§ 13. Mr. Greville Janner
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will introduce legislation to ban the practice of double-pricing of bedding, in view of the fact that this practice misleads consumers and avoids the effects of the Trade Descriptions Act, 1968.
§ Mr. Anthony Grant
I understand that the practice referred to involves listing goods with an unrealistically high "recommended" price, in order to exaggerate the apparent size of the discount offered by the retailer. If specific evidence were available of a particular case in which the price recommended implied a mark-up significantly greater than the range normally applied in that trade, I would certainly be prepared to consider the possibility of a prosecution under the Trade Descriptions Act.
§ Mr. Janner
I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for that assurance. Will he give an assurance that if he receives information that this practice is widespread in the bedding or other industries he will institute an inquiry into a practice that is causing considerable concern in the trades concerned? Meanwhile, will he issue a warning to the public of the effects of this totally fictitious mark-down?
§ Mr. Grant
On the last point, the reply that I have given should indicate the concern with which the Government view the matters raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman. As to a wider inquiry, if there is any evidence of such a practice in any industry, let alone that of bedding, we shall look at it carefully having regard to the terms of the Act.