyst will in many cases be a whole-time paid public servant. In those cases, why should payment be made to the analyst? Should not the payment be made to the local authority?

Dr. Hill

If the hon. Gentleman will look at the wording, he will see that payment is made to the authority.

Sir H. Linstead

I should like to thank my hon. Friend for having made this amendment in the wording of the Bill, and to ask him if I have understood him correctly, because the wording is a little involved. I take it that the new wording is designed to secure, and does secure, that if a decision is taken that a particular public analyst cannot do the analysis and therefore the sample has to be sent to someone else, it is the public analyst who takes that decision and the public analyst who sends the sample on to his colleague.

Sir L. Plummer

In thanking the Parliamentary Secretary for meeting the point which I raised, may I refer to the other part of the Amendment which I moved, that in the event of the analyst deciding that the sample should be analysed, the farmer would be told that it was to be analysed? I thought at the time that the Paliamentary Secretary said that he would look into that point.

Dr. Hill

I did look into that point, but we felt that would raise a number of repercussions and that it had been sufficiently met by returning to the old periods of time.

Amendment agreed to.