HC Deb 08 December 1920 vol 135 cc2143-4W
Sir J. D. REES

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the opinion generally held in business circles to the effect that the recommendation of the Merchandise Marks Committee that the compulsory marking of the origin of imported goods should be dealt with by Order of the Board of Trade, after an official inquiry, should not be accepted, but that the Merchandise Marks Act should be so amended as to make it compulsory for all goods entering the United Kingdom to be marked with the country of origin; that compliance with the Act should not be considered as having been made when the boxes, cartons, or packages in which goods are contained are alone so marked, as when the articles are removed from such containers and offered for sale no indication appears on the goods themselves that they have been imported; and whether His Majesty's Government will, without further delay, pass legislation on the lines indicated in order that the public may know whether they are purchasing goods manufactured in British, Allied, neutral, or ex-enemy countries?


The opinion referred to in the first part of the question is one which is no doubt held by some business men, but in view of the unanimity of the Merchandise Marks Committee I propose to follow their recommendations in the Bill which I hope to introduce early next Session. Any proposals for departing from their recommendations can most conveniently be considered when the Bill gets into Committee.