HC Deb 27 October 1975 vol 898 c1026
28. Mr. Ioan Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will take steps to ensure that prices are displayed in public houses.

Mr. Alan Williams

I am happy to tell hon. Members that I made an order under Section 4 of the Prices Act 1974 today which comes into operation on 1st December. The order, which commands wide support in the trade and from consumers, is expected to be laid and published next Monday.

Mr. Evans

I thank my hon. Friend for that encouraging reply. As there are bitter feelings amongst many customers at the variation in price levels, not only between public house and public house, but between different customers during the evening, will he give maximum publicity to the order?

Mr. Alan Williams

I am sure that my hon. Friend is correct in stating the public alarm at this matter. I think that he will be aware that in a survey carried out for a Midlands authority it was found that in 66 per cent. of the public houses visited there was overcharging and that in some instances the overcharging was by as much as 50 per cent. above the brewers' recommended price. At the risk of boring the House with further statistics, I would add that we believe that this order will cover approximately 95 per cent. of all drinks sold in public houses.