HC Deb 24 April 1896 vol 39 cc1635-6
MR. C. B. STUART-WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he has observed in Mr. Rennell Rodd's recent Report on British Commercial Relations with Egypt [C. 7920 12] the statement at page 28, that Egypt is the happy hunting ground for that form of commercial brigandage which consists in the forgery of trade marks and the use of false trade descriptions in the sale of goods; that Sheffield cutlery comes here (to Egypt) from Austria, English pale ale from Germany and Belgium, hosiery with English trade marks is offered by German travellers, English whisky labels of known brands are made in the country by enterprising Levantines and affixed to the worst class of spirits, while English patent medicines closed with forged British Government labels are imported from Italy; whether Her Majesty's Government will use their influence to persuade the Egyptian Government to make illegal and proceed against the fraudulent practices described in Mr. Rodd's Report; whether the German Government has recently adopted stringent legislation against the forgery of trade marks and the use of false trade descriptions; and, whether the attention of the German Government will be called to Mr. Rodd's Report, so far as it relates to fraudulent trading by German subjects, with a view to enforcing as far as. may be practicable the recent German legislation in their case?


Yes, Sir, I have seen the passage in question. Her Majesty's Government and the Egyptian Government have considered the changes in the law that may be required to deal with such cases; and negotiations are proceeding with other Powers with a view to arriving at an agreement. We have no knowledge of any more recent changes in German legislation of the character referred to in paragraph 3 than the law of May 12th 1894, which was laid before the House in Commercial No. 5 of that year. The initiative in calling the attention of the German Government to the practices mentioned in Mr. Rodd's Report would appear to rest with the Egyptian rather than with the British Government.