Letter: M&S has 'not broken any law' regarding Serbia

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The Independent Online
WITH reference to your report 'M & S sells Serbian shirts despite embargo' (9 August), I would like to make the following points. Over 80 per cent of Marks & Spencer clothing is manufactured within the UK. Overseas production is organised by UK suppliers who make arrangements with factories to produce goods to our specification.

In August 1990, we approved production of shirts and blouses by a major UK supplier in a factory in Ivanjica in what was then Yugoslavia. At that time, the question did not arise whether Ivanjica was in Serbia nor was there a war in Yugoslavia.

Our garments were produced in a factory to which the UK supplier sent all the materials. Since the factory was solely responsible for stitching the garments, the value of the contract to them was less than pounds 800,000. All these goods have now been despatched.

At no time have we or our UK supplier broken any law in accepting the delivery of these goods which was approved by the DTI. The payment for them has been made to a UK bank.

David Sieff

Marks & Spencer, London W1

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