1 JANUARY 1965, Page 13

In Search of a Policy

SIR,—If, as Mr. Alan Watkins states, the Conserva- tive Party 'is in process of becoming, or trying to become, the party of the consumer,' I trust that it will also be realistic in regard to the absence at home of the much-vaunted virtues of competition. During most of my lifetime these have been a myth so far as the home market is concerned, the prices

of most goods offered being at all times the highest the market will bear. More so in an affluent age, with its multitudes of indiscriminate shoppers with much money to spend and demand artifitihlly in- flated by a national hire-purchase debt of £1,100 million.

Because of this absence of competition it is hardly surprising. as was pointed out by The Times of December 8, that many manufacturers prefer to supply the home market, where profits are high, rather than the competitive foreign markets, where profits tend to be smaller and dividends more dif- ficult to earn. Real competition at home might well herald a spectacular improvement in the present

poor quality of so many goods and services. • EDGAR L. THOMSEIT

.56 Pheasants Way. Ricitmansworik Herts.