HC Deb 24 May 1971 vol 818 cc9-10W
51. Mr. Whitehead

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what pro vision for indication of country of origin on imported items of clothing he proposes to make after the expiry of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926.

Mr. Ridley

Requests for new origin marking Orders for certain types of clothing are still under consideration.

63. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he now proposes to take to ensure that the consumer is made aware of the fact that goods purchased have been manufactured outside the United Kingdom when this is the case; whether he will make regulations to mark country of origin, or whether of foreign or Commonwealth manufacture where appropriate; and if he will list those countries which now demand country of origin on goods, or invoices, for all imported goods.

Mr. Ridley

Our existing origin marking requirements lapse automatically on 30th November. We shall be prepared to impose new ones under the Trade Descriptions Act, 1968, where we are satisfied in particular cases that origin information would really help the consumer to select the goods best suited to his needs. However, our experience to date in considering specific proposals suggests that this criterion will rarely be satisfied, outside the field of foodstuffs. Ten countries require origin marking on all imported goods; many more require it in import invoices, but this is not in order to inform consumers.