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Adulteration Of Food Act

Volume 221: debated on Thursday 23 July 1874

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Question

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether he will state what steps the Government is prepared to take in order to mitigate the hardships which may arise from prosecutions under the Adulteration of Food Act before an opportunity has been afforded for submitting to Parliament such amendments in the law as have been suggested by the Select Committee who have recently reported on the subject?

Since I had the honour of receiving a deputation introduced by my hon. Friend, and by the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Alderman Cotton), which was numerously and influentially attended, and which requested that some course might be adopted with a view of limiting the prosecutions under the Adulteration Act, I have consulted the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who agrees in the opinion I expressed, that it would be impossible for the Government to take any steps which would have the effect of restricting the operation of the law, while they would not feel justified in introducing a suspensory Bill on the subject. I trust, however, and my right hon. Friend agrees with me, that having regard to the Report of the Select Committee, with the terms of which the public are generally familiar, the local authorities should be extremely careful in instituting prosecutions, especially on the subject of tea adulteration, until an opportunity has been afforded for fresh legislation. I may add that great care should be taken in any fresh appointment of analysts.

Army—Purchase Officers' Memorial—Report Of The Commission"—Question

asked the Secretary of State for "War, If he will state to the House the course he intends to take with regard to the Report and Recommendations of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into certain Memorials from Officers in the Army in reference to the Abolition of Purchase?

, in reply, said, the Question was one which it would be impossible to answer within the limits of a reply to an interrogatory, even if he were prepared to state the course which he intended to pursue. The Report of the Commission was a very complicated and difficult one, and embraced considerations far beyond the question of compensation—for instance, the question of promotion in the Army. He could only say that he was sensible of the very great difficulty of the subject and its great importance, and he was giving it his utmost attention, with the view of bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion.

India—Ecclesiastical Appointments—Question

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, "Whether Her Majesty's Government has yet decided upon the general principle by which ecclesiastical appointments in India are to be regulated; and, if so, whether he will communicate the decision of the Government to the House?

No question of principle in connection with ecclesiastical appointments in India has been raised. The Government of India had under consideration the principle which in future should regulate the expenditure incurred on behalf of ecclesiastical establishments in India, and they directed certain inquiries to be made in order to obtain additional information upon this point. In the last Despatch we received last year we were informed that the inquiry was still incomplete.