HC Deb 20 May 1974 vol 874 cc23-4
23 . Mr. Bidwell

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she has received a letter from the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall, on the practice of a travel firm and the complaints of a constituent consumer; and what reply she is sending.

Mr. Alan Williams

I regret that 1 did not receive my hon. Friend's original letter. He has now sent me a copy. I require certain further details, and I will then investigate the complaint.

Mr. Bidwell

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. The Question alludes to Cosmos Tours Limited following its reprehensible conduct in not dealing properly with a complaint from my constituent and not dealing properly with a complaint from myself when I tried to follow up the matter. I understand that Cosmos has offered a brochure for this year's holidays which contains, according to my constituent, the same misleading information as contained in previous brochures.

Mr. Williams

I am sure that if the circumstances are as my hon. Friend suggests there is every possibility that the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 could apply. As soon as I have the extra details which my Department will require, I shall take whatever action seems to be appropriate.

Mr. Dykes

Now that the holiday season is approaching, will the Minister ensure that he has discussions as soon as possible with the Director General of Fair Trading about the need this season to ensure that holiday firms do not renege on the promises they make in unmistakably expensive brochures to often rather hapless customers?

Mr. Williams

The Director General is now reviewing the working of the Trade Descriptions Act in relation to the tour industry and in other contexts. I shall bear in mind the point that the hon. Gentleman makes and I shall ensure that it is drawn to the attention of the Director General.