(1) Any inspector shall be entitled at all reasonable times to enter upon and have free access to the interior of—
(a) any premises registered under this Act, or
(b) any premises in which butter is sold, or is exposed, kept, or stored for sale, or is stored for preservation by exposure to cold or otherwise, or
(c) the premises of any person engaged in the business of carrying goods for reward, or
(d) any warehouse or other premises of any person engaged in the business of warehousing goods intended for export or in process of being exported, or
(e) any pier, quay, wharf, jetty, dock, or dock premises, or
(f) any ship, boat, railway waggon, motor, lorry, cart or other vessel or vehicle used for the conveyance of goods.
(2) Any inspector may inspect any butter, or any package found in any place upon or to which he is entitled under this section to enter or have access or upon or in any public place, and may open any such package which he reasonably believes or suspects to contain butter, and may take and remove without payment—
(a) reasonable samples of any butter found in any such place, whether such butter is or is not contained in a package, and
(b) reasonable samples of any wrappers or packing materials in which any such butter is packed, and
(c) any one package forming part of a consignment of butter found in any such place.
(3) If any person—
(a) obstructs or impedes any inspector in the exercise of any of the powers conferred on him by this section, or
(b) knowing the name or other particulars of the consignor, consignee, or owner of any butter or of any package which an inspector is entitled to inspect under this section, refuses to give such name or other particulars to such inspector, or
(c) wilfully or recklessly gives to such inspector any false or misleading name or other particular of any such consignor, consignee, or owner,
such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof, in the case of a first offence to a penalty not exceeding five pounds, and in the case of a second or any subsequent offence to a penalty not exceeding ten pounds.
(4) Where any package is taken by an inspector under this section it shall be the duty of such inspector to notify the owner or the consignor and the consignee (if and so far as their names and addresses are known to or can reasonably be ascertained by him) of the taking of such package.
(5) If on the examination of any package taken under this section it appears to the Minister that there was a contravention or attempted contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder in relation to the consignment from which the package was taken, the package shall be forfeited to the Minister, and in any other case the package shall be disposed of in accordance with the directions of the owner or the consignor or, in default of such directions, shall be sold and the net proceeds of sale paid to the consignor.
(6) Neither the Minister, nor any inspector shall be liable for any loss or damage arising from the lawful exercise by an inspector of any of the powers conferred on him by this section, and no action shall lie against the consignor or any other person, for or on account of any such loss or damage as aforesaid.
Amendment by Sir John Keane:
Section 10, sub-section (1). Immediately before the word " any " in line 12 to insert the words " on producing if so required a written authorisation in the form prescribed."
That may be left to the Minister. It is governed by his promise.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
In sub-section (1) to delete in lines 16-17 the words " particular class of."
This involves a very elaborate amendment which challenges the whole principle of the Bill, but in view of what happened yesterday I am not going on with it. I hold that the examining of butter is a vital proceeding, but the House has accepted this principle. Otherwise the examination of factory butter is a waste of time and Government money.
It is not a question of examination here.
It is not a question of examining factory butter. This is an amendment I put in in deference to the representations of the Creamery Managers' Association. It does not bind us to examine all butter at the port, but it does give us power if, say, a particular creamery is not exporting the right sort of butter to examine the butter of that creamery for a certain time. If in the winter we believe a creamery is exporting more butter than they are making, obviously getting in butter and blending it, we can examine the butter of that creamery. Then, again, if a creamery has the National Brand and we want to make perfectly certain that that National Brand will not be abused by the necessities of the case in the winter time, we can examine the butter from that creamery in the winter time at certain ports. There is no intention to start examining butter; it is a safeguard, to safeguard not only the National Brand, but that very much greater question.
I would like to draw attention to sub-section (3) which says: " if any person knowing the name or other particulars of the consignor, consignee, or owner of any butter, or of any package which an inspector is entitled to inspect under this section, refuses to give such name or other particulars to such inspector, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section."
The man may be an employee of this merchant and he may not like to risk his job in giving the information.
Is not that the kind of man you want to deal with?
I think the information could be obtained otherwise than from the employee.
But how can you get it otherwise. You must remember that this applies to any premises registered under the Act.
The man is bound by law to give this information, and therefore I do not see how he could be called an informer.
The man is asked for the name of the owner or the consignor, which he knows, and why should he not be obliged to give it? He is not giving the information voluntarily, and there is a legal duty imposed on him to give it.
I am not pressing this amendment or the following four amendments which stand in my name.
Very well. Amendments 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 are withdrawn.