HC Deb 18 December 1928 vol 223 cc2784-5
15. Mr. HANNON

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the continued depression in the jewellery trade in Birmingham; if he is aware of the extent to which this industry is adversely affected by the importation of jewellery produced under more favourable conditions from countries abroad; and if, after the Easter Recess, he will be prepared to introduce legislation to safeguard the trade descriptions and designations peculiar to this industry?


Representations have been made to the effect stated by my hon. Friend. As regards the legislation which, I understand, he suggests to establish legal definitions of terms in the trade, while I am in sympathy with its objects, I hardly think the matter is one on which the Government could undertake to introduce a Bill.


Does the right hon. Gentleman know that this very important trade in Birmingham has been suffering severely from the fact that these designations and trade descriptions have been used by foreign competitors? Is it not time that some effort was made to safeguard the industry?


If the conditions are more favourable abroad, will the right hon. Gentleman advise his hon. Friend to see that the conditions are made more favourable in Birmingham, so that they can keep their trade?


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that, if anything is done to make these women's decorations more expensive, the women electors will resent it very much?


There seems to be a good deal of misunderstanding as to what is the object of this question. It does not refer to the price of women's decorations, as I understand, or to conditions of labour. All that it refers to is the passing on, as I may call it, or the using of particulars marks to describe goods which do not go through the process of manufacture in Birmingham. On that, the general practice has always been, I think, that where a particular trade wishes within the general ambit of the Merchandise Marks legislation to obtain sanction for particular marks, that trade can promote this legislation.


Will the right hon. Gentleman look at part three of the question?


You will be losing some of the Birmingham jewels at the next election.

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