HC Deb 26 June 1962 vol 661 cc945-6
32. Mr. Jay

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether Her Majesty's Government has yet decided its policy toward industrial mergers and monopolies.

Mr. N. Macpherson

No, Sir. As my right hon. Friend has already told the House, he doubts whether the comprehensive review of policy and legislation on monopolies and restrictive practices will be completed before the end of the year. He will also need time to study the results of the review.

Mr. Jay

As it is now six months since we debated the question of I.C.I. and Courtaulds and the whole question of mergers, is not this a subject on which the Board of Trade can tell us how soon it will take a decision?

Mr. Macpherson

No, Sir. I am not in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Wade

While recognising that every industrial merger is not necessarily contrary to the economic interests of the country, will the hon. Gentleman agree that a number of mergers are tending to create a monopoly and neither the Monopolies Commission nor the Restrictive Trade Practices Court are constituted to deal with this problem? There is a gap in the law, as I have pointed out before. Is it the intention of the Government to do anything about it?

Mr. Macpherson

Those are precisely the questions which are being studied at present.

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