HC Deb 16 June 1975 vol 893 cc953-4
22. Mr. Mike Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether she will make a statement on the referendum result as it affects the work of her Department.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

Since I took office I have made numerous representations in the consumer interest on European Community matters, notably in relation to agricultural, competition and consumer protection policy. I shall continue to pursue these questions, and I am happy to say that the Commissioner in charge of consumer affairs will be coming here to see me shortly.

Mr. Thomas

May I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the part she played in the referendum campaign, and may I say how anxious a number of us on these benches are that this House and her Department play their full part in European matters now that we are in the Community to stay? Is she aware that a number of our Socialist colleagues in Europe will be almost as interested as I am to learn the answer to my earlier supplementary question? If she could give it while answering this supplementary question, I should be extremely pleased.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

I am interested in all aspects of consumer affairs, and, as in Europe, I endeavoured to get the agricultural Commissioner to consider more closely the interests of consumers in drawing up agricultural policy, so domestically I am anxious to persuade the electricity and gas boards to take into account the concern of small consumers for pricing policies which are less regressive than they are at present.