§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish any proposed changes either emanating from the EC or his own Department which would restrict telephone and postal canvassing for trade or other commercial purposes; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Leigh
[holding answer 6 July 1992]: My Department has no plans for restrictions on telephone and postal canvassing for trade or other commercial purposes. We are discussing a European Commission proposal dated 9 June 1992 to the Council of Ministers for a directive on the protection of consumers in respect of contracts negotiated at a distance—distance selling. This proposal would impact on various kinds of direct marketing including mail order, telephone selling and automated telephone calling. A copy of the proposal is available in the Library of the House.
In addition, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Home Affairs is discussing with the Commission a further Commission proposal for a directive on data protection which. if adopted. would also be likely to affect direct marketing activities as well as on cross-border data transfer.