§ 29. Mr. DIXEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has made a full inquiry into the importation of foreign cartridges into this country; and, if so, is he satisfied that no infringement of the Merchandise Marks Act has occurred
§ 35. Mr. H. WILLIAMS
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will institute proceedings against the persons who have failed to comply with Section 1 of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926, by offering for sale certain imported goods hearing the name of a British firm, but not bearing any indication of origin, namely, cartridge cases which, though 1522 filled since importation, have not undergone since importation any treatment or process which has resulted in a substantial change in their character as cartridge cases?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Dr. Burgin)
My right bon. Friend will, of course, be glad to consider any instance of an alleged offence against the Merchandise Marks Acts that my hon. Friends may bring to his notice. He is, however, advised that the practice which they have in mind is not an offence against Section 1 of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926, since the name of the British trader is applied to the cartridge as a whole which cannot be regarded as "imported goods" within the meaning of the section.
§ Mr. DIXEY
Does not the hon. Gentleman think it might be advisable to remedy this defect in the Merchandise Marks Act?
§ Dr. BURGIN
That, of course, is a very wide question. It would affect every article which is an ingredient in the making-up of some other article and that is a matter which would require very careful consideration to ensure that it did not entail more disadvantages than advantages. At present, a raw material used in the making-up of a manufactured article can be imported from abroad, converted into something else, and the ultimate manufactured article can be described as British. It would be a very big matter to alter the Merchandise Marks Act in the sense indicated by my hon. Friend.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
Will the hon. Gentleman consider the fact that cartridge cases, which happen to be manufactured near my constituency, do not really constitute a raw material; that a great many manufacturing processes go to producing them, and a great many British workpeople are employed on them; and will he bear in mind the employment factor and its value to the country?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I should consider every fact which is brought to my notice, but that fact has not been brought to my notice so far.
§ Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE
Does the hon Gentleman consider that the cartridge on being loaded is thereby converted into a different article? Is that what he implies?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I am stating the obvious fact, that there is all the difference in the world between an empty cartridge case and the full cartridge, in a condition ready to be shot off.
§ Mr. D. GRENFELL
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether it is the actual case which is the cartridge, or the contents?