HC Deb 01 April 1974 vol 871 cc850-2
4. Mr. Davidson

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection is she is satisfied with the working of the Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act.

The Minister of State, Department of Prices and Consumer Protection (Mr. Alan Williams)

I am keeping a close watch on the working of the Act. The Director General of Fair Trading has announced that he is considering making a reference to the Consumer Protection Advisory Committee with proposals to strengthen the protection given by the Act to consumers.

Mr. Davidson

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the motor trade is operating the Act fairly and conscientiously? In particular, is he satisfied that motor traders are paying compensation down to the point of accepting financial responsibility for the hire of a car, if necessary, where a person has been deprived of transport?

Mr. Williams

I am very concerned if there is any evidence that the spirit of the Act is not being fully carried out. If my hon. Friend has any information which he cares to give me, I shall be glad to consider it.

Mr. Janner

Is my hon. Friend aware that this useful Act unfortunately has no effect on the scandalous exclusion clauses commonly inserted in contracts for the supply of services, such as for car parking? When may we hope to have legislation to deal with that side of the matter?

Mr. Williams

As early as possible. When in opposition, I constantly drew the attention of the House and the then Minister to this area of scandal. However, my hon. and learned Friend is a lawyer and he will be aware that the Law Commissions for England and Wales and for Scotland are due to produce a report.

Mr. Janner


Mr. Williams

It was on the basis of their last report that the present Act was passed. We shall implement as soon as possible any new report which they bring forward.

Mr. Cryer

Is my hon. Friend aware that holiday camps are still operating exclusion clauses, that there was a particularly grievous accident last year when a person was killed and the husband of that person was unable to obtain compensation because of the exclusion clause in the contract, and that this is not covered by the Act?

Mr. Williams

I gave my previous answer for that very reason.