HC Deb 14 March 1977 vol 928 cc26-31
27. Mr. Mike Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will list in the Official Report those organisations which he has directly invited to comment on his new price control proposals.

Mr. Hattersley

I have written directly to the TUC, CBI, Retail Consortium, Food and Drink Industries Council, National Consumer Council and Price Commission seeking their views on my proposals. My Department has also written to over 250 representative organisations and individuals. With permission, I will circulate details of these in the Official Report. In addition, some 4,000 copies of the consultative document have been issued in response to inquiries.

Mr. Thomas

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a number of hon. Members have been concerned that the representations made by consumer organisations as opposed to those made by producer organisations have not been weighed carefully enough in his Department? What steps is he taking to make sure that the views of, for example, the National Consumer Council are taken properly into account?

Mr. Hattersley

I shall be consulting the National Consumer Council tomorrow when its representatives come to see me. Their offerings and comments will be treated in exactly the same way as those made at meetings with the CBI and the Retail Consortium last week. The proper importance of the council will be accepted in the discussions and its views will be taken into account.

Mr. Marten

According to the Minister of Agriculture, the price of butter will increase this year to 72p to 75p a pound. Will not that offend against the prices policy? Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether British domestic policy or Community policy takes precedence?

Mr. Hattersley

I really cannot go on answering questions that are not for me. The hon. Member must put down that question to the Minister of Agriculture.

Following are the details:



By the Secretary of State

At Official Level