§ 6. Mrs. Mann
asked the President of the Board of Trade what inquiries were made by the Committee on Weights and Measures Legislation into the number of household products in packages or containers which are sold to the public without obligation to state weight; and the result of these investigations.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
Nearly all prepacked articles of food are required under existing legislation to bear a statement of the minimum weight, measure or number. The Committee considered proposals that similar requirements should be applied to a number of household articles other than food and recommended their application to a limited number of such articles.
§ Mrs. Mann
But is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that it is now almost five years since the Committee on Weights and Measures Legislation made these recommendations? Is he not further aware that one of the most important recommendations extended to the self-service stores which are packed with pre-packed goods, none of which bears the weight? What is the use of a combine assuring us that it is going to stabilise prices over the next six months if, behind our backs, it can reduce the weights in the packages?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
I am aware that this recommendation was made, amongst a large number of others in the voluminous Report of the Committee on Weights and Measures Legislation but, as the hon. Lady knows, this matter would require legislation which in any case could not be introduced this Session.
§ Mr. Usborne
If a mere man may interpolate here, may I ask the President of the Board of Trade if he realises that cream and ice-cream are now often sold in little containers which have false bottoms that are obviously deliberately made to "fox" the customer?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
I should require notice as to whether that was covered in the recommendations of the Committee on Weights and Measures Legislation.
§ Mr. Bottomley
Is it the intention of the President of the Board of Trade not to proceed with legislation for weights 2145 and measures? On an earlier occasion we were told that the Government were treating this as a most important matter.