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Volume 932: debated on Thursday 19 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection (1) if he will investigate the alleged refusal of leading furniture manufacturers to supply furniture discount chains;(2) if he will estimate the effect on furniture prices of the policies towards furniture discount chains of leading furniture manufacturers.

The Director General of Fair Trading is responsible for examining allegations of this kind, and if my hon. Friend will send him details he will look into them. Without knowing more about the policies to which my hon. Friend refers I cannot estimate their precise effect on prices, but any restriction on competition is liable to maintain prices at a higher level than they would otherwise be.