§ Mr. BIRD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is ware that a firm of British manufacturers of margarine have recently been threatened with prosecution by Government officials because they put in their packages a printed slip notifying that their margarine was British made after they had been forbidden by a Government Department to print the words "British made" on the statutory wrapper; and, if so, will he give the reason for such action?
§ Mr. NEVILLE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Maypole Dairy Company, which is a British company with works at South-all, Middlesex, has been prohibited by a Government Department from enclosing with their packets of margarine a slip of paper stating that it is British made; and, if so, will he say on what ground this has been done?
§ Mr. ACLAND
No such prohibition as is referred to has been issued by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, or so far as they are aware by any other Department, but the Board understand that one of the local authorities charged with the execution of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts did threaten to prosecute a seller of margarine who was using a printed slip of the kind in question in such a way that the wrapper in which the margarine was handed to the purchaser did not comply with the requirements of those Acts. It is hardly true to say that a firm of sellers was forbidden by the Board to print the words "British made" on the statutory wrapper. What the Board did in the case which is evidently that referred to was to point out that the wrapper did not comply with the provisions of the Acts and that the firm was, therefore, liable to prosecution by the local authority concerned.
§ Sir M. LEVY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to an advertisement by the Maypole Dairy Company, Limited, to the effect that they had been forbidden by a 423W Government Department to print the words "British made" on their statutory wrappers, and that they had been recently threatened with prosecution for having put in their parcels a small printed slip to notify the fact that their margarine is British made; and, if so, what is the object of the Department in preventing the company from making known to their customers by means of printed statements the fact that their products are British made?
§ Mr. ACLAND
In reply, I beg leave to refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I am giving to-day to a question on the same subject by the hon. Member for the West Division of Wolverhampton.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the present arrangements with regard to sugar supply are having the effect of discriminating against certain British manufacturers and traders; whether he is aware that the Maypole Dairy Company, Limited, which is a British margarine manufacturer, and did not sell any sugar in 1915, is now being deprived of its business in consequence of other distributors, and did sell sugar in 1915, being able to insist upon their customers purchasing from such other manufacturers Dutch-made products; and whether he will take any steps to remedy such state of affairs and the inconvenience thereby caused?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The present arrangements for the distribution of sugar have been made in consequence of the urgent necessity of economising the amount of tonnage used for the transport of sugar and of assisting in maintaining the foreign exchanges, and are directed towards keeping the trade in its usual channels. The Royal Commission on the Sugar Supply has not raised objection to sugar being sold only when other groceries are purchased, provided that the choice of groceries is left to the customer and sugar is not used as a lever to compel the customer to purchase particular goods. The Commission has no official knowledge of the effect of its arrangements upon the business of the company mentioned, but is aware that complaints have been made. The subject is one of very grave difficulty, and the Sugar Commission have always been ready to listen to any representations on the subject.