§ 6. Mr. William Price
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with the Brewers' Society about the tenant-manager relationship in the licensed trade.
§ Mr. Price
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that hundreds of tenants are being kicked out of the best houses and re placed by managers, by greedy brewers, simply because they want two lots of profit and that they have no protection in 9 law and are looking to the hon. Gentle man to intervene? Does he think it in the public interest that brewers should have a total monopoly of the production, wholesaling and, through the managerial system, retailing of their own products?
§ Mr. Emery
The decision whether to install a manager or to lease a public house is a commercial one for the brewer concerned, but the House will recall that the Monopolies Commission found that in the last quarter of 1967 76.4 per cent. of brewer-owned public houses were tenanted and 23.6 per cent. managed. The latest available figures are 74.9 per cent. and 25.1 per cent., respectively.
§ Mr. Ridley
Will my hon. Friend investigate the amount of soft drinks and other non-beer products which were sold before the acceptance of the Monopolies Commission's report and the amount sold now, to show the extent to which there is genuine competition in those products in the pubs and the extent to which the brewers have maintained their under taking to allow free competition in those products?
§ Mr. Mason
Is the Minister aware that hundreds of licensees are now being driven out, and that the members of the Brewers' Society are not waiting for the code of conduct? Are not the brewers re placing the licensees with managers be cause they suspect that they will then escape the strictures of the Common Market Commission, which has already decreed that the tied house system in beer supply is contrary to its regulations? If the Minister refers to the Monopolies Commission's report at the end of 1969, and not 1967, he will find that the tied house and beer supply system was then condemned. The situation has worsened considerably since then. When will he act upon it?
§ Mr. Emery
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will look at the figures I quoted, which are not for 1969 but for 1971. The Brewers' Society is concerned about the matter and is producing a code of conduct to safeguard both the pension and employment position of tenants and the fair rents and arbitration procedures.
§ Miss Joan Hall
I hope that my hon. Friend also realises that, although the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. William Price) talked about the brewers' profits, both tenants and managers want profits because they then have a better living. May I emphasise particularly the question of security for tenants? It is my belief, and that of many other people, that there is a much happier pub atmosphere for drinkers when the pub is run by a tenant as opposed to a manager.