§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will refer to the Price Commission the 1978 profit margins of overseas tour operating companies, with particular reference to the need for the tour price advantages of the enhanced and enhancing value of the £ sterling should be passed on fully to the customer; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maclennan
The bulk of overseas tour operators' costs are not susceptible to control in this country, and Parliament exempted such operators from control on profit margins under the current Price Code; moreover, there is at present no power to regulate charges for overseas package holidays following a Price Commission examination. I recognise that exchange rates are just one factor affecting the cost of a holiday, but it is clearly right that the benefits of sterling appreciation should, wherever possible, be 437W passed on to the consumer. I would be glad of any evidence that my right hon. Friend may have that this is not being done, and I hope that the forces of competition will ensure that all possible benefits are passed on to the consumer.