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Obligations Under Consumer Protection Acts

Volume 931: debated on Friday 6 May 1977

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'(1) In section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act 1961 (provisions against marketing goods which do not comply with safety requirements), after subsection (I) there is inserted—

"(1A) Any term of an agreement which purports to exclude or restrict, or has the effect of excluding or restricting, any obligation imposed by or by virtue of that section, or any liability for breach of such an obligation, shall be void.".

(2) The same amendment is made in section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act (Northern Ireland) 1965.'—[ Mr. Ward.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

11.10 a.m.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Shoreham (Mr. Luce), who, unfortunately, cannot be with us today, because in Committee he raised a doubt affecting the view of a number of people of statutory liability in the area of the Consumer Protection Act 1961 which the Consumers Association and other bodies represented to certain hon. Members ought to be included in the Bill. We accepted that there was some doubt, but in Committee we resisted an amendment. I can now say that I accept in principle that we should try to remove that doubt.

The new clause achieves this very precisely, and in a far better way than that proposed by the hon. Member for Shoreham. The new clause also correspondingly amends—sand this is important—the Consumer Protection Act (Northern Ireland) 1965, and I ask the House to accept the new clause as well as Amendment No. 1, which is purely consequential upon it. It amends Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act 1961. I think that the House will agree that dealing with the whole Act is a better way to tackle that doubt than that proposed earlier.

Question put and agreed to

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.