§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins
asked the Minister of Technology (1) when he expects to report on the outcome of the negotiations with Mallory Batteries Limited regarding the recommendation of the National Board for Prices and Incomes given early in May that the 45 per cent. increase in the prices of their hearing aid batteries which has obtained since January, 1968 be abandoned;
(2) why, during his discussions with Mallory Batteries Limited, the 45 per cent. price increase recommended against by the National Board for Prices and Incomes has continued to be charged;
(3) to what extent the agreement with Mallory Batteries Limited will provide for the refund of sums overcharged since January, 1968.
§ Mr. Benn
I would refer the hon. Member to the statement issued by the Government on 7th August. The company agreed to reduce its prices to the lowest level compatible with its export requirements and to abandon the practice of recommending retail prices in the United Kingdom. No question of making any refund to the purchasers of batteries has arisen.