§ Mr. Brinton
asked the Minister for Trade when he expects that Ministers will have completed their consideration of the recommendations of the office of Fair Trading relating to advertising by opticians.
§ Dr. Vaughan
I am giving attention to the restrictions on competition, particularly in relation to publicity, which the Director General has identified as an aspect of opticians' trading practices, and on which I have received many representations from consumers. I have taken up these matters with the General Optical Council, with the need to take early steps to reconsider those of its rules which affect competition and which can be changed under section 25 of the Opticians Act 1958. The General Optical Council has now informed me that, as a first step, the council's professional conduct committee has begun an immediate review of the council's rules on publicity, with a view to considering changes in the rules, and to laying proposals before the council on 23 June. I welcome this first step towards lessening the restrictions on competition which the Director General has identified.