HC Deb 28 February 1972 vol 832 cc21-2
24. Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the sales of petrol, oil and accessories together with receipts from servicing and repairs were worth in December, 1971, compared with December, 1970; and whether he will make a statement.

17. Mr. Fox

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the turnover in the motor trades in the latest month in which figures are available compared with the comparable month for the preceding year; and whether he will make a statement.

Sir J. Eden

The information was published in a Press notice on 14th February. A copy is in the Library. It shows that in December, 1971, the total turnover of the motor trades was 17 per cent. more, at current prices, than in December, 1970. For sales of petrol, oil and accessories, plus receipts from servicing and repairs, the increase was 5 per cent.

Mr. Skeet

I am very much obliged to my hon. Friend for that answer. Can he give an idea of his estimate for the trend of sales in the next year and also of the number of vehicles currently on the road and anticipated to be on the road by the end of next year, and the possible effect of V.A.T. in the new system?

Sir J. Eden

I cannot give all the figures for which my hon. Friend asks without notice, but the trend in sales, hopefully, will continue to be upward as the economy continues to expand.

Mr. Rose

What proportion of the sales of oil and accessories were made at independent outlets? Will the hon. Gentleman look into the growing tendency to restrict consumer choice in respect of oil and accessories and also the growing tendency to restrict the sales of certain oils and accessories at tied garages or garages owned by petroleum companies? Will he consider action against monopolies in that respect?

Sir J. Eden

In reply to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question, the turnover statistics for the motor trades are based on a monthly sample inquiry to motor dealers, repairers, filling stations, tyre dealers, caravan dealers and wholesalers. It is not possible from these to pick out the detailed information for which the hon. Gentleman asks. On the second part of the question, provision is already made for looking at possible cases of monopoly.