HC Deb 13 November 1958 vol 595 c542
8. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

asked the President of the Board of Trade why he has relinquished to the Registrar the power of deciding the order in which cases before the Restrictive Practices Court are to be taken.

Sir D. Eccles

I would refer my hon. and learned Friend to the full explanation given in my Written Answer on 23rd October to my hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove (Mr. Dance).

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Is it not the fact that the order of priority in which these cases are taken really involves making a social, if not a political, judgment, and is it fair on a civil servant to put that sort of burden on him?

Sir D. Eccles

I do not think so. The Board of Trade undertook this duty only as a temporary operation until the Registrar had his machinery established. He is now in a better position to assess the best order for bringing these cases forward than the Board of Trade is.

Mr. Jay

Can the President of the Board of Trade say whether this relinquishing of authority by the Board of Trade limits still further the power of Members to ask Questions of the President of the Board of Trade about this matter?

Sir D. Eccles

I hope not. I take a great interest in the operation of this Act.