HC Deb 12 July 1955 vol 543 cc1724-5
20. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will refer the milk bottle monopoly to the Monopolies Commission.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

As I told the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Dodds) on 23rd June, I have already announced a full programme of work for the Commission.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Minister not think that there is some urgency in this matter in view of the fact that all the milk bottles supplied to school children in Scotland are "cornered" by one monopoly which is represented in this House by a Conservative Member of Parliament.

Mr. Thorneycroft

I will certainly bear in mind this problem, but, as I say, I have already announced a full programme of work for the Commission for the rest of the year.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is this not one of the many arguments in favour of a real strengthening of the Monopolies Commision so that it can do more work and get on with the job which is being held up at the moment?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I think that it may be a more powerful argument for pursuing the investigation of these various types of practice, a matter which we shall be debating on Wednesday.

Mr. Woodburn

As these bottles are made in my constituency, I should not like to say anything about the price, but I can assure everybody of their quality.