HC Deb 18 June 1969 vol 785 cc459-60
10. Mr. Gardner

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many prosecutions have been initiated since the Trade Descriptions Act came into force.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

By the end of last week local weights and measures authorities had notified us of 435 cases in which it was intended to prosecute.

Mr. Gardner

Has my hon. Friend noticed an improvement in the selling practices of retailers, and is she satisfied that weights and measures departments have sufficient staff to deal with complaints which come in from the public?

Mrs. Dunwoody

I do not think that we can be satisfied that the weights and measures departments are fully staffed. There is a shortage of qualified people and one would like to see the departments with more staff. The number of prosecutions which have been set on foot shows that this sort of legislation was needed.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Is the discrepancy between the activities of various local authorities being ironed out now that they have a duty laid upon them to enforce this Act?

Mrs. Dunwoody

It would be foolish to pretend that some are not more active than others. We are trying to deal with this by encouragement from the Department.