HC Deb 10 March 1964 vol 691 cc243-4
32. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what margin is allowed to retailers who sell the publications of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Mr. Green

The standard discount allowed to retailers who buy their supplies of Government publications direct from Her Majesty's Stationery Office is 25 per cent.; but 33⅓ per cent. is allowed on a small number of the more popular titles.

Mr. Digby

Is not that a considerable rate of discount, and is it not the fact that it is on information like that that the Government are proceeding with the Resale Prices Bill? It it right that the Government should demand such a large rate of discount?

Mr. Green

It is not a case of the Government demanding it. As my hon. Friend will appreciate, the Government are conceding it to retailers. I am sure that my hon. Friend will appreciate that there is no necessary connection between allowing a discount and insisting on resale price being maintained.

Mr. Bence

Are these books provided to retailers on a "sale or return" basis?

Mr. Green

I think that I would want notice of that question.

Mr. Milne

Does not the hon. Gentleman consider that the Answer that he has just given about margins of profit strengthens the case that we have presented to him for the opening of a retail branch of Her Majesty's Stationery Office in Newcastle?

Mr. Green

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's interest in this matter, and I promise him that his interest has not been lost sight of.