HC Deb 05 July 1955 vol 543 cc949-50
51. Mr. Grimond

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give an assurance that no industry in which monopolistic or restrictive practices have been criticised by the Monopolies Commission will be afforded protection by tariffs or quotas against foreign competitors.

Mr. Low

When considering tariff applications, it is our policy to take into account all relevant factors, including any recommendations made by the Monopolies Commission, and I could not prejudge the outcome of a particular application. It is not the Government's policy to impose import quotas for protective purposes.

Mr. Grimond

That is a most unsatisfactory answer from a Government which is said to be against monopoly. Surely one of the simplest ways in which they can exercise sanctions is at least not to give them protection so that they can put up their prices unjustifiably?

Mr. Low

That raises a very wide question, but I can tell the hon. Gentleman that we do take into account all the relevant factors, including any recommendation of the Commission. In actual fact it has never recommended tariff action, except in its most recent Report when it said that if an industry is to be protected the best way to do it is by tariffs and not by restrictive practices worked within the industry.