§ 39. Mr. Porter
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many British furniture manufacturers have now adopted the British Standards Institution Kite mark in reference to their production of items of household furniture.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Henry Strauss)
The British Standards Institution informs me that it has so far licensed 207 manufacturers to apply the Kite mark to their furniture.
§ Mr. Porter
In view of the assurance given by the Minister when we changed from the Utility Scheme to the D Scheme that we had no reason to assume that the standard of furniture would go down, may I ask the Minister what he is doing at present to put that into operation by seeing that every manufacturer of furniture adopts the Kite mark?
§ Mr. Strauss
I am satisfied that what I said in that debate has been carried out. I never said that all manufacturers would apply the Kite mark; what I said was that it would be the public who 1808 would effectively determine this. The public can now obtain furniture of various styles with the Kite mark if it so desires.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
May I press the hon. and learned Gentleman on this matter? Could he tell us what proportion of the furniture manufacturers have applied this mark? Is he not aware that before the war there was a great deal of unsatisfactory and shoddy work produced which consumers could not detect in the first instance? Is it not agreed that consumers need protection in this matter?
§ Mr. Strauss
I cannot tell the right hon. Gentleman the proportion, and indeed mere figures of manufacturers would be a little misleading on account of the different sizes of the various concerns, but some of the large manufacturers are applying the mark. The whole House shares the desire that the public should not buy shoddy furniture but, as the public is now able to obtain furniture of the various types with the Kite mark if it so desires, I do not share the view that the public is incapable now of satisfying its wants either by obtaining furniture with this mark or by going to retailers on whom it can rely.