§ 4. Mr. Jay
the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the need for lower retail prices, the Government will repeal Section 25 of the Restrictive Trades Practices Act, 1956, which enables manufacturers to enforce their prices on retailers.
§ 8. Mr. Ledger
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will consider repealing that part of the Restrictive Trades Practices Act, 1956, which enables manufacturers of proprietary goods to enforce price maintenance through the courts.
§ 9. Mr. C. Osborne
asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the general policy of Her Majesty's Government to reduce prices, if he will introduce an amending Bill on the Restrictive Trades Practices Act, 1956, that will allow a manufacturer to sue a retailer only if he sells above the recommended retail price; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
My right hon. Friend is studying the working of this part of the Restrictive Trades Practices Act, 1956, in order to decide whether any changes should be recommended to 5 Parliament, but it will be some time before he will be able to make a statement.
§ Mr. Rodgers
The extent to which the enforcement of resale price maintenance conditions by manufacturers is likely to hinder response to the appeal for lower prices can very easily be exaggerated. The goods on which resale price maintenance is in force appear to be well under 50 per cent. of the total retail market. Very few foodstuffs are now price maintained at all.
§ Mr. Ledger
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that under the threat of court action many retailers are forced to take a 80 to 100 per cent. profit margin when they would be content with something rather more modest?
§ Mr. Osborne
While the country will be grateful to my right hon. Friend for promising to look into this particular part of the Act, may I ask my hon. Friend to ask my right hon. Friend to have the whole Act reviewed in view of the experience of the last three years?
§ Mr. Rodgers
We think that the period is still very short, but naturally we keep it continually under review.