Pipe Tobaccos (Prices)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1970.

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Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester North West 12:00 am, 13th July 1970

asked the Minister of Technology what consultations he had with the tobacco industry before approving increases of prices in all pipe tobaccos.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

A leading firm gave notice, under the early warning arrangements, of its intention to increase prices, and as the particulars of increased costs which it gave justified the increase no objection was raised. There were no wider consultations with the industry.

Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester North West

In view of the relative harmlessness of the smoking of pipe tobacco, as opposed to cigarettes, will the Minister take steps to procure a reduction in its price, rather than permit an increase?

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

I gather that the reasons for the increase are partly higher wages and partly the fact that we have run out of stocks of Rhodesian leaf and have had to buy more expensive American leaf, and I would not attempt to intervene in a situation of that sort.

Photo of Mr George Wallace Mr George Wallace , Norwich North

Will the hon. Gentleman say why these price increases were not included in many others rushed in just before 18th June?

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Because they only reached the Department after the election.