§ 44. Mr. St. John-Stevas
asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he will make a statement on Government policy on resale price maintenance, in view of the recent controversy concerning sales of tobacco and sweets.
§ Mr. Jay
It is too early to measure the full effects of the Resale Prices Act, 1964, although I am satisfied that it is introducing a measure of competition into retail distribution which is in the general public interest.
In the circumstances, I am not convinced that discussions about possible amendment of the Act would serve any useful purpose.
§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
Will the Government make plain that they favour the abolition of resale price maintenance in the interests of lower prices and of the consumer, and use all their powers to persuade manufacturers and distributors voluntarily to abandon the practice now?
§ Dr. John Dunwoody
Would my right hon. Friend agree that when he uses the phrase "the general public interest" in this context he should consider the possible consequences of a cigarette price 505 war on the health of the community as a whole?