§ Mr. Lawson
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she is satisfied with the growing practice of artificially-inflated recommended retail prices; if this practice is currently under investigation either by her Department or by the Consumer Protection Advisory Committee; whether she proposes to introduce fresh legislation to deal with this practice; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Fraser
I have no plans at present for new legislation, although I recognise that recommended retail prices can cause problems. This subject was investigated by the Monopolies Commission, which, in its report of 1969, concluded that the balance of benefit or detriment to the public interest varied between different trades. However, in his consultative document on bargain offer claims published last year, the Director General of Fair trading invited comments on whether the commission's conclusions were still valid in the light of current market conditions. The Office of Fair Trading is now studying the response to this invitation.