HC Deb 21 July 1955 vol 544 cc564-5
53. Mr. Wade

asked the President of the Board of Trade the terms of reference under which the Monopolies Commission has been asked to inquire into the subject of common prices and level tendering.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The precise terms of reference are being discussed with other Departments and the Commission. I will announce them as soon as they have been finally settled.

Mr. Wade

Can the Minister say whether agreements to quote common prices will be included in the list of restrictive agreements required to be registered under the Government's proposed legislation? If so, will they be included before or after the Commission's Report on the subject? Further, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the time that is normally taken between a reference to the Commission and a report may he taken as indicating the period which is likely to elapse before any restrictive practices will be required to be registered under the proposed legislation?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I have it in mind that we should consider including common price fixing as one of the restrictive practices within the compass of the measures which I was describing in the debate the other day, as well as in respect of that particular Report of the Commission. As to the length of time, I should not like to make a statement at the moment, since the inquiry has not yet started.