HC Deb 13 February 1964 vol 689 c533
34. Mr. Hannan

asked the Minister of Power what references he has made to the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council concerning prices being charged in excess of that appropriate to the coal group; and what reports the Council has made to him on the steps being taken to establish a complaints procedure through which the domestic consumer can seek redress.

Mr. Peyton

Merchants are free to fix their own retail prices, but I have no evidence that the prices being charged are excessive. The Domestic Coal Consumers' Council referred to the procedure for complaints about defective deliveries in its Annual Report for the year ended 30th June, 1963.

Mr. Hannan

Surely the Minister cannot deny that the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council referred to him malpractices taking place in the sale of coal and the variation of prices compared with grades? What steps has the Minister taken, or does he intend to take, to make public what the ordinary consumer can do to ventilate grievances and seek redress against these malpractices?

Mr. Peyton

A leaflet describing the complaints procedure was given very wide circulation to merchants, local authorities, women's organisations and all Members of both Houses of Parliament. I have no reason to believe that the procedures are not well enough known to members of the public, who always have a choice of complaining to their own merchant, the original supplier of the fuel, or the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council.