§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ LORD SOMERLEYTON
My Lords, this is a very brief Bill; a short and simple matter which I trust will receive your Lordships' assent. During recent years light leather has been sold by superficial area instead of, as formerly, by weight or skin, and the increasing employment of various types of leather measuring instruments led to a demand from the trade that their use should be legalised by the Board of Trade, and that approved types should be governed by regulations similar to those in force with regard to weighing instruments. I should say that millions of pounds worth of leather are sold annually, and the quantity is estimated at 400,000,000 feet at an average price of 1s. 6d. per square foot. This is, therefore, a very large matter. Buyers and sellers of leather are united in the request for legislation. A renewed demand for legalisation of such instruments was made by the Federation of the Light Leather Trades of the United Kingdom, and in January, 1915, the Board received a joint deputation from the Federation of Light Leather Trades, the United Tanners Federation, and the Boot and Shoe Trades Federation. Your Lordships will therefore see that the whole trade is united in this matter.
The object of the measure is, by its moral effect, to induce the majority of those traders who use instruments for the measurement of leather by superficial area to adopt instruments of a pattern certified by the Board of Trade; and also to enact that such instruments of such pattern shall be subject to the provisions of the Weights and Measures Acts, 1878 to 1904, in the same way that weighing machines are subject. I beg to move.
§ Moved. That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Somerleyton.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.