§ 3. Mr. John Hunt
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Trade (Mr. Michael Meacher)
It has not been demonstrated adequately that the Act needs amending.
§ Mr. Hunt
Although the Bill introduced by the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) is not now likely to make any further progress in this Session, may we have some indication of the Government's views on such amending legislation as proposed in that Bill? Is the Under-Secretary aware that any proposal to impose compulsory registration would be opposed and resisted by the great majority of hairdressers, who already regard the activities of the Hairdressing Council with something less than total enthusiasm?
§ Mr. Meacher
It is true that the major association, the National Hairdressers Federation, is opposed to compulsory registration and that only 25 per cent. of the hairdressers eligible are at present registered with the Hairdressing Council. The hon. Gentleman will recall that there was a proposal before the House in 1964 that a system of compulsory registration be set up but it did not receive a majority in the House.
§ Mr. Stephen Ross
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the chairman of the federation is on record as having said that it supports a licensing system and, ultimately, statutory registration? I wonder from where the hon. Gentleman has got his information. It may well be true that the Hairdressing Council does not view it with favour, but is he aware that the vast majority of hairdressers wish to see registration?
§ Mr. Meacher
No, I am not aware of that. Since only a minority of the trade belong to any of the representative organisations, I suggest that the views of the majority are not known.