HC Deb 04 April 1955 vol 539 c806
14. Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the public annoyance at the growing practice among some shopkeepers of giving small overweight on purchases and then charging excessive prices for this, and that it is difficult for customers to reckon the correct additional charge on the spot; and whether he will hold an inquiry into the matter, with a view to introducing legislation.

Mr. Amory

The hon. Lady seems to underestimate the good sense of the housewife, the honesty of traders generally and the wholesome effect of competition. I do not think a special inquiry is called for.

Miss Burton

Is the Minister aware that his statement shows that he is completely removed from reality? Is he furthermore aware that I have received several letters, particularly from old-age pensioners, to say that it is very difficult for them when they have asked for a pound of bananas and the shopkeeper says that it is an ounce or so over and then charges another 3d. or 4d.? Is he also aware that they have no redress in the matter at all, and, instead of being humorous, will the Minister deal with the matter seriously?

Mr. Amory

I hope the hon. Lady will acquit me of any intention of being humorous on this matter, but I think the remedy lies in the hands of the housewife who, if she is dissatisfied or has been treated unreasonably, can change her shopkeeper.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Would the Minister not agree that the real solution to this problem is to shop at the "Coop."?

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