HC Deb 07 March 1961 vol 636 cc239-40
23. Mr. Albu

asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from either side of the furniture industry for the abolition of the present restriction on add-to hire-purchase agreements.

2. Mr. John Hall

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the present position of the furniture industry, he will remove the present embargo on add-to hire-purchase agreements.

Mr. N. Macpherson

My right hon. Friend and I have received a number of letters from individuals in the industry and I have received a deputation from the British Furniture Trade Joint Industrial Council. My right hon. Friend carefully considered these representations before making the Order on the 20th January lengthening the period of repayment to three years. "Add-to" facilities may, in fact, be provided by extending an original agreement up to that limit. My right hon. Friend concluded that it would not be right to go further in the particular case of the furniture industry.

Mr. Albu

Does not the Minister realise that this is a particular source of concern to the furniture industry, because the practice has always existed in the trade? In view of the fact that at any rate the production side of the industry has been working on short time for a considerable period now, does not he think it is time to remove this very annoying restriction?

Mr. Macpherson

My right hon. Friend was well aware of these considerations when he made the Order extending the period to three years, and he does not feel that it would be possible to make a particular exception to a general rule for a general purpose in favour of the furniture industry.

Forward to