Carpets

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th May 1963.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford 12:00 am, 16th May 1963

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, arising out of the recommendation of the Molony Committee on Consumer Protection that, pending the establishment of a grading system for carpets, all carpets should be labelled stating the weave, fibre content, &c., he will indicate what action it is proposed should be taken.

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

My right hon. Friend is still considering this recommendation in the light of comments which he has received from interested bodies.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

Is my hon. Friend aware that he has been considering this too long and that it is time something was done? There is a great deal of consumer discontent on this matter. Is he aware that carpets are still being sold under the old utility label of Grade A, which is quite meaningless today? There are grades above that, but people think they are buying a genuinely Grade A carpet, although they are buying something which is probably nearer to Grade B or Grade C? This is quite disgraceful, and it should be looked at from the point of view of consumer protection.

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

That is exactly the angle from which it is being looked at. When one considers imposing additional legal obligations, these things cannot be done very quickly. It is necessary to study them carefully. A draft British Standard dealing with the labelling of carpets of all types is in the final stages of preparation and covers most of the elements—except that of construction—recommended by the Molony Committee. This goes a long way towards meeting the Molony Committee's recommendations.