HC Deb 08 March 1971 vol 813 cc6-7
4. Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he intends to repeal provision 1 of the International Air Transport Association regulations covering the minimum price of package holidays; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Anthony Grant

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to his Question on 24th February.—[Vol. 812, c. 172–3.]

Mr. McNair-Wilson

I am sure that my hon. Friend knows that his answer will be welcomed by the travel industry. My hon. Friend will probably be aware that there is some public unease that there may be unscrupulous tour operators who will use the slackening of this provision to offer "phoney" bargains. May I ask my hon. Friend whether he envisages introducing legislation which will make bonding schemes obligatory on all tour operators and travel agents likely to introduce these holidays?

Mr. Grant

I understand the anxiety which my hon. Friend has so rightly expressed. I do not wish to anticipate legislation in any way. I should emphasise that this is an experimental scheme which we have allowed for this forthcoming winter. We shall see how it works out, and my hon. Friend's anxieties will be borne in mind.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, despite the fact that this may be for an experimental period, we shall see some cut-throat competition in the holiday trade? Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House what proposals he has in mind to compel airline companies to give far more details about their financial operations? Will the Minister also tell us what proposals he has for registration by the Government of tour operators and airlines?

Mr. Grant

Not at this stage. The points which the hon. Gentleman raised are very much in our consideration and we are having consultations with all interested parties, including the airlines, on this subject.

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