§ 9. Mrs. Mann
asked the President of the Board of Trade if, having regard to the decreasing weight of packet food goods amounting to 3 oz. less in each lb, and 1½ oz. in half lb. packets, and the lessening amounts in all containers and tubes, he will take steps to ensure the maintenance of such weights and contents pending legislation on the Hodgson Committee proposals.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. F. J. Erroll)
Under existing legislation some prepacked foods must be sold in specified amounts only and nearly all must be marked with their minimum contents. I think that any extension of this requirement to other goods is a matter which should await the proposed new legislation.
§ Mr. Erroll
I think that that is only permissible where there is not a statutory requirement to sell in the specified amount of 1 lb. or a half lb.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is a growing practice to put less in the packet, putting in actually the minimum amount. so that if one buys a half lb. packet of biscuits one gets only 6½ oz.? With the development of self-service stores this growing practice is of great detriment to housewives, who are very annoyed about it. Is it not time that the Government introduced the legislation which they promised some time ago?
§ Mr. Erroll
It is not an offence to sell 6½ oz. of biscuits provided that is the weight shown on the packet. It is only an offence if the packet is shown as containing a half lb. and it contains 6½ oz. If the hon. Lady will give me examples I shall be glad to look into them.