§ 71. Mr. BOLAND
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that new regulations have been issued under the Merchandise Marks Act, 1891, to check fraudulent misdescription of goods, the Board of Trade will defray the cost of a prosecution where the offence committed is injurious to the general interests of the country; if so, whether this applies to prosecutions undertaken in Great Britain by the Irish Industrial Development Association or other bodies charged with the safeguarding of genuine Irish products from fraudulent misdescription; and whether the regulations are also intended to deal with the export to foreign countries of Syrian lace described as Irish lace in cases where an Irish or British firm operates through an agent in Syria?
I am afraid that the Board of Trade cannot undertake to defray the cost of prosecutions undertaken by the Irish Industrial Development Association or other similar body. Where, however, on the representation of such a body the Board of Trade themselves undertake a prosecution, it is their practice to bear the cost of such prosecution, including all costs within reason that are incurred after they have satisfied themselves that the case is one in which they should prosecute. As regards the third part of the question, the Board can, of course, only prosecute where an offence under the Act is committed in the United Kingdom, and the question whether the case referred to by my hon. Friend would involve such an offence is one on which 1273 without further information I cannot offer an opinion.