HC Deb 08 February 1956 vol 548 cc1678-9
The Solicitor-General for Scotland (Mr. William Grant)

I beg to move, in page 7, line 3, to leave out from "prove" to "he" in line 8, and to insert:

  1. (a) that he had no reason to suppose that the person, with whom he deposited, or to whom he consigned or sold the food in question, intended the food for human consumption, and that he gave notice to that person that the food was unfit for such consumption, or
  2. (b) that, at the time when he delivered or dispatched it to that person, it was fit for human consumption, or
  3. (c) that, at such time as aforesaid.
This arises out of an Amendment which was moved during the Committee stage by the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison), who wished to have the Clause tightened in order to ensure that a person who sells unsound food to any other person shall not only give notice that it is not intended for human consumption, but shall satisfy himself that the purchaser did not intend to sell it again for human consumption.

As the Bill stands, it is a defence merely to give notice to the purchaser that the food is unfit for consumption, and we have tried to tighten this by specifying that not only must the seller do that, but he must also satisfy the court that he had no reason to suppose that the person to whom he sold or consigned the goods intended that the food should be used for human consumption. This Amendment does not go as far as the Amendment of the hon. Lady, but it goes far enough to make this Clause watertight.

Mr. Woodburn

Again, we are grateful to the Government, and on behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison), who has just entered the Chamber, may I say that (we are glad that the Government have tightened this Clause, even though not quite in the words we suggested.

Mr. James H. Hoy (Leith)

There was a long discussion on this point during the Committee stage and we were assured by the Government Front Bench that this could not be done—

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I think the hon. Gentleman is wrong, because I agreed that there was a loophole here. I have not the reference with me, but I could give it to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Hoy

If I am wrong I apologise, but at one time it was said that this could not be done. It is true that the hon. and learned Gentleman gave an assurance that he would look at this point again, and we are grateful to him for doing so.

Amendment agreed to.