HC Deb 08 March 1956 vol 549 cc2293-4
23. Mr. Owen

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many industries are at present being investigated by the Monopolies Commission; what they are; and when he expects the investigations to be finalised.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thorneycroft)

I would refer the hon. Member to my remarks during the debate on the Second Reading of the Restrictive Trade Practices Bill last Tuesday.

Mr. E. Fletcher

Is the Minister not aware that what he said on that occasion was most improper? The Minister has no power, merely because he has introduced a Bill, to curtail references which have already been made to the Monopolies Commission. Does not he realise that he has no power to anticipate what Parliament will say about the future activities of the Commission?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Improper or not, it gave a very full answer to the Question which has just been asked.

29. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the President of the Board of Trade what further matters he is proposing to refer to the Monopolies Commission for investigation as a result of suggestions listed in his Department's Report for 1955 on monopolies and restrictive practices.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Most of the suggestions and requests in the Report appear to relate to arrangements which, under the Restrictive Trade Practices Bill, will be outside the field of reference to the Monopolies Commission. Those which are within that field will be taken into account when deciding what further references are to be made to the Commission.

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