HC Deb 01 May 1952 vol 499 cc1645-6
22. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he has taken to prevent British designs from being copied, and to prevent the words, "Made in England," being stamped on manufactured goods made in Japan and Hong Kong.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I am not aware that United Kingdom designs are being copied by Hong Kong manufacturers, but if the hon. Member has any information on the subject I shall be pleased to consider it. In fact, under Hong Kong legislation the copyright of every design registered in the United Kingdom extends automatically to Hong Kong. As regards Japan, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) on 20th November last.

No cases have been reported to me of goods manufactured in Japan or Hong Kong being marked "Made in England." If the hon. Member knows of such cases and of countries into which goods so marked have been imported I will consider taking the matter up with the Governments concerned.

Mr. Smith

Has not the time arrived when the Board of Trade should be more resolute in dealing with matters of this kind? If I can be supplied with evidence direct from Hong Kong, surely the Board of Trade ought to be provided with it. Has not the time arrived when we should be given some concrete results from the assurances we have had?

Mr. Thorneycroft

If the hon. Gentleman has some evidence, I shall be very happy, as I have assured him, to receive it and to give it full consideration.

Air Commodore A. V. Harvey

Does my right hon. Friend recall that, since he gave me a reply last autumn, I have given him fresh evidence of the copying of British designs by the Japanese? Does he not agree that the longer this goes on the worse it will become? Will he take definite action now and show the Japanese that we really mean business and that they are not going to be allowed to get away with it?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am in complete sympathy with my hon. and gallant Friend's question, but the Question referred specifically to the use of the term, "Made in England," and it was to that that I was directing my reply.

Mr. A. Edward Davies

While the words "Made in England" may not appear on some of the products, is not the Minister aware that, as his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) mentioned yesterday, the practice is proceeding and that it has been experienced in the case of textiles in Nigeria? Certainly, in the case of pottery we have had examples at a comparatively recent date. Can he take some action with America and the other countries concerned, and also with Japan itself, to see that the industry is put on a proper basis?