Orders of the Day — Restrictive Trade Practices

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Erroll Mr Frederick Erroll , Altrincham and Sale 12:00 am, 2nd December 1957

I trust that the House will permit me to reply for a minute or two to the brief debate we have had upon this Order.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Edge Hill (Mr. A. J. Irvine) raised the question of the three months' period in which agreements must be registered. I understand that the Registrar's staff are in a position to receive the remaining agreements which will be called up by this Order, and that there will be no difficulty in posing the time limit of three months. The work of the Registrar is so organised that the work on the court cases is performed by a separate section of his organisation, and the receipt of these remaining agreements will not in any way impede the work of the court side of the organisation.

I am sure that, with his own legal experience, the hon. Gentleman will realise that I could not possibly comment on the High Court's decision in the Austin Motor Company case. I do not think that it is in any way relevant to the period of time for registration.

The hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) referred to the growth of combines. I should point out to him that the Monopolies Commission is still available to deal with monopolies—which is., perhaps, just another word for combines and which I think the hon. Member has in mind—when they reach a particular size.