Skip to main content

National Consumer Council

Volume 888: debated on Monday 17 March 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether she expects to announce further appointments to the National Consumer Council.


asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she is now able to announce appointments to the National Consumer Council; and if she will make a statement.

I hope shortly to be able to make a further announcement about membership of the council.

Is there not some considerable delay on this, and is the Secretary of State having difficulty finding people who are suitable to appoint?

No, quite the opposite. However, we are committed to consulting about 10 consumer organisations for a start. We have asked them to put up several names each to us and that is necessarily not the most rapid of processes.

Will my right hon. Friend look favourably at the budget for this council so that if we are to have real consumer protection it will not be held up through lack of resources.

:We started with a central budget of £300,000, but the nationalised industries consumer consultative councils, which will be coming under the financial Vote of my Department, have access to a good deal more than that, and we hope that it will be possible to do work in this field more broadly.

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that there will be a proper balance between the sexes on the council and that it will have a good representation of ordinary working-class people?

I would regard a proper balance as a not exact balance in this case because I believe that there is perhaps even more interest in this subject among women than among men. My hon. Friend's second point is very much in my mind and I should welcome names from hon. Members as well as from the consumer organisations, not least those of people with direct experience of bringing up families on small incomes.

Will the Secretary of State confirm that there will be no purely political appointments to the council?

I cannot confirm that, but it has long been the tradition in this House that if a Government make an appointment of someone of a political character they tend to balance that appointment.