HC Deb 08 March 1962 vol 655 cc577-8
28. Mrs. Castle

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will inquire into the high cost of safety belts for motor cars with a view to introducing price control.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. F. J. Erroll)

No, Sir.

Mrs. Castle

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is very important to encourage the widespread use of these safety belts in cars and that their present cost is prohibitive for the modest car owner? Would he not, therefore, by threatening to introduce price control, induce manufacturers to look at their costs again and perhaps bring them down?

Mr. Erroll

I agree with the hon. Lady that we should try to encourage the widespread use of car safety belts, but some fourteen manufacturers are already producing thirty different types of these belts and the prices start at less than £2 per outfit.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Would not the simplest way to bring down these costs be to take off Purchase Tax when this equipment is built into cars?

Mr. Erroll

That is an interesting point, but these are not built into motor cars. They are supplied as an optional extra.