§ 8. Miss Burton
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to make a statement concerning the type of hire-purchase agreement criticised as improper by Judge Clothier in April and of which he has been informed.
§ The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thorneycroft)
The judge described the clause denying any warranty or guarantee in the goods sold as grossly improper and as an attempt to avoid the protection given to the public by the Hire-Purchase Act of 1938. He ruled that the clause had no legal effect. At the Board of Trade's request, the Hire-Purchase Trade Association has now circularised its members, drawing their attention to the relevant provisions of the Hire-Purchase Act, 1938.
§ Miss Burton
In view of the previous conviction against this firm, when it and its associates were each fined £5,000 with 150 guineas costs in respect of dummy rental agreements, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that it would be useful if the Hire-Purchase Act were amended so that it would be an offence to insert invalid clauses in hire-purchase agreements?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
The insertion of an invalid clause has no effect at all. The Hire-Purchase Trade Association has warned its members that this is so.