Orders of the Day — Commission for Industry and Manpower Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th April 1970.

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Photo of Mr Robert Carr Mr Robert Carr , Mitcham 12:00 am, 8th April 1970

I am proposing to place on the registrar a duty to seek out cases where it appears that market dominance exists, and to propose references by means of criteria. I am certainly prepared to consider the possibility that Ministers should also have the right to propose—[HON. MEMBERS: "Ministers are elected."] But the Registrar of Restrictive Trade Practices is also a non-elected official, set up with legal powers and legal terms of reference. He has to make reports that have to be presented to the House, and may be debated. Is not that practice more publicly accountable than decisions taken by Ministers behind closed doors to refer one company and its proposed merger and not another? This is not a proposal which will decrease Parliamentary accountability. It will increase it.