§ 43. Mrs. Sally Oppenheim
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will propose making illegal the practice of making the sale of goods in short supply conditional upon expenditure of a minimum sum of money on other goods in the shop concerned.
§ Mr. George
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will make a statement on the practice of some wholesalers and retailers in the grocery trade of insisting that a fixed sum of goods be purchased prior to the sale of sugar.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
I have received many inquiries, both from consumers and from retailers, seeking guidance about the practice of shopkeepers in requiring customers to purchase goods to a minimum value as a condition of supplying them with sugar. The practice of making sugar sales conditional on the purchase of a minimum amount of other goods is not illegal. I understand and share the desire of retailers to discourage hoarding and panic buying of sugar. However, where regular customers can be identified I would urge retailers not to impose this condition on them unless they are clearly buying above their normal purchases; and in particular it is important not to impose unnecessary costs on old-age pensioners who would suffer hardship as a result. Any shop imposing such a requirement should warn customers before they enter the shop, and should indicate that the rule will not apply to the categories mentioned above.