Price Maintenance and Conditions of Sale

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th February 1955.

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Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West 12:00 am, 8th February 1955

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he intends to introduce legislation to make it obligatory on any organisation of manufacturers which regulates prices and conditions of sale of its commodities to publish its rulings fully and in detail.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

My right hon. Friend will consider any recommendation which the Monopolies Commission may make in its report on certain restrictive practices; but he cannot anticipate the nature of future legislation.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Is the Minister aware that that is precisely the answer which his right hon. Friend gave last week, and that it just is not good enough? Is he further aware that there is great public concern at the existence of these private courts, giving private rulings without anybody knowing anything about them? Is he further aware that the last Anglo-American productivity team recommended that this action should be taken by the Government? How do they square their present plea for competition with the existence of these price restrictions and controls and all the other restrictive practices which go with them?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

The Question asked when the Government would introduce legislation. It is quite clear that no responsible Government would introduce legislation in ignorance of what the Commission will report on the reference now before it dealing with these restrictive practices.