THE MERCHANDISE MARKS ACT
[To the Editor of the &merit:ma.]
see in the papers that in connexion with the Safe- guarding of Industries there is some talk of amending the Merchandise Marks Act. May I counsel great care and tell the following story ?
In the summer of 1907 I travelled in Germany in the com- pany of a big general merehant from Hamburg, and we got to discussing the lack of foresight and understanding shown by parliaments in passing laws. He said. "Now look at your Merchandise Marks Act ! It didn't do what was meant, and if anything will evehtually cause war between our two coun- tries it will be that. You passed it to protect your industries, but in fact it has protected ours, for, first, it showed the traders of the world where the goods were really made. Secondly, these • traders- in consequence ordered the goods direct from Germany, and so -saved the 'profits of the middleman in Eng- land and increased ours. Thirdly, we, very wisely, built our own merchant ships to carry our goods all over -the world. Fourthly, our Kaiser and Reichstag have built or are building men-of-war to protect that trade out of the profits caused by that trade. Fifthly, the construction of those 'ships will create such a menace to Great Britain that we may—though God forbid—eventually came to fight.. Lastly, our resultant gain has been so great' that if you proposed to do' away with the " Made* in Germany" annotincement I could easily raise five million a year in Hamburg alone to pay you to maintain it t" These *bids are wintli pondering.—Iarn, Sir, &C.,