Utility Goods (Prices)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd November 1949.

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Photo of Mr James Hutchison Mr James Hutchison , Glasgow Central 12:00 am, 3rd November 1949

I beg to second the Motion.

My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-on-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) has so admirably covered the ground that I propose to say very little. I want, however, to express, the disappointment that trade and industry have felt about the way the Minister refused to consult the associations concerned. The disappointment is all the greater because the Minister was showing evidence of realising the importance of consulta- tion. Indeed, that method of treatment was fortified by the Prime Minister's remarks only the other day about the trade associations entering into consultations with the Departments concerned, and that he should have dropped his enlightend ways by this action has caused great disappointment. When associations are formed and have at their disposal the facts and figures and the effects of actions likely to be taken, it seems the height of stupidity for the right hon. Gentleman not at least to listen to their views.

If that is important in England, where the Minister has quite ready at his disposal certain information, in Scotland it becomes all the more important through the differences in trading methods and customs. It is just that sort of cavalier treatment, that violent action taken without considering the effect that will be caused, that has inflamed and is inflaming Scottish opinion at the present time. That is the only new facet which I have to add to what my hon. Friend has so ably expressed. I beg the Minister, if he is going to take similar action in the future, to see that Scottish interests are consulted beforehand.