HC Deb 06 May 1968 vol 764 cc15-6
12. Mr. Dance

asked the Minister of Technology by what authority he has recommended manufacturers to reduce distributors' traditional margins.

Mr. Benn

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the recommendations of Report No. 55 of the National Board for Prices and Incomes on Distributors' Mar- gins in relation to Manufacturers' Recommended Prices (Cmnd. 3546). No authority is required to make recommendations.

Mr. Dance

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is highly undesirable—indeed, impracticable—to recommend manufacturers to impose certain terms on distributors when they must maintain the fullest goodwill possible with those distributors? Would he agree, therefore, that this recommendation is extremely unfair to manufacturers?

Mr. Benn

I am not sure that I share the hon. Gentleman's view. If the justification for a price increase arises from imported materials having increased in price, it does not follow that a distributor who distributes the goods which contain a higher import value should automatically receive an extra price increase under the distributor's arrangements.