HC Deb 09 July 1858 vol 151 cc1199-200

said, he was anxious to put a question to his hon. Friend the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs upon this subject. The hon. Gentleman was aware that the manufacturers of this country used certain marks in order to distinguish their products from those of other persons and by these means acquired a name for their well-made goods. Now, it appeared that by certain dishonest persons abroad those marks had been forged. An inferior article was produced by them, and upon it the name of some eminent English manufacturer was stamped. High prices were asked for those spurious articles, which of course were soon discovered to be of inferior quality, and then the parties by whom they had been sold brought forward their own manufactures, which were by no means equal to those which were produced in this country, but which were nevertheless superior to those upon which the forged marks appeared, and which being sold at a lower price had the effect of dispossessing the English manufacturer of his fair market. Now, several foreign nations had concurred in the expediency of reciprocating the protection afforded to their manufacturers by other countries in that respect, and in France a law had been passed which set forth that, if a treaty were entered into with that object, they would protect in their law courts any manufacturer whose marks had been forged. He wished under those circumstances to ascertain from his hon. Friend the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether his attention had been called to the subject, and whether there would be any difficulty in our entering into a treaty with France for the purpose to which he had referred?


replied that, the attention of the Government had been called to the question, and he could assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that they were most anxious to take steps as early as possible to remedy the inconvenience of which the English manufacturers complained. The question was now under the consideration of the Attorney General, and they (the Government) were not without hope that they might be able in the course of the present Session of Parliament to introduce a Bill which should enable them, by conventions with foreign countries, to carry out the object the hon. and learned Gentleman desired.

Motion agreed to.

House at rising to adjourn till Monday next.