HC Deb 02 December 1958 vol 596 cc1017-8
38 and 39. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if his attention has been drawn to an advertisement in the News Chronicle of 26th November, 1958, by the Nortic Electrical Limited which purports to offer for sale reconditioned washing machines at £16 each; whether he is aware that the inquirers using the coupon attached to the advertisement are visited by salesmen who sell and deliver new washing machines manufactured by Vactric Limited and costing £69 each; and whether he will cause inquiries to be made into these practices, which mislead the public;

(2) if his attention has been drawn to an advertisement in the People on 23rd November, 1958, by Citron Domestic Services Limited, which purports to offer for sale new and reconditioned washing machines from £15 each; whether he is aware that this advertisement is misleading in intent and effect, and that the new machines are advertised as being without tax; and what administrative action he proposes to take to control these practices.

Mr. J. Rodgers

Inquiries are being made and I will communicate with the hon. Member.

Mr. Stonehouse

While expressing thanks for the inquiries which are to be made into this practice, may I ask whether the Minister is aware that the public are growing increasingly exasperated by the practice of many advertisers in advertising second-hand machines when the intention is to sell new machines? If the inquiries reveal that these practices are taking place, will the Minister consider introducing some control?

Mr. Rodgers

Although the practices are possibly reprehensible, it is unlikely on the face of it that any offence has been committed. The obvious remedy for housewives to adopt is to refuse the goods offered by the salesmen.

Captain Pilkington

Has the News Chronicle no champion in this House?