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Sale Of Goods Act 1893

Volume 961: debated on Wednesday 31 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he has any plans for reviewing the Sale of Goods Act 1893.

The Government recognise the need, highlighted by the Bill put forward recently by the hon. Member, for a thorough-going examination of the rights of buyers where the goods are defective. Accordingly, the Lord Chancellor has asked the Law Commission:

"To consider—
  • (a) whether the undertakings as to the quality and fitness of goods implied under the law relating to sale of goods, hire-purchase and other contracts for the supply of goods require amendment;
  • (b) the circumstances in which a person, to whom goods are supplied under a contract of sale, hire-purchase or other contract for the supply of goods, is entitled, where there has been a breach by the supplier of a term implied by statute, to
  • (i) reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated;
  • (ii) claim against the supplier a diminution in or extinction of the price;
  • EXPENDITURE ON FOOD SUBSIDIES (£ MILLION)
    Commodity19741975197619771978
    Milk†277·6359·2228·9181·6
    Butter*53·9108·680·252·668·7
    Bread†41·183·157·919·20·1
    Cheese†22·063·849·112·30·2
    Tea†9·729·824·10·2
    Flour†1·87·87·63·5
    Total406·1652·3444·0269·068·7
    * Includes EEC contribution of £11m. in 1974, in £20m. in 1975, £13m. in 1976, £38m. in 1977 and £47m. in 1978.
    † Subsidies ended for tea on 26 September 1976, flour on 30 April 1976, bread and cheese on 17 July 1977 and milk in December 1977.
    SUBSIDY EFFECT ON FOOD INDEX, RETAIL PRICE INDEX, AND INDICES FOR ONE-PERSON AND TWO-PERSON PENSIONER HOUSEHOLDS
    (1974=100)
    February 1974February 1975February 1976February 1977February 1978
    Per cent. saving
    General Index of Retail Prices
    Food index1·55·13·61·10·40
    Retail Price Index0·41·20·90·30·09
    One-person pensioner households index
    Food Index1·86·44·71·30·6
    All Items*0·83·02·10·60·3
    Two-person pensioner households index
    Food Index1·55·73·71·30·6
    All Items*0·72·71·80·60·3
    * Excludes an element for housing.

  • (iii) claim damages against the supplier;
  • (c) the circumstances in which, by reason of the Sale of Goods Act 1893, a buyer loses the right to reject the goods;
  • and to make recommendations."

    This reference will provide an opportunity for consideration in the light of modern conditions of the remedies available in law both to private consumers and to other buyers for major or minor defects in goods.

    The Scottish Law Commission already has these matters within the scope of its programme of work, and I hope that the two Law Commissions will co-operate as the need arises.