§ 1. Miss Burton
asked the President of the Board of Trade the date of the commencement of his discussions with the trade associations in so far as amendment of the Hire Purchase Act, 1954, is concerned; and if he is now in a position to make a statement as to his course of action or when he expects to be able to do so.
§ The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thorneycroft)
No discussions have taken place concerning the amendment of the Hire Purchase Act, 1954. If the hon. Lady is referring to consultations about the possibility of controlling hire-purchase advertisements, the Board of Trade first approached trade associations on this subject on 3rd August, 1955. I have still not had the considered views of all the bodies concerned, and I cannot yet say when I shall be able to make any statement.
§ Miss Burton
Is the President of the Board of Trade not aware that on 25th October, 1955, his Parliamentary Secretary told me in the House that consultations with trade organisations were proceeding with a view to this amendment. Is he not further aware that the matter has gone on a very long time? Is it going to be an indefinite time before he is able to make an announcement on this subject?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
There is, as I see it, no possibility of any legislation on this subject this Session. Whether or not we should legislate will depend upon the state of the advertising and the effect of the various inquiries we have made during that period.
§ Miss Burton
Are we to assume from the President's replies that, however urgent the need, he rules out entirely any question of any amendment concerning advertisements in this Session?