HC Deb 30 April 1964 vol 694 cc581-2
27. Mr. Coulson

asked the Secretary of Stale for Industry, Trade and Regional Development whether he will seek power to strengthen the law with regard to mail order firms in such a way as to ensure that customers receive the goods for which they have paid.

Mr. du Cann

If my right hon. Friend had evidence that the law concerning the non-delivery of goods was inadequate he would consider amending legislation to strengthen it.

Mr. Coulson

I appreciate my hon. Friend's remarks on this point, and I thank him for agreeing to consider any possible amendment of the law. He is probably aware of the correspondence that has passed between my right hon. Friend and myself. A firm known as Carberrys—which, until recently, advertised in motor-cycle magazines—has still not refunded money sent to it for certain articles by one of my constituents eight months ago, and the goods have never been delivered. Is my hon. Friend aware that this is by no means an isolated case; and that there is general need to strengthen the law in order to persuade certain mail order firms to honour their obligations? To say that there is access to the civil courts in such matters is not encouraging to people who are treated in this way. Will my hon. Friend look into the matter?

Mr. du Cann

The Sale of Goods Act, 1893, provides certain remedies for the buyer with regard to the non-delivery of goods and we are advised that this applies to contracts with mail order firms. We have not had complaints other than the complaint made by my hon. Friend about matters of this sort, regarding which my right hon. Friend is writing to him and is obliged to him for having mentioned the matter.