5. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will use his powers under the Food and Drugs Act to prevent imported foreign cheese being described as Cheshire; and whether, in view of the recent increase of this practice, he will take steps to ensure that the term Cheshire is in future only applied to cheese of British origin.
§ Mr. Godber
No, Sir. This description has, for many years, ceased to be an indication of the origin of a type of cheese widely produced abroad as well as in the United Kingdom. However, under the provisions of Section 1 (1) of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926, imported goods to which there is applied the name of any place or district in the United Kingdom must bear an indication of origin.
Mr. Gresham Cooke
Is my hon. Friend aware that on an imported Cheshire chease the word "imported" is in very small letters at the bottom of the cheese, and, as a result, the housewife can be deceived very easily when purchasing this kind of cheese? Does he not think it right to take some steps to prevent the housewife being "cheesed off"?
§ Mr. Godber
The Merchandise Marks Act provides powers in relation to this matter. It may be that the word is not very large, but I should have thought that 517 there is a general realisation that, whether it be Cheshire or Cheddar cheese, a lot of it is imported and has been for many years.