HC Deb 29 November 1966 vol 737 cc186-7
6. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in the light of further redundancies within the motor industry, he will now make the necessary adjustments in the hire-purchase regulations to reduce the minimum deposit from 40 per cent. to 20 per cent.

Mr. Callaghan

No, Sir. I believe the motor car industry understands that its major task for the immediate future is to complete the reorganisation that is taking place and to pursue sales in overseas countries.

Mr. Price

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that 40 per cent. of a very high-priced product like a motor car is of a completely different order from 40 per cent. of a lower-priced article costing, say, less than £100?

Since we have heard that car sales for September are 23 per cent. down on sales for September, 1965, would not he agree that now is the time to do something about it, since he himself admitted last month that the unit cost of a motor car was a very important factor in its price?

Mr. Callaghan

No, I would not think that this would be the moment to do anything about it. Since the month of September there has been the month of October and the month of November, and it will be very interesting to see how motor car sales have proceeded during the last two months. I think it is quite possible that we shall find that there was a substantial deterioration in September and an improvement later.