asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Advisory Council on Standards for Consumer Goods, sponsored by the British Standards Institution and in receipt of Government grant, has recommended the establishment of an independent national body representing every aspect of consumer interest; and if he will make a statement concerning the attitude of Her Majesty's Government towards such a recommendation.
If the hon. Lady is referring to negotiations for a new British Standard for children's footwear, I can say that discussions with footwear manufacturers on standards for certain components for children's shoes are being renewed. I hope that they will be successful.
But is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we raised the Shatter from this side of the House about four and a half years ago? Is he further aware that the last issue of Shoppers' Guide showed that more than one-third of the replies received to the questionnaire on children's shoes reflected dissatisfaction? Does not he think that something should be done speedily in the matter?
I looked at the replies to that questionnaire, and saw that 89 per cent, of the people who answered said that they would buy the same make of children's shoes again. On the whole, I thought that a fairly satisfactory answer. It has not been easy to get any likely success in regard to a standard for shoes as a whole, but I am told that if we proceed now by getting standards for components—such as soling and so on— we may get somewhere.