HC Deb 16 April 1973 vol 855 c27
21. Mr. David Walkins

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he now expects to complete his Department's detailed examination of the drained weight problem in relation to foods canned in liquid.

Mr. Emery

As I have previously informed the hon. Gentleman on more than one occasion, I am going ahead with this examination as a matter of urgency.

Mr. Watkins

May I inform the Minister of some further evidence for his detailed examination that I have recently had drawn to my attention—evidence of a tin of Woolworth-brand strawberries of 7½ oz. weight, of which no less than 5½ oz. was liquid? Almost 77 per cent. of the total weight was in liquid. Since all the evidence is that the situation continues to get worse rather than better, will the Minister see that speedy action is taken?

Mr. Emery

I cannot believe that the single instance which the hon. Gentleman gives is general. I think he will realise that, and the complexity of this problem. We want to be able to come to a specific conclusion as quickly as possible, and that is what I am trying to bring about.

Miss Fookes

Does it not seem strange to my hon. Friend that both South Africa and Russia appear to have solved this problem, which is so baffling to the boffins in his Department?

Mr. Emery

I am certain that I have only to remind my hon. Friend that neither of those solutions is accepted as meeting the problem to any sufficient degree of efficiency.