HL Deb 20 January 1954 vol 185 cc300-15

2.52 p.m.

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Viscount Woolton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF DROGHEDA in the Chair]

Clause 1:

Offences in connection with preparation and sale of injurious foods and adulterated drugs.

(5) In determining for the purposes of the principal Act and this Act whether an article of food is injurious to health, regard shall be had not only to the probable effect of the consumption of that article by a person of normal health but also to the probable cumulative effect of the consumption by such a person of articles of substantially the same composition in ordinary quantities.

LORD DOUGLAS OF BARLOCH moved, in subsection (5), to leave out "of normal health." The noble Lord said: The subsection to which this Amendment relates recognises I think for the first time in our legislation that substances may be injurious to health because of the cumulative effect of partaking of them over a long period—perhaps for months, or perhaps for years. In that respect I am delighted to see that the matter is included in the Bill. It is, however, extremely difficult to detect the long-term effects of substances which are not immediately toxic, because there are so many other factors, in addition to any particular cause, which affect human health. I am moving to leave out the words "of normal health" because they appear to me to be calculated to make this task of interpretation even more difficult. I do not know what is intended to be conveyed by the words "a person of normal health." I do not think that such a phrase has ever before appeared in any Statute or been the subject of judicial interpretation.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word "normal" means regular or usual, or conforming to a common type or standard. But in the connection in which the word appears here, the first point that arises is: does it mean the usual health of one particular individual? That, indeed, may well be an extremely variable thing. In the course of a lifetime people suffer from various complaints, and the state of their health varies from time to time. Or is this phrase intended to mean a person who is in good or perfect health? If so, equal difficulty of interpretation is likely to arise, and, mere than that, the scope of this provision would be unduly narrowed because it is surely important to protect the health of persons who are not in good health. According to the statistics, the majority of the population, so far as one can see, is not in a state of perfect health and certainly there are few individuals who, in the course of their lives, are constantly in that happy condition. It is surely absolutely essential that we should protect the health of persons who are in a sub-normal condition of health. They are just as much entitled to be protected as other people. There are large classes of persons—the consumptives, let us say, and others—who are just as entitled to protection from the adulteration of foodstuffs, because it would affect them in their particular condition, as is the rest of the community. I feel somewhat fortified in this argument by the report of the Chief Medical Officer of Health which was published a few days ago, in which he says: It is paradoxical that records of sickness and death should be our main index of the state of the public health. The explanation is that we still lack a method of measuring directly the health of the nation. I will not read the whole of this rather interesting passage, but it does emphasise the point which I want to make: that these words will be extremely difficult of interpretation, and it is possible that they might deprive many persons of the benefit of this Bill who are entitled to it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 9, leave out ("of normal health").—(Lord Douglas of Barloch.)


May I say just a word or two in support of this Amendment moved by my noble friend? I would suggest that with the words "of normal health" in, nonsense is made of the clause. My noble friend is learned in the law, and I am looking at this purely as a layman. It seems to me that if those words are retained it will be illegal to sell any article of food injurious to health to someone who can be proved to be in normal health, but quite legal to sell it to someone who is suffering from any illness. For example, it would be quite legal for some firm to advertise that a certain food is good for people suffering from tuberculosis or who have cancer or some similar disease. It might be proved that that article of food was injurious to those unfortunate people, but under this clause, as I read it, no action would he against those people. In those circumstances, I hope the noble Viscount in charge of the Bill, will accept this Amendment.


I should like to know whether the noble Lords, when seeking to include people who are not in normal health, wish to include patients suffering from diabetes, nephritis, and other conditions, who might be very seriously injured by some food product, which was quite free from any possibility of rendering injury to people in normal health.


There are certain people who are allergic to certain conditions. They may be otherwise in normal health, but because they are perhaps allergic to strawberries they are not quite in normal health. I was once, for a short period of my life, allergic to codfish. I was in good health otherwise, but I could hardly be classed as in normal health. I think that is a reason for not agreeing to this Amendment. It is known that people who are allergic to certain kinds of things—for instance, I believe the bad or even the ordinary dyeing of furs—have in many cases exploited that abnormality to their own advantage. I suggest that we have in these words a necessary safeguard for the trader.


May I point out to the noble Lord who has just spoken that a person may be in normal health by definition but at the same time allergic to a certain food, and that under this clause he would be able to recover damages if any particular food upset him?


May I set the minds of noble Lords at rest, if that is possible, on this matter? I am grateful to the noble Lord who has brought his expert knowledge to bear to show that the Parliamentary draftsman, when he drafted this clause originally, was not quite so foolish as has been suggested. The noble Lord, Lord Douglas of Barloch, is learned in the law, and so is the Parliamentary draftsman, and the last thing I am going to try to do is to judge between the two; but I was much impressed by the thought that perhaps the words "of normal health" were going to provide an undue amount of business to the courts if they were left in. Therefore, we had some consultations with the Ministry. I am going to ask the noble Lord whether he will be good enough to withdraw his Amendment on condition that on the Report stage I insert these words: In determining for the purposes of the principal Act and this Act whether an article of food is injurious to health. regard shall be had not only to the probable effect of that article on the health of a person consuming it but also to the probable cumulative effect of articles of substantially the same composition on the health of a person consuming such articles in ordinary quantities. I think that, so far as I can understand it, this meets the noble Lord's point. If that will meet his convenience, I shall be glad to put that in at the Report stage. It will, perhaps, be better for the House if I do it then rather than now, because it has not been circulated and noble Lords naturally want further time to consider it. That is as far as I can go. I cannot accept the Amendment as it stands because I am assured by competent legal authorities that it would make confusion even more confounded.


I think the noble Viscount has made a most reasonable offer, and I should certainly advise my noble friend to accept it. It does not mean we are committed to accept the Amendment on the Report stage. We should, of course, like to look at it again: but, subject to that, this suggestion seems all right to me at first hearing.


I am grateful to the noble Viscount for the suggestion he has made, which meets the point I was endeavouring to cover by my Amendment. It is difficult to take these things in completely upon first hearing, but I think that what the noble Viscount proposes will effect a considerable improvement in the Bill. Therefore I have pleasure in asking leave to withdraw my Amendment.


I am much obliged to the noble Lord.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD DOUGLAS OF BARLOCH moved, after subsection (5) to insert: (6) An article of food shall be deemed to have been rendered injurious to health if its nutritive value has been reduced or altered, or if any substance which is not a natural foodstuff is used or added in the preparation, processing or treatment thereof.

The noble Lord said: The clause which we are discussing at present is intended to be a substitute for Sections 1 and 2 of the Food and Drugs Act, 1938, but in making this substitution it appears to me that a very important item which was contained in Section 2 of the 1938 Act has been omitted. I do not know whether the omission is intentional or accidental. Section 2 of the 1938 Act says that: No person shall abstract…from any food any constituent thereof so as to affect injuriously the nature, substance or quality of the food with intent that it may be sold in its altered state. … In this Bill, the reference to the abstraction of substances from food is confined only to an abstraction which will "render the food injurious to health." That is contained in subsection (1) of this clause. The reference to an abstraction from food which would "affect injuriously the nature, substance or quality" of it has been removed. If the abstraction does not produce a result which is positively deleterious to health, it appears that it is permitted by the present Bill. It is on that account that I have put down this Amendment, which amplifies the meaning of the Bill by providing that An article of food shall have been deemed to have been rendered injurious to health if its nutritive value has been reduced or altered. That is the substance of the provision now omitted, which was contained in the 1938 Act.

My Amendment goes on to say: or if any substance which is not a natural foodstuff is used or added in the preparation, processing or treatment thereof. I think it will be agreed—at least, I hope it will be—that there is a prima facie presumption against the use of artificial products, synthetically produced substances, which are not found in nature and which have never before been used as foodstuffs. I draw attention to the fact that my Amendment does not absolutely prohibit the use of such substances, because I thought it might be difficult to persuade Her Majesty's Government to accept an Amendment as far-reaching as that, although I consider it to be right. This Amendment, read in conjunction with a later clause of this Bill, permits the use of such substances, provided that a label is attached to the article giving notice to the consumer of what has been introduced into the foodstuff that he is buying. Therefore the new subsection which I am moving, combined with the other provisions in the Bill, would have the effect not of absolutely prohibiting the use of such substances, provided that there was no definite proof that they were injurious, but at any rate of giving notice to the consumer of what had been put into the food he was buying. On those grounds I beg to move this Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 12, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Douglas of Barloch.)


I should like to support the noble Lord, Lord Douglas of Barloch, in this Amendment. Your Lordships know well the name of that leader in the field of medical science, Sir Edward Mellanby, who drew attention recently to this very point. He said: There is good reason to believe that much disease in Western countries at present is due to errors of living introduced or greatly increased in modern times, and it may be that one of these errors is the ingestion of food treated by unnatural chemical substances. Those words, coming from an authority of that nature who was at one time so closely associated with the Medical Research Council, are a strong pointer in favour of supporting the noble Lord's Amendment. As your Lordships well know, several Ministries are concerned with these matters. In regard to this question of the ingestion of food treated by these unnatural substances, if the decision were specifically and entirely in the hands of the Minister of Health, one would feel more happy that he would have the deciding voice in this matter, rather than that others concerned should have any important say. I suggest that the Minister of Health should have the absolute word in matters of this nature. I beg to support the noble Lord's Amendment.

3.15 p.m.


I am sorry that, in view of the great deal of trouble which the noble Lord, Lord Douglas of Barloch, has obviously gone to with regard to this Bill, I can neither accept the Amendment that he is moving nor, indeed, if he will forgive me for saying so, follow his reasoning. The noble Lord says that the addition of these things, read in connection with some other part of the Bill, would not be an offence. If he had raised the question on the part of the Bill which deals with labelling, perhaps it might have been better but, as I read this Amendment, the effect of it would be that all foods containing ingredients that are not natural foods would be regarded as injurious to health. It would preclude the use of chemical substances other than natural foods. What a stodgy diet we would be faced with if bicarbonate of soda were not allowed to be used, baking powder and the rest of it! I do not know whether the noble Lord would regard things like that as unnatural foods. If the two noble Lords who spoke will forgive me for saying so, I think that their passion for purity in food, which we indeed respect, is carrying them a little too far in this Amendment which, the noble Lord proposes. Observe the words of the Amendment: …if its nutritive value has been reduced or altered, or if any substance which is not a natural foodstuff is used or added. … I could not advise your Lordships to accept that Amendment, and I trust that the noble Lord will not feel it necessary to press it on the Committee.


I gather from what the noble Viscount says that he objects to both of the provisions which I have inserted into this Amendment.


I am sorry: I cannot hear what the noble Lord is saying.


I gather that the noble Viscount objects to both of the provisions contained in this Amendment, not only to that dealing with artificial ingredients added to foodstuffs but also to the part of it dealing with the abstraction of nutritive elements from food. I am a little disappointed that he has no sympathy with the first part of this proposal which indeed was contained in the 1938 Statute; it is really going backward to omit that from this Bill and to put nothing in its place. The second part of my Amendment, I agree, introduces a new consideration which I and many others think of great importance. I am not going to press this Amendment, but what I propose to do is to put down two separate Amendments upon the Report stage dealing with these two separate points and then we shall see whether we are able to make further progress with the matter. I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On Question, Whether Clause I shall stand part of the Bill?


I should be grateful if the noble Viscount would be good enough to make one point clear before we pass this clause. I am associated in some small degree with the pharmaceutical trade, in that I am the independent chairman of a committee, and some concern has been aroused by the terms of Clause 1 (2). That subsection reads: No person shall add any substance to or abstract any constituent from a drug so as to affect injuriously the quality, constitution or potency of the drug, with intent that the drug shall be sold in that state. The first question that arises is whether what is known as unofficial compound medicine is covered by the word "drug." By an "unofficial compound" is meant a compound medicine, the formula for which is not prescribed by the British Pharmacopœa, or similar standard works. If the answer to that question is Yes, as I imagine will most certainly be the case, then a difficulty might arise in regard to manufacturers of such compound medicines who may decide, in the light of expert advice or modern medical research, to change the formula by reducing the proportion of one active ingredient. The result of that change would be to improve the quality and the constitution of the compound, but because the quantity of an active ingredient had been reduced it might be argued, on a narrow interpretation, that its potency or strength had been injuriously affected. At all times, of course, in accordance with the Pharmacy and Medicines Act, the manufacturer would show the correct formula on the package, and if a change were made in that formula, then of course the declaration would similarly be changed. I have had some correspondence with the noble Viscount; he was good enough to write to tell me that in his opinion, and that of his advisers, no charge could be made against a manufacturer of an unofficial compound in those circumstances. For the purposes of record I should be grateful if he would be good enough to reassure me on that point, and make it clear that this subsection is not intended to apply to those cases where the formula is clearly printed upon the package, and the medicine complies with the formula.


The assurance that I gave in writing I will give verbally.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2:

Defences available in proceedings under s. 3 of principal Act

2.—(1) In proceedings under section three of the principal Act for an offence consisting of the sale of food to which any substance has been added, or in the preparation of which any substance has been used as an ingredient, or from which any constituent has been abstracted, or which has been subjected to any other process or treatment, other than food thereby rendered injurious to health, it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove that the operation in question was not carried out fraudulently, and either—

  1. (a) that the operation was required for the production or preparation of the article as an article of commerce in a state fit for carriage or consumption; or
  2. 309
  3. (b) that the article was sold having attached thereto a notice of adequate size, distinctly and legibly printed and conspicuously visible, slating explicitly the nature of the operation, or in a wrapper or container containing such a notice.

3.22 p.m.

LORD SILKEN moved, in subsection (1), to leave out "either." The noble Lord said: I beg to move Amendment No. 3 on the Marshalled List. With the agreement of the Committee, I should like at the same time to comment on Amendment 5, because the two go together. Clause 2 (1) deals with the question of offences against the Act, and in particular with offences in connection with what might be described as adulteration of food. It contemplates that substances will be added to food or abstracted, or that the food may be subjected to any other process or treatment. Then the subsection lays it down that it shall be an answer to any charge to show that this was not done "fraudulently." I am not sure what that means. I should be grateful if, in passing, we could have an explanation of what is meant by "not carried out fraudulently." The subsection also provides that there shall be a defence if one or other of the two conditions (a) and (b), which follow, is satisfied— either— (a) that the operation was required for the production or preparation of the article as an article of commerce in a state fit for carriage or consumption; or that there has been a full disclosure of the contents of the addition or abstraction. My Amendment would require that both those conditions should be satisfied in order that there should be a defence.

I can well understand why, in order that the food should be suitable for commerce or carriage, it may be necessary that certain things should be, added; and if they do not harm anybody, well and good. But I think the consumer ought to be told that these things have been added. Therefore I feel that (b) should also be made a condition. I cannot see why the seller or manufacturer should have an option. It does not seem to me to make sense that it should be necessary to prove either that these things were added or abstracted in order to make them suitable for commerce or should state the composition of the article. If the first factor is necessary, why not also state the composition? It seems to me so simple that I need not elaborate the point. I shall be interested to hear the reason for giving a person the alternative of doing either one or the other. I should have thought in all these cases where something is added the consumer should know what has been added. I beg to move my first Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 30, leave out ("either").—(Lord Silkin.)


I rather wish that Lord Douglas's next Amendment had come before that of Lord Silkin, because I think I may prove to be rather more accommodating about what he seeks to do than about the effect of Lord Silkin's Amendment. As Clause 2 stands at the moment, it provides a defence in cases where proceedings are taken for the sale of a food or drug not of the nature, substance or quality demanded. As the noble Lord has said, the defendant must prove that he did not act fraudulently. The noble Lord has asked me what is meant by "fraudulently." He is a lawyer and I am not, but I should have thought that the definition of "fraudulently" would be used in connection with somebody having an intention to defraud. Perhaps the noble Lord will correct, me if I am wrong. In addition to proving that, he must either prove that the treatment applied was necessary to put the food or drug in a state fit for carriage or consumption, or that he had attached a label saying what had been done to the food or drug.

The effect of the noble Lord's Amendment is to make it obligatory on the defendant to prove both these things—that it was necessary for the carriage or the consumption and also that he should label it. In many cases that will prove impossible for the defendant. To take one example, if diluted spirits were sold at 60 per cent. Proof, and these were clearly labelled, it would be impossible for the defendant to prove that it was necessary that he should carry out that particular procedure in order to render his product fit for consumption, because that is not so; he would not be able to use as a defence Clause 2 of the Bill.

Another example would be the familiar example of self-raising flour. If the customer asked for flour, and it was offered clearly labelled as self-raising flour, the defence should apply; but it would not if this Amendment were accepted. Therefore I hope the noble Lord will appreciate that in many cases it is impossible for the defendant to prove not only that he was not acting fraudulently but was also complying with both (a) and (b), because in many cases it is not necessary, in making the product fit for consumption, that should have received the process to which it has been subjected. Therefore I hope the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment.


I would rather that in all cases the manufacturer was required to state the composition—what he was adding or abstracting. I should be less concerned, subject to what the noble Lord might say, about (a) than about (b). Personally I should be satisfied if in all cases we cut out (a) altogether, and simply required the manufacturer to state the composition when he was adding something.


That is the substance of Lord Douglas's next Amendment. That is what he proposes, and, as I have tried to point out, I am prepared to accept that Amendment. But I am not prepared to accept Lord Silkin's Amendment, because it will not work; it would be very bad luck on the defendant.


In view of that intimation, if hereafter, in another Amendment, I am going to get the substance of what I want, of course I shall not insist upon my Amendment. As to "fraudulently" I was not asking the noble Lord the meaning of the word. I am quite familiar with the meaning of that word. What I did not understand was the context in which it was being used here. It does not seem to me to mean very much if you add a substance fraudulently. It is fraudulent, of course, if a purchaser does not know that it is there and buys it in the belief that it is absent; or if the purchaser buys A, thinking that it is B, that may involve something fraudulent. But this does not say so. It will become much simpler if there is a requirement that in all cases there shall be a statement setting out the contents. That is my difficulty in understanding the use of these words in this context. I do not ask more than that the noble Viscount should look at these words again and see whether they cannot be made clear in this context. As I say, I am quite prepared to withdraw my Amendment.


I will gladly look at these words, as the noble Lord asks.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD DOUGLAS OF BARLOCH moved, in subsection (1), to omit paragraph (a). The noble Lord said: My Amendment is to leave out paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of Clause 2, which provides as a defence that the operation was required for the production or preparation of the article as an article of commerce in a state fit for carriage or consumption. … Those are words which are going to cause a great deal of trouble if they remain in the Bill. What does it mean by saying that the operation "was required"? Who required it? Did the manufacturer require it to suit his own convenience, or did the consumer require it for his benefit? As to "article of commerce," anything which is sold presumably is an article of commerce. That seems to open up an extraordinarily wide field.

I have great difficulty in understanding what is meant by "a state fit for carriage." It may be easier or it may be more difficult to transport a certain article in a certain condition. There, again, it appears to be a matter of convenience for the manufacturer and not something that is for the benefit of the consumer. I think that what I have said explains clearly enough the purpose of this Amendment, and I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 30, leave out from (" either ") to end of line 33.—(Lord Douglas of Barloch.)


I have already indicated that we are prepared to accept this Amendment. I do not think it is going to be much of a hardship to the manufacturer to have to put a label on his product. We gladly accept the Amendment.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


The next two Amendments are really drafting Amendments to clarify the wording at this point in the Bill. Noble Lords will notice that for the sake of good English I propose to insert the words "was sold" before "in a wrapper." I further propose to substitute the word "displaying" for "containing" in the words "in a wrapper or container containing such a notice." Perhaps the wording now in the Bill was not very happily chosen. The notice might be at the bottom of the package and no one might be able to see it. That is why I propose to insert the word "displaying" instead of the word "containing." I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 37, after ("or") insert ("was sold").—(Viscount Woolton.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move the next Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 37, leave out ("containing") and insert ("displaying ").—.(Viscount Woolton.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

EARL ST. ALDWYN moved to add to the clause: (4) Proceedings shall not be taken under section three of the principal Act in respect of the breach of such a condition of a licence issued under Milk (Special Designations) Regulations as is referred to in section twenty-five of the 1950 Act.

The noble Lord said: I rise on behalf of my noble friend Lord Hudson, whose absence abroad prevents him from moving this Amendment. I attach some importance to this Amendment because it will give the dairyman, particularly the small dairyman, certain protections which Parliament has said that he should be given. The matter is rather a technical one but I think it can most easily be explained in this way. The Ministry of Food have made orders, covering 48 per cent. of the country, making it compulsory for dairymen to sell only designated milk—that is T.T. or Pasteurized milk, or sterilised milk. If the milk sold in these specified areas is not up to the appropriate standard, the licensing authority can prosecute the retailer—in other words, a new offence has been created. During the passage of what is now the 1950 Act, repeated assurances were given by Government spokesmen of the day that several special safeguards for retailers were being put into the Bill. Unfortunately, since the Bill became law it has been discovered that these safeguards, though stated in the Act, cannot be used.

I might perhaps draw the attention of the Committee to what was said in another place by Dr. Edith Summerskill on March 29, 1949 referring to that Bill. She said: Clause 9 is a clause which should appeal to the Committee. We make it clear that an individual who has infringed one of the provisions of the Bill will not be proceeded against until he has had a warning concerning a first breach of the conditions. He might be warned about the First breach and there might be another trivial breach—that will be seen in subsection (2). The Committee might well ask why a man can have more than one bite. He is certainly given one bite, and then there might be another trivial breach which might be overlooked. After that, if there is a breach of the conditions, proceedings could be taken. Under the 1938 Act, a prosecution can be commenced without any warning at all. Dr. Summerskill went on: In subsection (3) it is made clear that it will suffice for the licence holder to prove that the infringement of a provision is not due to any neglect or default on the part of himself or his servant. I do not think any Member on reading this clause can say that any offender will be dealt with harshly. Again, under the 1938 Act, the dairyman has no such defence. I continue reading from Dr. Summerskill's speech: Here there is an excellent defence provided for him. Furthermore, there will be a preliminary warning before any action is taken.

Section 26 (1) of the Act of 1950 provides that proceedings cannot be taken under that Act if any other regulations can be applied. It has been realised that selling designated milk not up to the standard of the designated milk regulations is almost always an offence under Section 3 of the Food and Drugs Act, 1938, which concerns selling food not of the quality demanded. Such a prosecution took place in Lancaster a few years ago. That is one of several cases. To sum up, even if the licensing authority wishes to proceed under the 1950 Act it may not do so; it must proceed under the 1938 Act, and that Act does not contain these safeguards which Parliament drew up. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 3, line 2, at end insert the said subsection.—(Earl St. Aldwvn.)


My noble friend's Amendment, as I understand it—I hope he will correct me if I have got him wrong—is designed to make sure that offences under Section 3 of the principal Act which are at the same time breaches of the licence should be dealt with only under Section 25 of that Act. I am not at all sure that this Bill will put milk producers in a better position than they are in already. There, I do not agree with the noble Earl. It is a serious thing for a producer in a designated area to lose his licence, because it may mean that he loses his livelihood. That is why we think that a first offence against the conditions of the licence should result only in a warning. Even so, this brings a producer one step nearer to losing his livelihood. If, on the other hand, he is proceeded against under Section 3 of the principal Act, this does not endanger his licence. If what the noble Earl has in mind is included in the Bill, it will mean that any producer who is prosecuted for a breach of the conditions of his licence can be proceeded against only in such a manner that it will endanger his licence. While there may be many cases in which, technically, there has been a breach of the conditions of licence, the offence has been more against the quality of the milk rather than an actual breach of conditions for producing designated milk. I think the producer will be better off if we leave the matter alone.


I am grateful to the noble Lord for his remarks. I am afraid I cannot entirely agree with him, but I do not wish to press this Amendment, and beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.


My Lords, we have promised the House a statement and perhaps it will be convenient to make it now. I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved, That the House do now resume. —(Viscount Wootton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to, and House resumed accordingly.