Price Review Body

Oral Answers to Questions — Economic Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1964.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Surbiton 12:00 am, 3rd December 1964

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether the prices of goods and services provided by State-owned enterprises will be included among those which may be referred to the Price Review Body for consumer protection.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

I have nothing to add to the reply given by the Economic Secretary to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) on 26th November.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Surbiton

If the intention is to attack price rises at the roots—as, I believe, the Labour Party has promised—would the Minister agree that the roots are very often the publicly-owned industries? If so, will the probable rise in the price of postage stamps, and season tickets and cheap day return tickets on the railways be included in the scrutiny of the Price Review Body? If not, why not?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

I think that it would be difficult, in principle, to exclude any kind of price from review, but before we go further into this we shall have to take our present talks a little further.

Photo of Mr Peter Bessell Mr Peter Bessell , Bodmin

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether the proposed price review body will consider means of equalising the retail price of coal throughout the country.

Photo of Mr Maurice Foley Mr Maurice Foley , West Bromwich

As my right hon. Friend informed the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) on 26th November, we are not yet in a position to announce the precise scope and functions of the machinery to be devised for reviewing prices. We intend to discuss these matters with representatives of industry before taking decisions.

Photo of Mr Peter Bessell Mr Peter Bessell , Bodmin

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is not my Question No. 19?

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

I may be getting rather short-sighted but it appears to me to be No. 18 on my Order Paper. There is no doubt that it is the hon. Gentleman's Question and the only one thereabouts on the Paper.

Mr. Gresham Cooke:

Will the Joint Under-Secretary of State bear in mind that it is most important that the commanding heights of the economy do not get any higher than they are at the moment?

Photo of Mr Maurice Foley Mr Maurice Foley , West Bromwich

"Commanding" is the operative word.