HC Deb 30 July 1954 vol 531 cc125-6W
Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Supply the position reached in his discussions with the Cable Makers Association and Covered Conductors Association regarding the Report of the Monopolies Commission on Insulated Electric Wires and Cables.

Mr. Sandys

In my statement of 20th May, about the Monopolies Commission's Report on Insulated Electric Wires and Cables, I announced that, subject to two small modifications, the Government had asked the Cable Makers Association and the Covered Conductors Association to give assurances that not later than 31st December next they would bring their arrangements into conformity with the Commission's conclusions.

The Associations have decided to give the assurances asked for. This relieves me of the necessity of making an Order under Section 10 of the Monopolies Act. At the same time, the Associations protest that their pricing and distribution practices have in no way operated against the public interest and that, in consequence, the Commission's criticisms are unjustified.

In announcing this decision, it is fitting for me to draw attention to the fact that the Commission's Report is by no means confined to criticisms of the Associations' practices. It points out that the Associations have played a predominant part in the development of the British cable industry, which is the greatest cable exporting industry in the world. The Report pays tribute to the world wide reputation for high quality which the Cable Makers Association has built up.

The Report also notes the fine work of member firms in research, in the establishment of standards of quality and in the interchange of technical information. It commends the liberal policy of the Associations on patents and their cooperation with the British Standards Institution in fixing quality clauses in its specifications. The Government fully endorse these commendations.