Motor Tyres (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 Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that manufacturers of motor tyres are using the Restrictive Practices Act, 1956, to hold up the retail price of tyres; and what action he proposes to take to follow up in this industry the former Chancellor of the Exchequer's appeal to manufacturers to lower prices.

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

I am informed that tyre manufacturers are availing themselves of Section 25 of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1956. My right hon. Friend has no powers of control over the prices of tyres, but he would, of course, welcome any practicable reduction in prices.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

As the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer, before he finally got fed up with the Government, urged manufacturers to reduce their prices and as the tyre manufacturers are using the Act in order to hold prices up, do the Government think this satisfactory?

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

The right hon. Member should remember that competition between manufacturers can play an important part in keeping prices down.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Will the Minister consult the Attorney-General as to whether the manufacturers in this industry are acting illegally under Section 24 of the Act, which is supposed to prohibit collective resale price maintenance?

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

I have no information that they are acting illegally.

Photo of Mr Henry Usborne Mr Henry Usborne , Birmingham, Yardley

Is it not a fact that the main tyre manufacturers are now at last wholly delighted with this Act because it has enabled them to maintain their prices much more easily than they could in the past?

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

The Act makes specific provision for individual enforcement of resale price maintenance, and was passed by Parliament.