HC Deb 15 March 1960 vol 619 cc1108-9
33. Mr. Lipton

asked the President of the Board of Trade which subjects mentioned in the 1959 Report on the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Acts he has decided to refer to the Monopolies Commission; and, in particular, whether he has yet decided to refer newsprint, brewing. the supply of liquor to public houses, and petrol distribution to the Commission.

Mr. J. Rodgers

My right hon. Friend has not yet reached a decision about new references to the Monopolies Commission, but in considering the matter we will, of course, bear in mind the suggestions recorded in the Commission's Annual Report.

Mr. Lipton

Will the hon. Gentleman also bear in mind that as regards newsprint the community is held to ransom by price-fixing agreements which lead to very large profits on the part of newsprint manufacturers; that as regards the supply of liquor, a few brewers decide what shall or shall not be drunk in thousands of public houses, with no freedom of choice; and that as regards petrol, there has been no free and honest competition for years and years?

Mr. Rodgers

I will certainly bear in mind what the hon. Gentlemas has said, but in addition to the references in the original Question there have been suggestions that we might consider referring the following—aluminium semi-manufactures, colour films, wallpaper, cartridges, insulated electric cables—to which we shall give consideration.

Mr. Gower

In regard to cases which are likely at some future date to come before the Restrictive Practices Court, can my hon. Friend explain how he makes up his mind what to refer to the Monopolies Commission? Can he say anything about that.