HC Deb 01 December 1955 vol 546 cc2494-5
25. Mr. Chichester-Clark

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with existing legislation rendering illegal certain agreements and transactions affecting bidding at auctions; and if he will make a statement.

Major Lloyd-George

I have noted, with approval, the publicity which has been given in the Press to certain practices which are alleged to take place at auctions. I am advised that the practices which have been described are already unlawful under the Auctions (Bidding Agreements) Act, 1927, and that there is consequently no need for further legislation on the subject.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that under the 1927 Act there has been only one prosecution? Admittedly it involved three people, but for all that it was only one prosecution.

Major Lloyd-George

I think my hon. Friend will appreciate that it is not always easy to enforce an Act of this sort owing to the obvious difficulty of getting evidence. We are all very grateful indeed to a gentleman in Oxford who is drawing up a list of antiquarian booksellers who are pledged to take no part in a ring.