HC Deb 18 December 1975 vol 902 c1646
Q7. Mr. Mike Thomas

asked the Prime Minister whether he will take steps to reconstitute the NEDC with the National Consumer Council as full members.

Mr. Edward Short

I have been asked to reply.

I have nothing to add to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend on 11th December, Sir.

Mr. Thomas

How does my right hon. Friend expect the Government to make credible their claim that in the Council they have created a body to represent the interests of the consumer in the higher councils of the land if, at the first whit] of grapeshot from the trade union movement and the CBI, they do not accord the Council full status within the NEDC?

Mr. Short

We are not yet willing to grant the NCC equal status with the CBI and TUC. The Council is a recently formed body, but in the matter of consultation it is evolving towards the objectives set out in the White Paper. It must be remembered that Mr. Michael Young is a valuable member of the NEDC and, although he attends that body as an individual, he also represents the NCC.

Mr. Sainsbury

Does the hon. Gentleman consider that the voice of the consumer might be better represented by ensuring that all major parties are represented in the NEDC's deliberations?

Mr. Short

That may be a point of view worth examining.

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