§ Mr. John Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if, in view of the evidence of danger from Indian cotton dresses, he will now make an order under the Consumer Safety Act 1978 to ban their supply immediately.
§ Mrs. Sally Oppenheim
I understand that dresses made from certain Asian cotton fabric may catch fire more easily and burn more rapidly than dresses made from fabrics of comparable weight in other fibres. The hazards would be greater for long flowing dresses of the kind in question. In view of their current popularity and reports of serious accidents I felt it desirable to issue a warning to the public to take care. I do not consider that a ban on supply is called for although warning labelling might be desirable if accidents were to increase sufficiently. However, I should prefer not to anticipate the review of the flammability of clothing generally that officials are carrying out in conjunction with representatives of the textile and clothing trades and consumer organisations.