HC Deb 01 April 1974 vol 871 cc865-6
22. Mr. MacFarlane

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will introduce legisla- tion to curb the mailing of unsolicited material.

Mr. Alan Williams

The Younger Committee on Privacy reported in 1972 that legislation was not, in its view, necessary. However, I am willing to consider whether steps should be taken to curb posting of unsolicited material if there is substantial evidence of annoyance or distress.

Mr. MacFarlane

I remind the Minister that there is a continued bombardment of such material, certainly in my constituency, and, I believe, elsewhere. It is confusing to older people, who receive many official-looking documents which are no more than lottery or credit card reminders. May I suggest that the Department takes urgent notice of the matter? I can provide the hon. Gentleman with a great deal of material.

Mr. Williams

If the hon. Gentleman would provide material, that would be welcomed. In the past year we had only about 40 representations from the public on the matter. Less than half complained about the principle of being sent the material, but they complained about such things as lottery tickets. If the hon. Gentleman has a great deal of material, it will be welcome to me.