HC Deb 05 July 1971 vol 820 cc914-5
31. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will now refer the manufacture of mercury cell batteries used in post-aural hearing aids to the Monopolies Commission because of increases in their price over the last 12 months.

Mr. Ridley

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave him on 1st March.—[Vol. 812, c. 301–2.]

Mr. Pavitt

I am very grateful for that reply, which shows me that we are, for the first time, having some imports from Germany, which is the only competitor to the British manufacturer. As these batteries are used heavily by deaf people and by the hospital services, would the Minister have another look at this matter with a view to doing something so that they are not only in those two hands?

Mr. Ridley

I have told the hon. Gentleman in the House on several occasions that we are watching the position very closely. If evidence is produced which suggests that a reference would be appropriate, I would not hesitate to make it.