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Consumer Affairs (Publicity)

Volume 891: debated on Monday 28 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what information she provides in respect of the broadcasting of consumer matters.

My Department provides the fullest information to the broadcasting organisations and the programme companies as it does to all other communications media, and we arc grateful for the constructive use they make of it. We arc always glad to discuss with them any ideas for improvement.

Can the Minister say how he considers that our consumer programmes compare with the consumer programmes of the European Community and whether he thinks there is any help that his Department can give to increase the standard of our programmes to the standard of the best within the Community?

My impression is that the consumer programmes in this country are superior to those elsewhere, and we have sought to bring to the attention of the Commission recently the good work done in this country on this matter. The Consumer Information programme of the Community, however, has recently been approved by the Council of Ministers, and the Community is moving rapidly in the matter.

Will my hon. Friend look at the excellent consumer services provided by the London borough of Lambeth which makes it unnecessary for housewives to stay at home listening to the radio? All they have to do is to go to the appropriate department of the town hall where they can get all the information they want about everything.

I very much welcome the local initiative of the London borough of Lambeth and, indeed, of a number of local authorities. We fully recognise that the most helpful information is that provided locally, close to where people actually shop.