§ 5. Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development whether, in view of Her Majesty's Government's policy on monopolies and restrictive practices, he will now request the Imperial Tobacco Company to divest itself of its holding in Gallahers.
§ Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan
While accepting that there has been no interference, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he would agree that it would be encouragement to the Monopolies Commission if one of its recommendations were carried out in full? Is not there also the other aspect, that of the interests of the shareholders of the Imperial Tobacco Company, who do not necessarily want this large holding in another equity?
§ Mr. Heath
On the last point, I think that it is up to the shareholders of the Imperial Tobacco Company if they want to change the policy of the firm. I have made plain the Government's attitude towards monopolies and restrictive practices and the White Paper will expand on this, but as this agreement was made and has been kept, I do not think that it would be right again to raise this question.