I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:
In page 4, before section 3, the following new section inserted:
"(1) In a contract of sale of goods of a kind in relation to which an order under section 2 of this Act applies, there is an implied warranty that the packing of the goods is not in contravention of the provisions of this Act or of an order under this Act and is not such as to occasion, in relation to the sale or importation of the goods, a contravention of those provisions.
(2) A contract of sale that has the effect, directly or indirectly, of depriving a person of the benefit of a warranty of the kind specified in subsection (1) of this section shall, in so far as it has the effect aforesaid, be void."
The effect of this amendment is that if packaged goods are not marked in accordance with the relevant order not only will it be an offence which can be prosecuted but in addition the purchaser can take civil action to recover any damages he has suffered as a result. During the debate on this Bill in the Seanad it was suggested that the Bill should contain a provision which would protect the civil rights of a person who is damaged by a breach of the requirements. There is such a provision in section 17 of the Merchandise Marks Act of 1887 which lays down that a vendor shall be deemed to warrant that a trade mark or description of the goods he is selling is not false. This provision would ordinarily give adequate protection to the civil rights of purchasers damaged by the breach of the Merchandise Marks Act but it was pointed out that under that section it is possible for a vendor to evade his liability in this matter by giving the purchaser a note to that effect at the time of the sale or contract. This is the object of the amendment as suggested to me in the Seanad and this is the reason for my acceptance of the amendment.