HC Deb 15 December 1975 vol 902 c948
10. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will seek additional powers to dissuade airlines and others from discounting scheduled fares on airline tickets.

Mr. Clinton Davis

The recent court actions have demonstrated that the Government have strong powers to enforce approved fares and rates of commission. Efforts are being made by the travel trade and airlines to stamp out illegal discounting. We have, however, made it plain that if such efforts are not successful we intend to use these powers. I can assure the hon. Member that if we find that additional powers are required we shall have no hesitation in seeking the authority of Parliament to obtain them.

Mr. McCrindle

The Government were no doubt right to have relied so far on the efforts of the airlines in what is known as "Operation Clean-up". Does the Minister agree that if cheaper air travel is ever to become universally available it is necessary to eliminate the illegal discounting that is taking place? To that end, will he assure me that he will keep a very close eye and car on developments in this matter and will not hesitate to intervene at Government level should that prove necessary?

Mr. Davis

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for enabling me to forecast what his supplementary question was to be from an article which appeared in The Times this morning. I can give him the assurance for which he asks.