Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing
asked the Minister of Food, regarding the 500,000 gallons of orange juice purchased by his Department in 1951, which was found to contain an unacceptable preservative, what action has been taken to tighten up the inspection of purchases made; what other steps have been taken to ensure no repetition of this occurrence; and what has this mistake in Government trading cost to date.
§ Major Lloyd George
No purchase of orange juice concentrate has been made this year from Sicily, the source of the faulty concentrate purchased in 1951. The form of contracts for delivery in 1953 has been revised and a system of special inspection for the preservative found in the faulty concentrate has been instituted.
I am not at present in a position to make a statement about the financial results of this contract. As I said on 8th July in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. F. Maclean) it is not correct to describe a failure by the vendor to comply with conditions of a contract as a mistake in Government trading.