HC Deb 03 November 1959 vol 612 cc846-7
31. Mr. Rankin

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to receive from the Monopolies Commission its report on the tobacco industry.

Mr. Maudling

I hope to receive the report by next autumn.

Mr. Rankin

Next autumn? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that tobacco was referred to the Commission in November, 1956—three years ago? Now, it seems, it will be four years before we get the report. Does he not think that that is an extraordinarily long time, in view of the fact that the Restrictive Trade Practices Act ought to be lightening the work of the Commission?

Mr. Maudling

The average time taken by the Commission on reports is from two to three years. This one, I agree, is taking longer, but it is a very complicated matter and it is most important to get it right. I do not want to hasten the Commission, but I know that it realises how important it is for it to get its report out as soon as it can.

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