HC Deb 11 July 1949 vol 467 cc17-8
34. Mr. Edelman

asked the Minister of Supply whether, in view of the monopoly which exists in the industry supplying certain types of motor equipment and the consequent inflation of motor manufacturing costs, he will refer the matter for consideration to the National Advisory Council for the Motor Industry.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

No, Sir. I do not consider that the course proposed would serve any useful purpose.

Mr. Edelman

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the price of these monopoly products is as much as three times higher than the price of comparable American equipment? In view of the great handicap caused to motor exporters, particularly in the dollar market, will he not intervene in order to bring the price down?

Mr. Strauss

I understand that some little time ago there was a considerable disparity in price, but I am informed that it has now largely disappeared.

Mr. Beswick

Does not my right hon. Friend think that this industry is one which might properly have been referred to the Monopolies Commission, and that had it not been for the fact that the Commission is already overworked, it might have been referred to them? Could not a useful inquiry be made by the National Advisory Council?

Mr. Strauss

It certainly could be investigated, but the Monopolies Commission does not propose to add to the list of industries whose affairs are to be investigated by that Commission. We have no complaints by the motor industry on this matter. If serious inconvenience was caused to the motor industry we can be certain that they would complain to us.