HC Deb 19 July 1967 vol 750 cc2102-3
25. Mr. Milne

asked the President of the Board of Trade what discussions have taken place with the detergent manufacturers arising from the agreement concluded with them on a low price range of products; and if he will initiate talks with them to clarify their new advertising policy in the light of the Monopolies Commission recommendations to cut the prices of their products by one-fifth.

Mr. Jay

My Department is in regular touch with the manufacturers about the operation of the agreed arrangements. These leave the manufacturers free to advertise their products as they think fit provided that they make fully available the alternative brands at reduced prices.

Mr. Milne

Is my right hon. Friend aware that although the agreement which he concluded with the detergent manufacturers after the Monopolies Commission's Report seemed a useful compromise, it now seems that the low-priced powder is not keeping up to the standard which was promised him in those discussions? Will he look into this a little more closely?

Mr. Jay

My information is that both the companies concerned have put out some powders at a reduced price and I have no evidence to suggest that the quality has been altered in a way inconsistent with the agreements reached.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

This is very important. Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that he must immediately contradict any suggestion by his hon. Friend that these companies are not complying fully with the terms of their agreement with the President of the Board of Trade? Will he do his utmost to correct any misapprehensions which may be caused?

Mr. Jay

I said that I have no evidence that this is true, and that is all that I can say at the moment.