HC Deb 24 April 1968 vol 763 cc204-5
14. Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will take powers to control inertia selling campaigns.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mrs. Gwyneth Dun-woody)

Under the law as it stands, the recipient of unsolicited goods is under no obligation either to pay for them or to return them. I do not think that further legal safeguards would be practicable.

Mrs. Butler

Would my hon. Friend look a, this matter again and, in the meantime, make it clear that she deplores this exploitation of inertia sales promotion which not only annoys many people but causes others to buy goods which they do not want and often cannot afford because they do not know their right?

Mrs. Dunwoody

The Consumer Council has published an excellent booklet telling people their rights in this matter I hope that people will very firmly reject anything which comes within this category. Difficulties are caused for people who are subject to inertia selling and I realise that it causes great irritation.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Did not the Molony Committee recommend that steps be taken to deal with this growing evil? Would the hon. Lady say whether she has any proposals to make to deal with another growing evil, namely, that relating to bogus guarantees attached to goods which remove rather than increase people's rights under the Sale of Goods Act?

Mrs. Dunwoody

We are looking at the question of bogus guarantees. We realise that it has a great many implications.