HC Deb 28 April 1890 vol 343 cc1536-7
MR. MONTAGU (Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will arrange that silver plate shall in future be hall-marked; not only the present standard of .925 and the Indian standard of .916, but also the American and French standards of .900 and the German of .800; and whether he is aware that gold watch oases are hall-marked from 22 to 9 carats, in order to facilitate trade in foreign and colonial markets, and that it is believed that similar modifications in hall-marking silver plate would help our silversmiths to compete with foreign manufacturers?


The answer to the second question is, Yes. As regards the first, I can only refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave last Tuesday. Theoretically I have no objection to the marking of British plate of any quality for exportation, which I understand is what the hon. Member is aiming at. But the great majority of the trade are in favour of compulsory hall-marking, and I do not see how the two can be combined. I may add that as soon as the Plate Duties are abolished, these matters cease to belong to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.