asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the work of the Consumer Advisory Council of the British Standards Institution is impeded by the non-co-operation of manufacturers; that, since January, 1955, none of the industries asked by the Council for Kitemark schemes has agreed to such a scheme; and if he will set up a committee to inquire into the advisability of granting additional powers to the British Standards Institution.
The Advisory Council is disappointed with the response of some manufacturers to its proposals, but the work that the British Standards Institution carries out for the domestic consumer is certainly not impeded by manufacturers generally. I see no case for setting up a committee to consider the grant of statutory powers to the Institution.
We seem to be making a little progress. May I ask the Minister whether he is aware that the facts in my Question were stated by Miss Marghanita Laski in a recent letter to The Times, and that she is a member of the Consumer Advisory Council? May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, in addition, if he is aware that the manufacturers of children's footwear have definitely refused to cooperate with the Council? What is the good of the right hon. Gentleman giving the Council £10,000 to do the job, and not giving it the authority to get on with it?
I think that the first job of the Council, assisted by the hon. Lady, is to make the public aware of what Kitemark schemes are. My impression is that they do not fully understand. When they do, I think that manufacturers will pay attention.