HC Deb 24 February 1964 vol 690 c28
27. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Health whether he has now begun negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry for the renewal of the Voluntary Price Regulation Agreement; and if he will take into account in the course of such negotiations the views of the Public Accounts Committee as expressed in a number of recent reports.

Mr. Barber

The first formal meeting was held last week. Negotiations will be completed as soon as possible and will most certainly take into account the views of the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr. Robinson

Is the Minister aware that should he reach a conclusion which we on this side of the House considered unsatisfactory it might be necessary, following a change of Government, to renegotiate this agreement? In the circumstances, would not it be best to extend the existing agreement for twelve months from July, when it expires, so that a new long-term agreement could be negotiated by a new Government of whatever complexion?

Mr. Barber

I think it right, and I am sure that it would be the wish of the House, that we should proceed on the basis that this Government will be returned with a resounding majority.