HC Deb 04 February 1980 vol 978 cc17-8
15. Mr. Garel-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will forbid the import of dangerous dolls from South Korea.

Mr. Parkinson

The Toys (Safety) Regulations 1974 impose requirements relating to the main hazards likely to be presented by toys. These regulations do not prohibit the importation of non-complying toys, but it is an offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1961 for any person, including any importer, to sell or possess for sale any toy which does not meet the requirements of the regulations. Importers are, therefore, generally careful to ensure that the toys which they import comply with the regulations.

Mr. Garel-Jones

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he say whether dolls, known as "Cutie" dolls, imported from Korea, fall within these regulations?

Mr. Parkinson

My hon. Friend will be pleased to hear that there has been a successful prosecution of an importer who brings in these dolls. Other prosecutions are pending. This would suggest that any- one who is importing them should prepare to be prosecuted.

Mr. Edward Lyons

In view of the ambition of South Korea to become the world's largest textile exporter within the next five years, will the Minister consider reciprocating its treatment of British textiles? South Korea creates enormous difficulties over the admission of our textiles and imposes an 80 per cent. import duty on some of them. Why do we not reciprocate?

Mr. Parkinson

When my right hon. Friend was in Korea last week he made a speech on this subject, pointing out that unless the Koreans opened up their markets to other people's goods they would inevitably invite strong retaliation.

Mr. Canavan

In view of the Government's general policy of inadequate consumer protection, combined with their attack on living standards, is it not a fact that the most dangerous doll in this country is the one in No. 10 Downing Street together with her puppets at the Dispatch Box in the House of Commons?

Mr. Parkinson

I think sometimes that the hon. Gentleman is some sort of hazard. I await the day when he finally explodes in this House.

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