Advertisements (Hire Purchase) Act, 1957

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th July 1959.

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Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South 12:00 am, 16th July 1959

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action has been taken by his Department concerning the three cases there was aprima facieassumption that a deliberate breach of the law had been committed under the requirements of the Advertisements (Hire Purchase) Act, 1957.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Such information as I have received does not lead me to think prosecutions by the Board would be warranted.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

What is the public to do? Is the President of the Board of Trade aware that we would not have learned even this information if I had not raised this subject in the House on 7th May, 14th May, 4th June, 16th June and today? Is the right hon. Gentleman further aware that on 16th June his Parliamentary Secretary told us that, of the nine cases that the Department had actually looked at, three seemed to show a deliberate breach of the Act? Is the right hon. Gentleman now telling the House that none of those three cases showed any breach whatsoever?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

On examination, they proved to be trivial. I have tried to find out whether the advertisements complained of have been repeated after we explained to these people that they should not do it. I cannot obtain any information that the advertisements have been repeated.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

What happens to the consumers who have bought goods and suffered? What use is it to them that the advertisements may not be repeated? They have already been sold a pup. Why does not the President of the Board of Trade do something about it?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I am sorry, but I do not think that the Board of Trade should prosecute without really good grounds. In these cases, which I looked at very carefully again because the hon. Lady brought them to my attention, I have come to the conclusion that there are not sufficient grounds for prosecution.