HC Deb 16 July 1970 vol 803 c1714
28. Mr. Evelyn King

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if he will seek so to amend the Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1956 as to enable newsagents to combine together in order to negotiate with new newspaper suppliers; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Bryan

I do not think that a change would be justified. There are in any case serious difficulties in amending the Act in the interests of a particular trade or industry.

Mr. King

Have not the courts overturned the argument used by the Board of Trade in 1968, and is it not now the position that retailers are powerless in any attempt to bargain with the Newspaper Proprietors' Association? Is not this an undesirable monopoly situation?

Mr. Bryan

I do not think that I can comment on the effect of the Act on a particular course of action or situation. The relevant factors are not merely the terms of the Act; they are also the orders of the Restrictive Practices Court, which, in the newspaper trade, have prohibited the making of certain types of agreement.

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