HC Deb 22 January 1980 vol 977 cc347-8


Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

I beg to move amendment No. 35, in page 20, line 12, at end insert— '(2) Where the report of the Commission on a competition reference concludes that a board administering a scheme under the said Act of 1958 was engaging in an anti-competitive practice which operated or might be expected to operate against the public interest, the Secretary of State shall not exercise any function under section 9 above except acting jointly with the Minister who by virtue of that conclusion has power to make an order under section 19 of that Act and, in its application in such a case, section 9 above shall have effect as if the references in it to the Secretary of State (except the second reference in subsection (6)) were references to both the Secretary of State and the Minister.'. Under the provisions of the clause, the power to make an order following a report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission concerning an agricultural marketing board rests with the Minister responsible for that scheme. It was argued in Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Northwich (Mr. Good-lad) that the same Minister, normally the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, should also be responsible for the immediate follow-up to the report. We certainly accept that it would be desirable for the Agriculture Minister concerned to be involved at this stage. The amend- ment therefore provides that the relevant Agriculture Minister will be jointly involved with the Secretary of State in making any request to the Director General of Fair Trading to enter into negotiations with the marketing board.

Amendment agreed to.

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