HC Deb 12 June 1956 vol 554 cc214-5
5. Mr. Hale

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that firms in the north of England are selling wireless and television sets on a hire-purchase agreement which provides that when the whole of the purchase money and interest is paid the property in the set shall remain in the retailers; and whether he will amend his hire-purchase Regulations to prevent this evasion of the spirit of the present Regulations.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The hon. Member would appear to be referring to hiring agreements. A control over hiring was introduced in February this year to supplement the restrictions on hire purchase.

Mr. Hale

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I am not referring to a hiring agreement? I am referring to an ordinary hire-purchase agreement, where a man paid the whole of the purchase price in eighteen monthly instalments and then found that there was a small clause at the end which retained the ownership in the firm, namely, Lloyds of Manchester, to whom I have sent the relevant correspondence, and who admit that this was the practice they were carrying out? Will the Minister do something about it?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I think that we are at cross-purposes. I am anxious to give a fair answer to the hon. Gentleman's Question. I will have a word with him, and perhaps he will explain the exact point that he has in mind.