HC Deb 08 February 1955 vol 536 cc1738-9
59. Air Commodore Harvey

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the constantly rising prices of cattle compound feedingstuffs; and if he will refer these products to the Monopolies Commission.

Mr. H. Strauss

A matter cannot be referred to the Monopolies Commission unless the Board of Trade is satisfied that the conditions set out in the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Inquiry and Control) Act, 1948, prevail. We have no evidence of the prevalence of these conditions in this case.

Air Commodore Harvey

Will my hon. and learned Friend consult the Minister of Agriculture and obtain the opinion of a cross-section of farmers and smallholders, when he will readily find that these people are being exploited because foodstuffs are constantly rising on the same day by the same amounts? Will he give an assurance that he will look into the matter?

Mr. Strauss

If my hon. and gallant Friend will examine the Act he will find that certain conditions have to apply to one-third of all the goods concerned. There is no evidence that that is so in this case and, therefore, there is no statutory power of reference.