HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1768-9
34. Mr. Montgomery

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take against a firm, whose name has been given to him, which has been selling knitting machines in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area, and which has misrepresented its terms in order to sell its knitting machines.

Mr. Erroll

I am having a careful investigation made of the facts relating to these sales. I understand that the Company Fraud Department of Scotland Yard is also investigating the activities of the company. I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as these investigations are complete.

Mr. Montgomery

Would it help my right hon. Friend if I sent him details from Newcastle about this firm, Sure Distributors Ltd., which has closed its Newcastle offices and has "scarpered" to Manchester? Would this help to prevent this firm causing damage there?

Mr. Erroll

My hon. Friend has been kind enough to send me an advertisement. I will be glad to receive any additional information he may make available to me.

Mr. Darling

Does not this case show that the Consumer Council should have power to take action in cases like this, in view of the natural reluctance of Government Departments to seek prosecutions in such matters?

Mr. Erroll

I think that a case of this sort is quite properly being investigated by the Company Fraud Department of Scotland Yard, which is the proper body to do it.

Mr. Popplewell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have already submitted to him the names of two individuals who are being subjected to the fraud of this firm of Sure Distributors Ltd.? Will he investigate this matter to ensure that Scotland Yard's fraud squad gives close consideration to whether there can be prosecution in respect of unsavoury practices of the sort adopted by this firm?

Mr. Erroll

I will be glad to receive any further details in addition to those the hon. Member has sent to me. I hope that I will be allowed full discretion as to the use I may make of the information.