HC Deb 25 March 1886 vol 303 cc1799-800
MR. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If the Returns from the Goldsmiths' Company show that, out of 26,053 gold watches marked by that Company between May 1884 and May 1885 with the Hall Mark, no less than 4,812 were of Foreign make, and, of the 153,408 silver cases so marked, 32,339 were also of Foreign manufacture; and, if, in the proposed Measure dealing with marks on Merchandise, he will consider favourably a proviso to prohibit this use of a Mark, generally recognised as a Mark applicable only to British manufactures, being affixed to Foreign products, thus misleading the public in this Country, as well as the people in our Colonies?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. MUNDELLA) (Sheffield, Brightside)

Sir, 21,241 gold and 121,069 silver watch cases were marked at Goldsmiths' Hall between May 29, 1884, and May 29, 1885, of which 4,812 gold, and 32,339 silver, cases were of foreign manufacture. The hall-mark is a test of quality and not of origin, and is not, as the hon. Member supposes, "a mark applicable only to British manufactures." Hall-marking is compulsory, and foreign plate cannot be sold in this country without it, as it is part of the machinery employed for the collection of duty.