HL Deb 08 July 1974 vol 353 cc452-4

3.8 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Report be now received. At the Committee stage I made the point that any exemption of the small trader from displaying prices should be a matter for the various Orders and not for the Statute. I pointed out that the circumstances covered by each Order could be quite different. There could be cases where there were grounds for exempting the small trader and there could be other cases where there were no such grounds. I was then pressed to consult with my right honourable friend to get her state of mind in relation to the Orders, had she in mind some exemptions. I promised that I would do so. I have done so and I now report back.

My right honourable friend has in mind that in so far as the Orders under Clause 5 which deal with range of prices are concerned all traders shall display a range of prices in relation to subsidised foods. But she has in mind the possibility of a restricted range for the small trader; that is to say, a range at which the prices commence at a higher figure. She undertakes to consult with the representative of the small traders and if that is their wish she will act accordingly. Secondly, she has in mind that the small trader should not be required to display the range of prices for non-subsidised foods; and, thirdly, that a "small trader" means one with a selling space of less than 250 square feet.

Moved, That the Report be now received.—(Lord Jacques.)


My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord for those concessions. I should like to thank my noble friend Lord Elton who pressed him on this point. We were anxious to protect the small shop and small shopkeeper and it is my belief that these new concessions which have been announced by the noble Lord, which will come into effect through regulation, are very satisfactory. I am grateful to him and hope that he will also thank his right honourable friend the Secretary of State for having gone as far as she has in helping us in this matter. While I am on my feet, may I also thank him for the very helpful reply he gave me on the point I raised of the one firm that was wholesaler-retailer on Clause 2.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Then, Standing Order No. 44 having been dispensed with (pursuant to Resolution):


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Lord Harris of Greenwich.)

On Question, Bill read 3a.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass. In doing so, may I thank the noble Lords, Lord Aberdare and Lord Elton, and also several of my noble friends and noble Lords in other parts of the House for the helpful contribution they have made to this Bill.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Harris of Greenwich.)


Again, my Lords, I am very grateful to the noble Lord for what he has said. As he knows, we have fundamental differences on the underlying policy, but it was not up to this House to dispute that. On the other hand, the small points which we have raised have been very sympathetically considered by noble Lords opposite, and we are grateful.

On Question, Bill passed.