Although the Food and Drugs (Amendment) Bill was formally presented to the House of Commons and read a first time on March 1st, time for its second reading had not been found when the House adjourned for the Whitsuntide recess, in spite of the fact that Her Majesty's Government had applied the guillotine to the proceedings on the highly contentious Television Bill in the Committee stage. Moreover, the Finance Bill, though some progress has been made in dealing with amendments, will still need some days for the discussion of a large number of amendments and proposed new clauses of which notice has been given by members of different political allegiances. On May 26th the Leader of the House was asked by a Labour member whether trade interests had been pulling strings with the object of delaying the second reading of the Food and Drugs (Amendment) Bill. Mr. Crookshank, while discouraging the suggestion, did not seem ready to give any definite information with respect to the date when progress is likely to be made. Meanwhile, The Economist has published a letter from Mr. C. A. Adams, C.B.E, (whose exceptionally strong qualifications to write with authority are well known to administrators of Food and Drug law), suggesting that there is a strong case for enlarging the scope of the Amendment Bill so as to include cosmetics, as has been found desirable and practicable in Canada and in the United States. The British Food Journal is not hopeful that a Government which has scrapped the Labelling Advisory Service of the Ministry of Food will adopt Mr. Adams's excellent advice, nor that it will recognise that changes in circumstances since 1875 make it desirable now to eliminate the control of modern medicinal products—incapable of being chemically analysed—from the scope of an Act intended mainly to deal with food. But it is at least permissible to hope that legislators will not be so foolish as to agree in this session to the multiplication of small Food and Drugs Authorities, pending the long‐delayed reform in the structure of local government. On the unwisdom of this multiplication, Mr. H. E. Monk, B.Sc., F.R.I.C., public analyst for Kent and for many boroughs and urban districts in that county, is submitting some thoroughly wise comments in a paper on Food Standards which he is to present to the Institute of Weights and Measures Administration on June 23rd.
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