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Retail Trading Standards Association (Correspondence)

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1954

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6.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what reply he has sent to the letter from the secretary of the Retail Trading Standards Association concerning the information given by him to his Department's investigator on the matter of the "Masnaga" bedspread; and if, as the investigator was given access to correspondence admitting infringement of the Merchandise Marks Acts, he will make a further statement upon the matter.

A reply has been sent to the secretary of the Retail Trading Standards Association, who is at liberty to disclose the contents to the hon. Member if he so wishes.

Is the right hon. Gentle man aware that that is rather a scurvy way to apologise for the answer which he gave? May I ask him whether the letter to which he refers is a formal acknowledgment from his Department, or whether it deals with the subject matter? May I ask him, further, whether he is acknowledging that he made a mistake in the House in reporting on this matter?

This answer was not to the hon. Lady. It was to a third party. The third party is quite at liberty to disclose the answer to the hon. Lady if he so wishes.

Is the right hon. Gentle man aware that this reply was made in answer to a Question of mine, when I told the right hon. Gentleman that he was mistaken. Would he be good enough to tell us whether he was mistaken or not?

No mistake occurred at all. This is correspondence which is taking place between the Board of Trade and somebody other than the hon. Lady. I am not entitled to disclose that correspondence to the hon. Lady. If the third party wishes to do so, that is a matter for him.