HC Deb 23 July 1973 vol 860 cc1148-9
24. Mr. Biffen

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish a discussion document indicating the Government's views on prices before talks about phase 3 are concluded with the CBI and TUC.

Mr. Tom Boardman

The Government will continue to bear in mind the need for informed discussion of counterinflationary policy.

Mr. Biffen

That does not answer my Question. Does my hon. Friend recall that phase 2 of the policy was announced at Lancaster House? Many of us think that the House of Commons is a more important and more significant forum in which the next phase of this vitally important policy should be announced. Will he convey that opinion to my right hon. Friends? Will he reflect that, if the next stage of the price policy is to elaborate on increases in the wholesale price of bacon in order to see that they are being fully reflected in the retail prices in the shops, as announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on Wednesday, it is difficult to escape the logic of the letter addressed to the Prime Minister by the hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan)? I hope he will feel that this question gives him the opportunity for second thoughts and a chance to answer on that point.

Mr. Boardman

I am sure that if my hon. Friend catches your eye later today, Mr. Speaker, he will raise that point. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer the question."] There is to be a debate later today on this very point, and that will give the House an opportunity to discuss the issue which my hon. Friend has raised.