asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) why import of shoddy cotton is permitted; from what countries; and in what amounts it is imported;
(2) in what way the consumer can recognise foreign shoddy; and if he will take steps to ensure identification between such and Lancashire cloth.
I assume that the hon. Member is not using the word "shoddy" in the technical sense of recovered wool. There is no qualitative control of imports of cotton goods and figures relating to particular qualities are not available. An Order made under the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926, requires foreign textile piece goods imported into the United Kingdom to be marked with an indication of origin, thus showing that they are of foreign manufacture.
Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware, if the term "shoddy" may not be used, that any rubbish made from inferior Indian cotton is coming into this country and is passing out as Lancashire cloth? Is he further aware that since the scrapping of the Utility scheme there is now no guarantee whatever in regard to reeds, cardings and pickings, and has the present Administration any idea of protecting the housewife and our trade from this shoddy administration?