HC Deb 17 March 1952 vol 497 c1899
9. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power, when fixing prices for petrol, how far he considered the exclusive selling arrangements extensively entered into during recent months between petroleum companies and garages.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

In the last review of prices I did not take into account costs incurred in connection with such arrangements. I am, however, seeking further information about them.

Mr. Shepherd

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this arrangement may involve a restriction of consumer choice which may or may not be in the public interest, and would he consider referring this matter to the Monopolies Commission?

Mr. George Chetwynd

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that almost £2 million was spent on renovations and repairs to garages last year, and as the bulk of this has been paid for under this arrangement, does not he think it ought to be taken into account in assessing the price of petrol?

Mr. Lloyd

In regard to the last supplementary question, I would not like to add anything to what I have said, which keeps the matter in a balanced form. With regard to my hon. Friend's supplementary question, I would inform him that it would not, of course, be a matter for me. The President of the Board of Trade did say recently that he would consider the supply of petrol as a possible subject of reference to the Commission when he comes to select further references.

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