HC Deb 20 May 1963 vol 678 c14
19. Mr. Marsh

asked the Attorney-General how many actions for the recovery of possession of goods let under a hire purchase agreement took place in 1951 and 1962.

The Attorney-General (Sir John Hobson)

The only figures available of actions for the recovery of possession of goods let under hire purchase agreements are of those brought in the county courts under the Hire Purchase Acts, 1938 and 1954. There were 17,614 of these actions in 1951 and 57,043 in 1962.

Mr. Marsh

Would not the Attorney-General agree that a fourfold increase in the number of foolish but otherwise ordinary decent people who find themselves before the courts as a result of being bamboozled and pressurised by hire-purchase agents makes this a serious social problem, and is it not time that the Government looked at this rather dangerous feature of the acquisitive society which they have done so much to foster?

The Attorney-General

There has been a considerable increase in the number of hire-purchase transactions since 1954, and proportionately the increase may not be as much as it sounds from the direct figures. The amendment of the law relating to hire purchase is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, and my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade dealt with this matter on 9th April.