Resale Prices

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1958.

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Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that a large and increasing number of manufacturers and distributors are able and willing to reduce prices but are prevented from doing so by the collective enforcement of resale price maintenance; and what action he will take to remedy this situation.

Photo of Mr Frederick Erroll Mr Frederick Erroll , Altrincham and Sale

The Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1956, makes the collective enforcement of resale price conditions unlawful. If the hon. Member has any evidence of unlawful action I should be glad to examine it.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

Is not the hon. Member aware that during the last few months there have been heavy falls in the cost of raw materials, and no corresponding decrease whatsoever in prices in the trades concerned?

Photo of Mr Frederick Erroll Mr Frederick Erroll , Altrincham and Sale

I am aware of that point, but there have been increases in other costs—notably labour costs—which have overtaken some of the reductions in the prices of raw materials.