HC Deb 01 February 1967 vol 740 c507
50. Mr. John Hall

asked the President of the Board of Trade why the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has been required to register as a Restrictive Trading Agreement details of a circular, issued in accordance with Government policy, urging members to observe the Prices and Incomes Act.

Mr. Darling

The circular contained a recommendation that was registrable under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1956.

Registration as such does not, of course, affect the continuance of the recommendation, and I understand that there is no likelihood of its early reference to the Court.

Mr. Hall

Is it not nonsense that a trade association which sends out a circular to its members urging them to abide by Government policy should then be called upon to register this with the Restrictive Practices Court?

Mr. Darling

The Registrar is carrying out very clearly indeed the obligation placed upon him by the Restrictive Trade Practices Act which was brought into existence by the Tory Government.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Does not this incident reinforce the need for the amendment of this Act? Has not this a higher priority than jerrymandering the London elections?

Mr. Darling

What the hon. Member is saying is that this piece of legislation, which was passed only 10 years ago, was imperfect. I am not going to quarrel with him, but it was passed only 10 years ago.

Mr. McNamara

Would my right hon. Friend point out to the hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Patrick Jenkin) that if we want any lessons in jerrymandering, we will go to Northern Ireland and Londonderry?

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are wide of the Question.

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