HC Deb 02 December 1958 vol 596 cc996-7
2. Miss Burton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the anxiety felt by the British Standards Institution at the slow progress made in its desired arrangements for marking electrical equipment as safe when this complies with certain standards; and, as the Institution receives a grant for this from the Government, what proposals he has to make for expediting such work.

Mr. J. Rodgers

Yes, Sir, and my right hon. Friend and I share this interest, but the fact that the Board of Trade makes a grant to the British Standards Institution does not entitle him to direct its work on matters of this kind. I understand that some firms are showing an interest in the extension of the Kite Mark scheme to new ranges of domestic electrical appliances.

Miss Burton

Does not the hon. Gentleman understand that this is not a question of directing the work of the B.S.I.? If he has read the last report of the advisory council, he will remember that it said that this scheme for electrical goods was in an advanced state of preparation in October, 1957. We are now in December, 1958. When does the hon. Gentleman think that we might be getting on with it?

Mr. Rodgers

The present British Standards Institution Kite Mark scheme does cover some electrical appliances such as electric lamps and electric blankets, and there are other Kite Mark schemes that cover electrical appliances not applicable to domestic consumers. But manufacturers have also been making inquiries of the British Standards Institution about Kite Mark schemes for electric dry shavers, electric fires and electric irons.

Mr. Woodburn

The Army Inspection Department used to inspect material, and guarantee it as being reasonably safe. Could not the manufacturers themselves display placards saying that their material lad been tested, and passed as being reasonably safe?

Mr. Rodgers

The right hon. Gentleman's suggestion is very interesting, but, in point of fact, there have been very few fatal accidents arising from the equipment itself. The accidents have mainly been due to misuse of the equipment, the wiring and the like.

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