HC Deb 28 January 1970 vol 794 c1538
22. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the further down-turn in sales in the used car market, he will now relax the hire-purchase restrictions on such cars.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

No, Sir, This would be premature.

Mr. Price

As the Minister responsible for exports, is my hon. Friend aware of the great contribution which the motor industry makes to exports? Does she feel that without some help in the home market it will be able to hold down its export prices, especially since we have just had a 10 per cent. rise in the price of steel?

Mrs. Dunwoody

It is interesting that the increase in car exports and the increased home sales of commercial vehicles have partially offset the difficulties in the marketing of new cars. We are aware of the necessity to maintain our export markets, but it is too soon to discuss this sort of relaxation.

Mr. Gurden

Does the hon. Lady appreciate that the level of home sales governs the manufacturing price of cars and that our exports will have to be more competitive than the outlook seems to indicate?

Mrs. Dunwoody

It is essential that our exports are competitive; no one has ever disputed that. There have been detailed talks with the Ministry of Technology and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but we can make no announcement at the moment.