§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether Her Majesty's Government have considered and taken the advice of their Law Officers on the question whether combinations of capitalists to establish monopolies, and raise the price of salt and other articles by means of rings or trusts, are offences against the Law of Conspiracy, or against the laws making penal proceedings in restraint of trade in salt or other articles of consumption; and, if so, whether measures will be taken to protect the public against the salt and other rings now being formed?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
The Government have no information before 645 them which would justify them in taking the course which the hon. Member's Question suggests.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
I beg to give notice that I shall take the earliest opportunity of calling attention to the subject.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that there is a decided case in the Law Reports of conviction for combination to raise the price of salt?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
That might be. What I said was that we had no information before us which would justify us in referring the case to the Law Officers of the Crown for their consideration. Every particular case will be dealt with according to its merits.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the prominent promoters of this Association wrote to The Times, stating that the purpose was to get a more remunerative price for salt?