Advertisements (Merchandise Marks Act)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th January 1959.

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Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South 12:00 am, 29th January 1959

asked the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions, since January, 1955, his Department has been asked under the Merchandise Marks Act to substantiate claims made by firms in their advertisements.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

When complaints are made to my Department and we think there is substance in them that a claim made in an advertisement amounts to a false or misleading trade description we prosecute the firm and the courts decide the issue. Since January, 1955, about 360 complaints alleging offences under the Acts have been investigated by my Department.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he is trying to get out of the very misleading Answer which he gave me last week, which was an attempt to answer a question that I did not ask? Obviously, a Government Department would never be asked to substantiate claims made by advertisers, but on this occasion does he not think that he should put the onus on the manufacturers in the matter of toothpaste advertisements? Would the right hon. Gentleman answer the Question which I asked last week?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I am sorry if I misled the hon. Lady. I did not mean to do so, but I still think that what she was asking was that we should substantiate the claim that if a certain toothpaste was used certain results would follow. That is not for the Board of Trade to do.