HL Deb 29 July 1909 vol 2 cc820-37

Amendments reported (according to order).

LORD EVERSLEY moved to add a new subsection to Clause 1 (which prohibited the use of hop substitutes in brewing) providing that nothing in the Bill should prevent the use of any preservatives which in the opinion of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise were necessary and for which hops could not be substituted without detriment to the beer. He said the object of the Amendment was to bring the Bill into exact harmony with the statement of the President of the Board of Agriculture on the Second Reading. Lord Carrington then said that the Government had not agreed to prohibit the use of preservatives altogether, but only when the necessary preservation could be obtained by the use of hops. The clause was rather obscure upon the point, and the Amendment was designed with the object of making the intention of the Bill quite clear. There were unquestionably other articles used for preservative purposes in the brewing of beer which could not be replaced by hops. Those compounds were compounds of sulphur dioxide; but hereafter other articles of the same kind might be discovered, and therefore it seemed to him to be desirable that the words should include not only dioxide of sulphur but also any substance which might hereafter be discovered of a similar nature and which could not be replaced by hops. He wished to make it clear that if hopes could be used in the place of these substances then the use of these substances would be illegal; but if there were substances which hopes could not supply the place of, then his Amendment would cover them.

Amendment moved—

"In page 1, line 16, after subsection (2), to insert the following new subsection: '(3) Nothing in this Act shall prevent the use of any preservatives in the brewing or preservation of beer which in the opinion of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise are necessary for the purpose, and for which hops cannot be substituted without detriment to the beer.'"—(Lord Eversley.)

LORD DESBOROUGH opposed the Amendment on the ground that it was a wrecking Amendment. The clauses at present laid down clearly all the substances that one could brew beer from. The Amendment, if carried, would do away with the other two clauses, and would practically admit anything that might be allowed by the Customs and Excise, who were the arbitrators in the case. He also opposed the Amendment because it introduced another example of government by Department. Finally, he regarded the words of the Amendment as insulting. He hoped that those, like himself, who were interested in pure beer and hop growing would take exception to the Amendment because hops were actually talked about as substitutes. It was suggested by this Amendment, too, that the Commissioners of Excise and Customs might consider hops detrimental to beer. He could not conceive any Amendment which would be less worthy of being inserted in a Bill.

EARL CARRINGTON urged his noble friend not to press the Amendment. As the Bill stood brewers could use any necessary preservatives if they were not used as substitutes for hops, and any question on that point should be settled by the Courts of law and not by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise. He hoped the Government would be able to meet to a certain extent Lord Eversley's point on the Amendment to be moved next by Lord Mayo.

LORD EVERSLEY said the difference between his Amendment and Lord Mayo's was not considerable, and if the Government were prepared to accept the latter Amendment he would not press his.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

THE EARL OF MAYO moved to exclude from the definition of "hop substitute" the various compounds of sulphur dioxide. He said he used the expression "various compounds "because, sulphur dioxide being a gas, its compounds must be put into the barrel in order to create gas.

Amendment moved— In page 1, line 16, after the word 'article,' to insert the words other than various compounds of sulphur dioxide.'"—(The Earl of Mayo.)

*VISCOUNT HARDINGE said that as he understood that brewers asserted that sulphur dioxide did not take the place of hops, he did not wish to oppose the Amendment, and he could assure the noble Earl that hop-growers never had any wish to prohibit the use in beer of anything which did not displace hops. Hop-growers had no desire to put any obstacle in the way of brewers, whom they recognised were their best customers, but who, like themselves, were being severely tried at the present time. All they wished was that the unanimous recommendation of the Select Committee, which included a prominent brewer, should be carried into effect as quickly as possible. On the understanding that the noble Earl and others who represented the brewers in the House would agree to eliminate the words "various compounds of" and would not raise any further objections to this part of the Bill, the hop-growers would be only too willing to compromise on this point in the spirit of live and let live, which had ever been the motto of the English tenant farmer. He had an Amendment upon the subject later on the Paper, and he hoped that that Amendment would be accepted in the same spirit.

EARL CARRINGTON thought the word "compounds" too general a term. The chief analyst's opinion was that sulphur dioxide and its preparations were not substitutes for hops, and could not be held to displace hops. Therefore he suggested that the words of the Amendment should be altered to "other than sulphur dioxide and its preparations." If that were done he thought the Government could meet the noble Earl's wishes.

LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH thought there was danger in specifying any particular article lest they thereby excluded others. He was entirely in accord with noble Lords behind him in desiring to exclude the use of anything which was purely a substitute for hops. There were certain articles used, he believed, to a limited extent, which had a bittering but not a preservative effect. All the class of articles which were purely and strictly substitutes for hops ought, in his opinion, to be prohibited. He understood that under the Bill they would be prohibited, and that seemed to him to be entirely right. But he thought it would be wiser and would make the Bill freer from possible litigation if the articles which it was desired to prohibit were specified. There was no doubt that dioxide of sulphur might be said in one sense to be a substitute for hops in respect of its being a preservative. It was a preservative against a class of germ against which hops in large quantities were also a preservative; but if hops were used in such large quantities in the classes of beer for which sulphur dioxide was used the beer would be destroyed to the taste of the people who drank it. He deprecated the specification of any particular article, as Lord Mayo had suggested. He did not understand the difference between compounds of sulphur dioxide and preparations of sulphur dioxide. To the lay mind they seemed very much the same; but it was clear that the more they limited in strict terms the exception in the way proposed the more risk they ran of perfectly harmless substances which were necessary for the brewing trade being prohibited.


I think it is clear, from what the noble Lord who has just sat down has said, that there are two ways in which this matter might be approached. You might either take a schedule excluding certain named substances, or you might take a schedule including one or more named substances and permitting their use. The noble Lord suggested that it would have been better to have had an exclusive schedule, but in that case I do not quite understand why he did not put down such a schedule in the form of an Amendment. When the noble Lord says that an inclusive schedule which contains only this one article, sulphur dioxide, is of rather a dangerous character, that can only be because in his opinion, or in the opinion of his friends, there are some other articles which they want to use and think they may be prevented from using. If not, I do not see the objection to naming what, I think, is the one article which they wish to use and which, by common consent, they ought to be allowed to use. With regard to the term "preparations," that is the term used in the Poisons Acts, and there is, I fancy, a distinct chemical difference between a compound and a preparation. A compound may include other articles, but a preparation means one article prepared in a particular way. I hope, therefore, that the House will agree to the Amendment as amended by my noble friend.

THE EARL OF MAYO accepted the suggested verbal alteration in his Amendment made by Earl Carrington.

On Question, Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

*VISCOUNT HARDINGE moved to add to the paragraph defining the expression "hop substitute," the words—"and any bitter article or substance, and any preservative other than hops used in the brewing, preparation, or preservation of beer shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to have been used as a substitute for hops for flavouring or for preservative purposes." He explained that he wished to throw on brewers the burden of proof that any preservatives other than hops which they required to use were not hop substitutes, and therefore did not displace hops.

Amendment moved— In page 1, line 24, after the word 'excise,' to insert the words 'and any bitter article or substance, and any preservative other than hops used in the brewing, preparation, or preservation of beer shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to have been used as a substitute for hops for flavouring or for preservative purposes; '"— (Viscount Hardinge.)

EARL CARRINGTON said that if the House were prepared to agree to this course the Government did not object. The proposal to put the onus of proof on brewers did not, however, come from the Ministerial side of the House.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

EARL CARRINGTON moved to leave out paragraph (b) of Clause 2, which provided that "the name of the country and district in which the hops were grown" should be marked on bags of hops, and insert:—" (b) Such particulars as to the place in which the hops were grown as may be prescribed by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries." He observed that it was very difficult to define areas in foreign countries corresponding to the English district or parish. There would be more elasticity in the procedure proposed in the Amendment, and in accordance with Lord Lansdowne's suggestion the Government were prepared to adopt it.

Amendment moved—

"In page 2, lines 17 and 18, to leave out paragraph (b), and to insert: (b) Such particulars as to the place in which the hops were grown as may be prescribed by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries.' "—(Earl Carrington.)

LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH objected on general grounds to giving a power of legislation to a Government Department. This was quite contrary to public policy. There was no sort of appeal. He did not know that he would not be satisfied with the decision of some Boards of Agriculture, but he was not certain that he would be satisfied with the decision of a Board presided over by the noble Viscount, Lord Hardinge. It might happen that the noble Viscount might be appointed President of the Board of Agriculture, and if that happened he was not at all certain that the noble Viscount would be himself prepared to say that he would approach the consideration of this question in an absolutely judicial spirit. The noble Earl had spoken of elasticity, but he thought it was the business of Parliament to prescribe conditions, and not to leave them to Government Departments.

THE EARL OF CRANBROOK protested against the practice of relegating difficult points to Departments for settlement instead of the matters being dealt with by Parliament. He was not sure that the best course would not be to put an end altogether to the requirement that the name of the grower should be marked on hops. This would remove a difficulty in the way of small growers. If it was desired to extend small holdings, it was worth bearing in mind that the growing of small patches of hops seemed to offer one of the best hopes for small holders in Kent. Perhaps the President of the Board of Agriculture would consider the matter before the Third Reading.


I think the noble Earl ascribed the paternity of this Amendment more or less directly to me. Let me remind the House of what happened with regard to the question of marking bags. We understood that the policy of His Majesty's Government was to place the foreign producer of hops on exactly the same footing as the British producer, and therefore as the English hop-grower has to mark his bags with his name we contended that the foreign hop-grower should also be required to similarly mark his bags; and that was the promise given by Mr. Lloyd-George in distinct terms to the hop deputation.



There can be no doubt about it. I quoted the passage on the occasion of the Second Reading of the Bill; but I do not in the least wish to pin His Majesty's Government to an obiter dictum of Mr. Lloyd-George's. The noble Earl explained that there was a practical difficulty in giving effect to that pledge, because the foreign hop-grower produced his hops in such small quantities that it was impossible to get them marked in the same way as English hops are marked; and I suggested, in the course of debate, as a possible way out of the difficulty, that if we could not obtain a system of marking for foreign hops exactly corresponding to the system which prevails here, it might be done by some plan which would obtain at any rate full particulars as to the origin of the foreign hops. I do not know whether that is possible or not, but I think the whole difficulty may probably be met by the suggestion made just now by the noble Earl behind me, and which, I understand, finds favour with Lord Hardinge and the other promoters of this Bill—namely, that the whole of these proposals for the identification of packages of hops should be dropped, and that similar treatment should be extended to producers of hops in this country. If the noble Earl accepts Lord Hardinge's Amendment to omit the whole clause, then this discussion becomes rather academic.

*LORD HARRIS said he was surprised to hear the suggestion from Lord Cranbrook that it would be a good thing for hop-growers in England if the practice of marking English hops were done away with.

THE EARL OF CRANBROOK explained that what he had suggested was that the requirement that the name of the grower should be marked on the hops should be put an end to. He had not suggested doing away with the marking of the county or district.

*LORD HARRIS said that English hops had a higher reputation in the market than foreign hops, because under the English system it was possible to trace the hops to the place they were grown and the individual who grew them. That gave an honourable reputation to English hops which foreign hops could not claim, and he was doubtful whether the suggestion made by Lord Cranbrook would be received with favour in some parts of the county in which Lord Cranbrook lived. He was not surprised that the noble Earl the President of the Board of Agriculture had lost conceit in his word "district." He could not imagine any term more vague. He was advised that there were territorial divisions in Germany, Austria, and France corresponding to the English parish, and that there would be really no difficulty in tracing foreign hops to the parish from which they came. Whether there was a difficulty in the case of foreign hops, in consequence of there being a number of small growers in a territorial area corresponding to a parish, in marking the names of the growers on the pocket, he could not say; but the foreigner was living under a system so elastic now that it was possible for, say, Russian hops to be taken to Bavaria, packed in bags there, and imported into this country as Bavarian hops; or English hops could be sent into one of the best areas on the Continent in which hops were grown, put into bags there, and brought back as hops coming from that particular country. There was no marking on the bags; it was known that this could be done, and therefore foreign hops had not the same reputation as English hops. The effect of the proposal of the Board of Agriculture would be to give a spurious reputation to foreign hops.


The discussion on this point has proved to be an interesting one. The noble Lord, Lord Balfour, first made a strong objection, I think on a larger scale than the circumstances warranted, against a matter of this kind being left to the Board of Agriculture, and he pointed out that it might so happen that some President of that Board would be so biassed by local considerations as to deal with the matter in a way of which the noble Lord himself could not approve. We always assume in this House, I think, that everybody on every occasion is absolutely unbiassed by his own interests, and more particularly, I hope, is that the case with those who hold Ministerial office. But I am quite sure that my noble friend behind me has no desire to undertake a responsibility of this kind if a better means can be found of meeting this question. Those who represent the hop industry are not entirely agreed in this matter. The noble Earl, Lord Cranbrook, as I understand, made a suggestion that it might be well in the case of the English grower to drop the regulation that the name of the grower should be placed on the pocket. On the other hand, it was pointed out, I have no doubt with considerable force, that by many growers that necessity is regarded as a most valuable advertisement, and that the dropping of it might not be altogether a popular thing. Then the noble Earl said—at least so I understood him—that the small holder whom he wished to see become a grower of hops was placed at a disadvantage in this country. But is that so? Is there anything in the present law to prevent people growing hops in small quantities on small holdings, sending them to a central kiln to be dried, the pockets being then marked with the single name of the person who had packed the hops into the pockets? As I understand, there is nothing whatever to prevent that being done in this country; and therefore it is not accurate to say that in this respect the English small holder is in a worse position than the foreign small holder. Lord Harris pointed out that at present there was nothing to prevent hops being carted about all over the world, if that is a lucrative thing to do, and taken, say, from Russia to Bavaria and thence exported to this country. The Bill as it stands, at any rate, will prevent that practice being carried on, because the name of the country and district in which the hops were grown must be placed on the pocket.


You are proposing to take those words out.


I am coming to that in a moment. The name of the country and district in which the hops were grown must be placed on the pocket, or a fine of £20 may be inflicted. We all know that Russia is not a district of Bavaria, and therefore the particular case which the noble Lord suggested as possible would be prevented by my noble friend's original suggestion in the Bill. If the amended proposal of my noble friend is objected to, he is quite prepared to leave the Bill as it stands. His Department do not think that it is possible to find ally closer term of definition than "district" which would meet the case Lord Harris made. It is very difficult, if not impossible, in their opinion, to put into the Bill such terms as "parish," which do not possess a real analogy in the different countries in which hops are grown. I have no doubt that if any noble Lord can suggest an ingenious form of words which would carry out a somewhat closer definition than appears in the Bill my noble friend will be glad to consider it. But in the circumstances my noble friend, having no desire to have this forced upon him against the wish of the House, will, I have no doubt, withdraw his Amendment.

EARL CARRINGTON withdrew his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

*VISCOUNT HARDINGE then moved to leave out Clause 2, which ran— 2.—(1) No hops shall be imported into the United Kingdom except in bags or pockets having marked on the outside thereof with durable ink or paint in plain and legible words and figures, of not less than three inches in length and half an inch in breadth, the particulars following (that is to say):—

  1. (a) The name of the owner, planter, or grower who packed the hops into the bag or pocket;
  2. (b) The name of the country and district in which the hops were grown;
  3. (c) The year in which the hops were grown; and
  4. (d) The net weight of the hops in the bag or pocket;
and if any hops are imported into the United Kingdom in contravention of this section, the importer shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds for every such bag or pocket. (2) The Commissioners of Customs and Excise shall not permit to be delivered for home use any imported hops unless they are imported in bags or pockets so marked as aforesaid, and there is produced to the Commissioners an invoice of the hops containing such particulars as aforesaid and verified in such manner as may be prescribed by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, subject to the consent of the Commissioners so far as any duties may be thereby entailed upon the officers of Customs, and any hops so detained shall be for- feited unless they are exported within fourteen days after the date of the importation or such further period as the Commissioners may allow. Any expenses incurred by the Commissioners by reason of the detention of any hops under this section shall be paid by the importer. (3) Prosecutions for offences under this section shall be undertaken by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, and this section shall have effect as if it was part of the Customs Consolidation Act, 1876, and the word importer 'as used in this section shall include any person who, whether as owner, consignor or consignee, agent or broker, is in possession of or in anywise entitled to the custody or control of the hops.

The noble Viscount said he moved this Amendment in consequence of his failure to persuade His Majesty's Government to consent to the deletion of the word "owner," the noble Earl the President of the Board of Agriculture having told them that if they persisted in eliminating the word the Bill would be dropped. The retention of that word in the Bill could have but one effect—that of enabling the foreigner to pursue an entirely different system of marking from that which was carried out in this country, where for over forty years the name of the actual grower had had to be placed on every pocket of hops. The noble Earl the President of the Board of Agriculture had stated the other day that he based his Bill on the Act of 1866, but Clause 4 of that Act clearly required that the name of the planter and grower of the hops should be marked on the pockets; it made no reference to the owner at all. He therefore failed to see what possible good could accrue to anyone except to the foreigner by proceeding further with this clause. The sole object of the demand of English hop-growers was that all foreign hops coming into this country should be marked with the name of the grower, in accordance with the English custom and in compliance with the undoubted promise given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the hop deputation which waited upon him last year. One object of his demand was to put an end to the iniquitous system of gambling ill "futures." It would also have the effect of putting an end to the system of mixing different grades of hops, and thereby render fraud ill connection with foreign hops as difficult as it now was with English. Again, if the name of any "owner" were allowed to be substituted for that of the actual grower it would be practically impossible to place any efficient check upon foreign hops, for no parcel of hops could be properly identified unless the name of the grower was marked on each package. Since the noble Earl would not consent to the deletion of the word "owner" the hop industry considered that the best course was to abandon the clause altogether and thereby lighten the Bill and assist the Government in passing it through the House of Commons without much opposition in order that it might come into operation on October 1.

Amendment moved— To leave out Clause 2."—(Viscount Hardinge.)

EARL CARRINGTON hoped the noble Viscount would not insist upon the Amendment. The noble Viscount had told them that there was an entirely different system of marking English and foreign hops. This showed how a misconception, if constantly repeated, became accepted as a fact. Acts of Parliament on this subject should be read together, and he was informed on the highest legal authority that there was no difference in the system of marking English and foreign hops.


Are foreign hops marked at all?


Of course they are. The bag is marked with the name of the person who puts the hops into the bag or pocket.


And with the date and origin?


Exactly the same rule applies to English hops as to foreign hops.


Is it rule or law?


It is the same law.


They are not marked.


They are not marked at all.

THE EARL OF CRANBROOK said it was impossible to do this in the case of foreign hops because there were such numbers of small growers that the names could not be marked. That might mean half a dozen on one pocket. They did not mark them at all.

EARL CARRINGTON said that there was no reason why the name of the growers should be on the bag in England. It was the custom and a great safeguard for the English grower. The Select Committee of the House of Commons recommended that such marking provisions of the Hops Act as were applicable should be applied to imported hops, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought in a Bill on those lines last year. Now when he was carrying out the pledge given to the hop-growers he found that strong objection was taken to it. The Committee presided over by Sir William Collins found that the two main grievances were substitutes and marking. On the second point, this was the pledge given to the hop-growers throughout the country—Herefordshire and Worcestershire, as well as Kent—and he presumed that they knew last year what they were about and that the marking grievance of last year was a grievance this year. He was bound in honour to stick to the clause. If those who championed the hop industry cut a limb off the Bill they would be responsible, but if necessary he would be bound to take the sense of the House on the question, for if the clause was dropped he was afraid that he might be unable to proceed with the Bill.

*LORD HARRIS said that it was hardly necessary for the noble Earl to take so serious and despondent a view about the Bill, even if the middle, instead of a limb, was cut out. What the growers were concerned about was that the foreign hop should be traced to the person who grew it and the place where it was grown. That was imposed by law on the English grower, and all that they asked was that the foreign grower should be put in precisely the same position. Surely, that was not a very extravagant demand. The reply to that was that these people grew their hops in such a way that it was difficult for them to comply with this requirement. If hops could not be imported from those particular districts in consequence of there being a number of small growers, then those districts must go without the advantage of importing hops into England. It would not deprive the English market of foreign hops but only of hops from particular districts where there were a number of small growers, and no doubt the foreign grower would make arrangements to secure the advantage hitherto enjoyed of entering the English market. He was astonished to hear the noble Earl say that it was not necessary for the English grower to put his name on the pocket, for the Act of 1866 seemed clear on the point and there was a penalty for any one who put some other name on the pocket. He advised Lord Cranbrook to test the matter next picking by sending up a pocket or two without a name and seeing whether the authorities would prosecute. If this clause was dropped they fell back on the existing system, and if the growers were content why should the noble Earl regard it as a bad compliment to himself? They appreciated to the full the hard work he had given to the Bill. They would rather be without the clause which the noble Earl offered them than have it in the form proposed, with the permission to omit-the name of the grower and the elastic description of the area in which the hops were grown. The reason they objected to the clause was that at present the foreign hop was a disreputable article, and the clause gave it a spurious respectability. At the same time they accepted gratefully the rest of the Bill.

LORD DESBOROUGH also supported the omission of the clause, insisting that if they did not put the name of the actual grower on the bag it would be difficult to trace the place of origin. There could be no question as to the promise which Mr. Lloyd-George gave to the hop deputation. Mr. Lloyd-George said— I have no fear of the principle which has been impressed upon me by Mr. Bannister—that you should compel these gentlemen to mark their hops with the country of origin and the date of origin. There is nothing unfair in that. Then Mr. Bannister said, emphatically— And the name of the grower, sir; exactly the same as we have to do in all particulars"; to which Mr. Lloyd-George replied— Quite right. Whatever conditions you impose on the British grower should be imposed on the foreigner. That is not a departure from Free Trade. At present there was no means of earmarking foreign hops. Nothing was put on the pockets to show the place of origin, and it was well known in the trade that foreign hops were mixed both in regard to the places from which they came and the date of the crops. The name of the owner had little meaning. It was essential that the name of the grower, as in England, should be placed on the pockets to prevent fraud. There was, in regard to hops, a great deal of gambling in futures. Agents came over to this country and offered to sell hops a great many months ahead, knowing that as they were under no obligation to mark the hops they could describe them in any way they liked, and, if necessary, send over mixed hops. The English grower could not deal in futures in that way because every bag had to be marked, and if the crop was a failure he could not deliver. For these reasons he supported the omission of the clause.


There is some apparent difference as to the state of the law as it stands. My noble friend is advised that it is not, in the strict sense, necessary for the name of the grower to be placed on English hops. On the other hand, the legal advisers of the noble Lords opposite apparently inform them that it is. If they are right it would undoubtedly constitute a difference between the treatment accorded to English and to foreign hops, but I cannot help thinking that the noble Lords opposite are mixing up the law and the practice. It is, no doubt, the English practice, and for reasons which have been explained in this debate it is one which is found most desirable by English hop-growers; but I still maintain that, if small English growers choose to act as the sin all foreign growers do—grow a small quantity of hops, have them collected and dried with others, and placed in bags by one person—the name of that person is the name which would appear on the bags. If that is not so, the aspirations of Lord Cranbrook for hops to be grown by small holders cannot be fulfilled, because they would not be able to carry out the provisions of the law. I hesitate, I confess, to believe that is so. Lord Harris seemed to me to use a somewhat incompatible argument. He objected to the marking of foreign hops, as suggested by Clause 2 of this Bill, because it would give what he called a spurious advertisement to those hops. But I should have thought that if the name of the grower could have been put on that advertisement would have been all the greater and all the more effective, and it is impossible to avoid the suspicion, if the noble Lord will forgive my saying so, that, knowing as he does that the name of the grower cannot be put On—


I do not know why.


It is very difficult to avoid the conclusion that what noble Lords would like to do is to exclude foreign hops altogether.


No, no!


Of course, if noble Lords say they do not, I entirely accept their disclaimer. Then Lord Des-borough spoke of the habit which he said existed of mixing hops from different districts, and, I think, even from different countries, and using them for the purpose of gambling in futures. All that would be prevented by this clause, because if the name of the district—


What is the territorial area of "district?"


I should have thought that the interpretation placed upon the word "district" would have been that of the smallest area which could be described by one name. We all know what a district council is in this country; and certainly nobody could say that Bavaria was a district. Speaking quite at random, I should suppose it would be the area answering possibly to the county or whatever might be the parallel area in the particular country.


My point was that if the name of the actual grower was not given it would be difficult to trace the hops. The name of the grower is the important thing.


I quite understand. But assuming that that cannot be done, I confess I do not follow the argument of Lord Harris that it is better to have nothing at all than to have the clause in the Bill. It may be that the complete safeguard which the noble Lord desires cannot be given, but I should have thought that a very real safeguard is given by this clause; and believing that such would be the view of a great many of those interested in hops in

this country, we are compelled to ask your Lordships to retain this clause in the Bill.

THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY Commented on the difference of opinion which prevailed between the President of the Board of Agriculture and his noble friends as to the marking of the packages. The noble Earl held that English hop-growers were not compelled to put their names upon the pockets, but his noble friends behind him argued that they were so compelled. That was a matter on which he would have thought, considering the time that the discussion had lasted, the President of the Board of Agriculture might have made absolutely certain.


He has.

THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY said that, if it was not the law, it was, at any rate, the universal practice throughout England for the name of the grower to be marked on the hops. If the practice was universal it was almost the same as the law; he did not think it made very much difference, and therefore, if they were placing the foreigner on the same footing, the conditions under which the foreigner imported hops should be assimilated to the practice which universally prevailed in this country. His noble friends had also shown that without the insertion of the word "grower" the clause would be useless, and he submitted that in these circumstances no practical advantage would be gained from the passing of a law in the form intended by the Government. As between the Government and their critics, he said that he must accept the view of those who represented the districts concerned, believing that the only reasonable course was to leave out the clause.

On Question, whether the clause proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill?

Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 17; Not-contents, 24.

Loreburn, L. (L. Chancellor.) Aberdare, L. Haversham, L.
Crewe, E. (L. Privy Seal.) Balfour, L. Herschell, L.
Colebrooke, L. [Teller] MacDonnell, L.
Carrington, E. Courtney of Penwith, L. Pentland, L.
Cromer, E. Denman, L. [Teller.] Poltimore, L.
Glantawe, L. Sanderson, L,
Althorp, V. (L. Chamberlain.)
Canterbury, L. Abp. Morton, E. Abinger, L.
Stradbroke, E. Ashbourne, L.
Camden, M. Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.) Clonbrock, L.
Salisbury, M. Wicklow, E. Desborough, L. [Teller.]
Harris, L.
Camperdown, E. Churchill, V. Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)
Cathcart, E. Hardinge, V. [Teller.] Lawrence, L.
Cranbrook, E. Hutchinson, V. Saltoun, L.
Eldon, E. (E. Donoughmore.) Willoughby de Broke, L.
Mayo, E.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Resolved in the negative.

Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 124.)