HC Deb 09 April 1963 vol 675 cc1084-5
37. Mr. McLeavy

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a protest was recently made to the Japanese Embassy in London by the National Wool Textile Export Corporation relating to the use of a Bradford company's name on wool cloth which is made by a Japanese firm and being sold in Japan; and what action he is taking to protect the British wool textile industry against this method of trading.

Mr. Green

Yes, Sir. I am glad to say that prompt action was taken by the Japanese and that the action complained of has now ceased. My right hon. Friend is always ready to look into complaints of this nature and, if necessary, to take them up with the Japanese authorities.

Mr. McLeavy

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply, but may I ask whether he is aware that the industry is extremely concerned about this practice by Japanese manufacturers? Is he further aware that trade marks are being registered by Japanese firms in Japan with such names as "London Bridge", "Britannia", "Angus Tweed" and the like, which are misleading to customers outside Japan? Will the President of the Board of Trade make strong representations to the Japanese Government that where British names are used, and particularly where they are printed in English, distinctly underneath each trade mark should be printed the words "Made in Japan" so that customers throughout the world will not be misled by this kind of practice, which is resented in our wool textile industry?

Mr. Green

As the hon. Gentleman knows, both the British and Japanese Governments are exceedingly concerned about this matter. Perhaps I might enlist his aid in recommending British industries to approach their opposite numbers in Japan, whom they will find to be helpful.

Mr. Snow

Does the hon. Gentleman's original answer intend to convey, as I hope it does, that he stands by the view, recently expressed by the President of the Board of Trade, that the efficient and proper activity of the Japanese courts is a matter with which we should be content?

Mr. Green

Yes, Sir.