HC Deb 27 July 1984 vol 64 c835W
Mr. Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if the findings of the Younger committee on the practice of selling or advertising goods or services by telephone continue to represent the policy of Her Mahesty's Government towards this practice;

(2) to what extent Her Majesty's Government monitor the prevalence and use of particular advertising techniques, and, in particular, the use of the practice of selling or advertising goods or services by telephone;

(3) if he will introduce legislation to provide a code of practice for the selling or advertising of goods or services by telephone; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Channon

Although the comments of the independent Committee on Privacy (Cmnd. 5012)—the Younger committee—on this form of selling do not in themselves represent Government policy, they remain relevant. The Director General of Fair Trading has a general role in monitoring selling techniques and, as a result of the increasing use of selling by telephone since the Younger committee reported in 1972, the Office of Fair Trading has had this technique under consideration, publishing a discussion paper containing proposed guidelines in March 1983. As indicated in the reply of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for corporate and consumer affairs of 12 June, at column 412, to my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (Mr. Key), he understands that, in the light of the responses to that paper, the Director General of Fair Trading intends to publish a final report and recommendations later this year. In the meantime, the Director General is encouraging the adoption of suitable provisions in codes of practice on this subject.