HC Deb 28 March 1984 vol 57 cc277-8
7. Mr. Bowen Wells

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will invite representations from organisations or persons outside Government to the interdepartmental committee established to investigate means by which the current practices of house transfer can be made more efficient, cheaper and quicker, so far as they relate to matters within the responsibility of his Department.

Mr. Tebbit

Yes, Sir. My colleagues and I welcome contributions both to the committee under Professor Street on non-solicitor conveyancing and to the interdepartmental committee on house transfer.

Mr. Wells

I thank my right hon. Friend very much indeed for that reply. What sort of timetable is the Department working to, and what period will people and hon. Members have to contribute their evidence to that interdepartmental committee?

Mr. Tebbit

The interdepartmental group hopes to report to Ministers by the autumn. While there is no time limit at the moment on representations to the committee, we should be grateful if they were brought forward as soon as possible.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

May we have an assurance that if building societies are given the right to convey they will not use their commanding grip on the transaction as lenders to require the borrower to use their services at perhaps an even higher charge than would otherwise be available outside?

Mr. Tebbit

The Lord Chancellor's consultative paper on possible conflict of interest among employed solicitors, as for example of building societies engaged in conveyancing, is expected to be published shortly, and that will also cover aspects of possible anti-competitive practices to which I think the hon. Gentleman is referring.