HC Deb 26 March 1908 vol 186 cc1583-5
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), whether his attention has been called to the prosecution and conviction of a trader at Hawick, on the 16th instant, who was charged at the instance of the Board of Trade with selling shoddy cloth as Scottish tweed, and sentenced to a month's imprisonment, is the Department aware that frauds of a similar character in respect to Irish products, such as bacon and hams, and Irish manufactures, such as tweeds, linen and lace, are perpetrated in Great Britain; what steps, if any, are being taken by the Department to check these fraudulent practices; and whether the protection of Irish industries against illegitimate competition, British and foreign, is allowed to devolve solely on the Irish Industrial Development Association.


The Department have seen a report of the case mentioned in the Question. They are aware that fraudulent transactions in respect of Irish products of various kinds take place in Great Britain. The Department have officers stationed in Great Britain, whose principal duties are concerned with the detection of frauds in connection with the sale of articles of Irish agricultural produce; and through the instrumentality of these officers several prosecutions have been successfully instituted against offenders for the sale of foreign eggs as Irish, of margarine as Irish butter, and of factory butter as creamery. Other cases are at present pending. The Department cannot expend their funds in proceedings under the Merchandise Marks Acts for the prevention of frauds affecting Irish industries generally. The Board of Trade are empowered to take proceedings under those Acts in cases affecting the general interests of a trade; and the Department are prepared to submit to the Board, for such action as they may think desirable, any cases of the kind which may come under their notice. The Department are aware of the action of the Irish Industrial Development Association in this respect, and consider that much of this work can be most effectively done by such an agency which represents the traders themselves.


Cannot the Department in addition to appointing inspectors for agriculture appoint inspectors in connection with Irish manufactures?


No, Sir.

MR. R. DUNCAN (Lanark, Govan)

Has the Irish Industrial Development Association taken part in electioneering?

[No Answer was returned.]


Have the officers of the Department instructions to take proceedings in connection with frauds in regard to linen sold as Irish hand-loom made when it is machine made?


asked for notice.