HC Deb 02 June 1960 vol 624 cc1623-4
29. Mr. Darling

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now refer the distribution of petrol and lubricating oils to the Monopolies Commission for study and report.

Mr. J. Rodgers

I have nothing to add to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton) on 17th May.

Mr. Darling

Surely the Board of Trade ought to have something to say in view of the fact that the world oil situation is now very favourable to buyers and that the lack of competition in this country is preventing the motorist from having the benefits of the world situation. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that nine out of ten garages are now tied to the big petrol companies? If the party opposite believes in competition, why does it not allow competition to operate in the petrol world?

Mr. Rodgers

The Monopolies Commission has three references before it. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will bear in mind the hon. Member's observations.

Mr. Jay

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether petrol distribution would qualify under the legislation setting up the Monopolies Commission for an inquiry?

Mr. Rodgers

That is one of the subjects under consideration at the moment.

Mr. Lipton

How much longer will we have to wait before the Government make up their mind in this matter? Millions of £s are being extracted from the people of this country quite unjustly.