This is the section that particularly concerned me in asking the House and the Minister to delay the Committee Stage until to-day. It is the section I wanted to think over in relation to the possibility of proposing amendments. I am grateful to the House for the delay and to the Minister for taking it in good part and being prepared to come along, particularly at this late hour, to consider the Committee Stage. I hope we are agreed that the general principle of such delay is a good one because it enables us to reconsider the questions raised on the Second Stage and also gives time for possible reactions to them to make themselves manifest, if there are such reactions. I considered putting down an amendment to delete this section but I thought, in the light of what the Minister said, and in view of the fact that there did not seem to be any manifest public reaction against this change, and also in view of the fact that it was apparently unlikely that the section could be deleted since the Minister considers it to be one of the most important parts of the Bill, that instead I would content myself with making a final comment.
The comment I want to make is to stress the fact that I still cannot help feeling that to remove the necessity for code marked eggs—the code mark being a guarantee of relative freshness—is a retrograde step. When we buy a film which is marked "To be developed before 1962," or whatever it may be, we take that as an indication of the film's freshness. We also like to see on the milk bottle cap the day on which the milk was bottled. On the last occasion, I feel the Minister exaggerated, shall we say, a prejudice which may exist but which I think does not exist to the extent he suggests, against code marked eggs. If such exists, I should like to ask is the best way of removing the prejudice to remove the code mark? I do not think so. We should rather ask why is it that the public have this prejudice against these eggs?
We have had another Minister saying how valuable it is to know that a commodity is marked with a standard specification mark and measures up to certain specifications which are guaranteed by the mark. I fail to see why that should not apply equally to marking our eggs. Perhaps the Department itself has not done all it might. I feel that the public should recognise that a code marked egg is guaranteed to come within a certain standard of freshness. I notice that is done in Britain and I notice also in Britain that they still find it useful to have the Lion brand on the eggs which is widely recognised as a useful code mark.
I do not want to delay the House but I want again to appeal to the Minister to recognise that in this matter he is moving backwards.