HC Deb 03 March 1953 vol 512 cc182-4
30. Mr. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is yet in a position to announce the Government's plans for the strengthening of the Monopolies Commission; and when he anticipates introducing the necessary legislation to deal with this matter.

Mr. H. Strauss

I would refer the hon. Member to what my right hon. Friend said during the debate on the Address on 5th November last.

Mr. Dalton

Is it not since November, 1951, that we have awaited this promised legislation? Was not that one of the promises contained in the Gracious Speech? What is the matter? What is going on at the Board of Trade?

Mr. Strauss

If the right hon. Gentleman will consult the answer mentioned in my original reply, he will find that that was dealt with by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Wade

Does the Minister agree that if a policy of de-nationalisation is to lead to an extension of genuine private enterprise, it is absolutely essential that there should be some strengthening of the powers of the Monopolies Commission?

Mr. Strauss

My right hon. Friend dealt with the question of legislation during the present Session. I do not think the House will expect me to make a declaration about the legislation for future Sessions.

31. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Monopolies Commission have begun their inquiry into the subject of pneumatic tyres which was referred to them on 19th September, 1952; and what progress they have made.

Mr. H. Strauss

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend understands from the Commission that they have begun the inquiry and that it is proceeding normally.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say when the Commission are likely to report, because the cost of tyres is only one of the heavy burdens imposed on road vehicle users since this Government came into power?

Mr. Strauss

We have every confidence that the Commission are getting on properly with their work. I cannot state exactly what progress has been made

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Would not the Commission get on with their work even more quickly if they consisted of full-time rather than part-time members?

Mr. Strauss

My hon. Friend put down a Question previously on that subject, which was answered.