HC Deb 05 July 1956 vol 555 cc1518-9
14. Miss Burton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the growth of public concern at the restrictive practices being put into effect in petrol distribution; and if he is now in a position to make a statement on the reference of this matter to the Monopolies Commission.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I have nothing to add at present to the Answer given to the hon. Lady by my hon. and learned Friend on 17th April.

Miss Burton

That does not get us very much further. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a questionnaire was issued to the public recently by the Motor Accessories Manufacturers' Association, and that 81 per cent. of the people who replied said that petrol should not be sold as a product of just one company? Is the Minister prepared to do something about that?

Mr. Thorneycroft

We debated these matters at some length a short time ago, when I said that this particular range of practices of petrol companies was probably a matter which would be referable to the Monopolies Commission and would fall for consideration when a reference was made—but we do not announce references in advance.

Mr. Lewis

In his first reply, the Minister said that he is not prepared to do anything at the moment. Are we to take it from that that he is considering doing something at a later date?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am always considering these matters.