HC Deb 04 August 1919 vol 119 cc53-4W
Captain BOWYER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that various firms of manufacturers in Canada and the United States of America are stamping on their goods the hall marks which are stamped on all English-made silver goods at the Assay Office in this country, which marks are the property of His Majesty's Government; that, as a result, purchasers abroad buy goods with these marks on them and imagine that they are buying English-made goods, guaranteed by Government mark to be of certain quality, whereas in many cases they are foreign-made electro-plate; that, as a result, the British silversmith business is being greatly hindered and is suffering loss; and whether, in view of the fact that it is illegal for silver goods to be exposed for sale in this country until tested and marked at the Government Assay Offices, he will approach the Governments of the United States of America and Canada with a view to securing from them a prohibition in their countries of the use of these marks or the registration of them as trade marks by private firms?


Cases in which marks bearing a resemblance to British hall marks have been used on goods by manufacturers both in Canada and the United States of America have been in the past brought to the notice of the Board of Trade, and representations on the subject have, in fact, been addressed to the Canadian and United States Governments. These Governments have, however, held that the proper course was for manufacturers in this country to take action in the Courts to prevent the use or registration of such marks. The best method of avoiding similar abuses abroad in future would seem to be for the Assay Offices to register their hall marks as trade marks wherever possible, and as a first step in this direction to obtain their registration in this country under Section 62 of the Trade Marks Act.