HC Deb 12 July 1922 vol 156 cc1239-40W

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the increasing amount of oatmeals, including rolled oats and groats, which is being imported into this country, the number of tons imported per week being for 1920, 639 tons; for 1921, 806 tons; and for four months of 1922, 419 tons; and if he will favour the compulsory marking or ticketing of imported oats exposed for sale so as to distinguish them from home-grown oats?


I am aware that considerable quantities of these products are being imported into the United Kingdom. As regards the last part of the question, the Government, as at present advised, do not propose to seek powers wider than those embodied in the Merchandise Marks Bill which is now before the House.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the large quantities of oatmeal and rolled oats which are imported from Germany and America, and which are sold as best Scottish, he will take steps to prevent the exploitation of the public; through such fraudulent imposition by issuing an Order that foreign produce shall not be sold under a home label?


These products are mainly derived from the United States of America and Canada, and the quantities imported from Germany recently are inconsiderable. It is an offence under the existing Merchandise Marks legislation to apply a false trade description to goods, and in certain cases relating to agricultural products the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries are empowered to prosecute. I would therefore suggest that my hon. Friend should submit to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries any evidence in his possession that imported oatmeal and rolled oats are being labelled as "best Scottish."