asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the fact that Government maximum price controls, discarded two years ago, have now been replaced by minimum price controls in the form of a price ring determined by the Yarn Spinners Association, thus acting against the public interests, and what steps he will take in this matter.
The statutory controls, which were withdrawn in April last, prescribed fixed, not maximum, margins. My hon. Friend will have noted from the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bexley (Mr. Bramall) on Tuesday last that the minimum price arrangements made by the Yarn Spinners' Association appear to be of a kind which can be referred to the Monopolies Commission.
I cannot give that assurance, because I cannot anticipate what references will be made to the Commission, but I can inform the hon. Member that there is a long waiting list, from which the next list of references will have to be made.