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Volume 388: debated on Wednesday 31 March 1943

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asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he will increase the weight of steel which may be used in the manufacture of perambulators to enable more lasting and satisfactory products to be made; and whether he is aware that a suggested increase from 14 to 17 lbs. per perambulator would only require an addition of 250 tons per annum;(2) whether besides examining the distribution of such perambulators as are now authorised, he will increase the numbers which may be made, as an earnest of the desire of the Government to arrest the decline of the birth-rate?

As my right hon. Friend stated in reply to a Question on 16th March, production has increased considerably since last year. Steel is a limiting factor, and I am advised that a reasonably durable perambulator can be

yearly number of registrations; how many searches were made and what proportion disclose no entry in each of the past three years; how many prosecutions have been undertaken and with what results during the past six years?

The work arising under the Registration of Business Names Act, 1916, is estimated to cost about £2,500 a year at the present time. The average yearly number of original registrations since the Act came into force is 21,550 and the average yearly number of registrations of change of particulars in the same period is 5,742. The number of searches made in the years 1940, 1941 and 1942 was approximately 15,150, 8,650 and 6,150 respectively. No precise information is available of the proportion of these searches disclosing no entry, but it is estimated to be about 40 per cent. The absence of an entry does not however necessarily indicate a failure to register. 196 prosecutions were instituted by the Board of Trade during the six years 1937 to 1942 inclusive, with the following results:made with 14 pounds; it was therefore right to use the available steel for increasing the number produced rather than the amount of steel per perambulator.