HC Deb 29 March 1965 vol 709 cc1334-6

[Queen"s Recommendation signified]

Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 84 (Money Committees).

[Sir SAMUEL STOREY in the Chair]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make further provision for the constitution and proceedings of the Monopolies Commission, for the matters dealt with by the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Inquiry and Control) Act 1948 and related matters and for preventing or controlling mischiefs that may result from mergers of businesses or similar transactions, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament—

  1. (a) of any increased expenditure of the Board of Trade attributable—
    1. (i) to any provision for the powers of the Act of 1948 to be extended in relation to conditions of monopoly in the supply of services, or in relation to reports of the Commission on general questions; or
    2. (ii) to any new provisions about mergers of businesses or similar transactions; or
    3. (iii) to any extension of the powers exercisable by the Board for or in connection with the preventing or remedying of mischiefs that result or may result from conditions of monopoly or from such mergers or cimilar transactions (including any extension to secure the observance of treaties);
  2. (b) of any increased expenditure of the Monopolies Commission attributable—
    1. (i) to any such provisions as are mentioned in paragraph (a) (i) or above; or
    2. 1335
    3. (ii) to any provision for there to be deputy chairmen of the Commission, or for the Commission to be enlarged, or for there to be additional members for particular references, or for the Commission to work on different references in separate groups;
  3. (c)of any pension or similar benefits payable to or in respect of deputy chairmen of the Monopolies Commission, and of any increase in respect of service as deputy chairman in those payable to or in respect of the chairman.—[Mr. Jay.)

10.1 p.m.

Mr. Charles Fletcher-Cooke (Darwen)

I should like to ask a question concerning the Money Resolution and the possibility of moving Amendments in Committee for the appointment of a Registrar for the Monopolies Commission. I do not want to rehearse the arguments at this stage. In his very fair reply, the Minister of State said that it was rather difficult to deal with the matter now and that we must await another Bill.

Suppose that we decide that we want to do it now and that we wish to move an Amendment in Committee to institute a Registrar for the Monopolies Commission for the purposes that we have argued on Second Reading. Is the Money Resolution wide enough to enable such Amendments to be tabled and to be called?

The Deputy-Chairman

What is in order in Committee is not a matter for the Minister now.

Mr. Anthony Barber (Altrincham and Sale)

Is it not in order, Sir Samuel, to ask the Minister questions concerning the scope of the Financial Resolution? If so, I wonder whether he can tell us whether this question is within the scope of the Money Resolution?

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Douglas Jay)

It is not for me to give a ruling about what is in order in Committee, but I would say this. Certainly, neither I nor my hon. Friend would have any wish to exclude discussion of this topic from the proceedings in Committee.

Mr. J. T. Price (Westhoughton)

May I add another question, which arises from paragraph (c) of the Money Resolution which authorises the payment of any pension or similar benefits payable to or in respect of deputy-chairmen of the Monopolies Commission, and of any increase in respect of service as deputy-chairman in those payable to or in respect of the chairman. Were the conditions under which pensions were payable laid down originally in the 1948 Act? If not, are new arrangements being made and is this Money Resolution, to which the Queen"s Recommenadtion has been signified, seeking to vary or in any way amend any previous provisions which have been made?

In other words, is it merely carrying over an existing liability and may I be assured that it is not creating any liability of which the House should know details before passing the Resolution?

Mr. Jay

Basically, the liability is the same as it was under previous Acts, except that in so far as we increase the numbers of the Commission we thereby increase the liability for pensions and other matters. Otherwise, basically, the liability is the same.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported.

Report to be received Tomorrow.