HC Deb 06 April 1936 vol 310 cc2412-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that large cargoes of slates are being imported from Norway into England and Scotland without any indication that they are foreign; that these slates are admitted by the Board of Trade officials on the ground that, having been purchased by sample, they are not required to be marked unless the bulk are offered for sale in this country; and whether it is the practice of the board to accept, in the case of goods imported by sample, a presumption that they will not be offered for sale?


There is no requirement at law that all imported goods must bear an indication of origin. By Orders in Council made under the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926, certain classes and descriptions of goods (including certain building materials) are required to bear such an indication on sale or exposure for sale in the United Kingdom, and in some cases at the time of importation also. The latter requirement does not apply to roofing slates, although under the Merchandise Marks (Imported Goods) No. 1 Order of 1930 they must be marked on sale or exposure for sale in the United Kingdom. The interpretation of the Act is, of course, a matter for the courts, but I am advised that a sale in the United Kingdom of slates which are abroad at the time of sale would probably not be held to be a sale within the United Kingdom of imported goods, and would be outside the scope of the Order, though if the slates were subsequently resold after importation, it would be necessary for the prescribed indication of origin to be applied. If the hon. Member is aware of any case in which this provision is not being complied with, I should be glad to arrange for the matter to be investigated.

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