HC Deb 06 March 1978 vol 945 c953
9. Mr. Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he has completed his investigations into uniform pricing methods in the camera trade; and if, in light of his study, he will now announce his intention to amend the Resale Prices Act 1976 so as to extend its application into schemes laying down the minimum prices at which goods may be advertised.

Mr. John Fraser

The responsibility for investigating attempts to impose resale price maintenance lies with the Director General of Fair Trading. I do not think that it is necessary to amend the Resale Prices Act 1976 to deal with minimum advertised prices since I am advised that the enforcement of resale price maintenance by this means is already contrary to the Act.

Mr. Ward

May I have an assurance that the cases that I have described are covered by the Resale Prices Act? How does a retailer behave when he is threatened with his supplies being cut off and is obviously frightened? May we have an assurance that any evidence that such retailers lay will be treated in the strictest confidence?

Mr. Fraser

Any evidence of a breach of the 1976 Act should be reported to the Director General of Fair Trading. The Director General is prepared to treat complaints in confidence, but that sometimes leads to difficulties later if he wants to take further action. Retailers have a civil remedy against suppliers who try to enforce resale price maintenance.