HC Deb 29 November 1955 vol 546 cc2091-2
2. Mr. Swingler

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now take steps to ensure that goods imported into the United Kingdom are clearly marked with the name of their country of origin.

1. Dr. Stross

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has now given further consideration to the request of the British Pottery Manufacturers' Federation and the Pottery Workers' Society of Great Britain that imported pottery should be marked with the name of the country of origin, instead of with the words "Foreign" or "Empire"; and what conclusion he has reached.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thorneycroft)

After receiving representations from various quarters, I have decided that the withdrawal of the present option to mark goods with the words "Empire" or "Foreign" as an alternative to the name of the country of origin is inexpedient and, accordingly, I do not propose to introduce legislation to amend the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926.

Mr. Swingler

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this Question is still regarded as a very important one by employers and workers in the pottery industry? Will he explain why it is impossible to introduce what seems to be a very simple measure to enable consumers to judge the character and quality of imported goods?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I do not think that it is in the general interest of a great trading nation such as ours to complicate the business of international trade by insisting upon the detailed marking of imported goods. We are constantly complaining to others about their doing that kind of thing.