HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc293-5W
Mr. Oliver

asked the Minister of Supply to state in detail the nature of the steps taken by the Electric Lamp Manufacturers Associations, and the nature of the steps taken by the associations concerned with the supply of electric wire and cables to bring their arrangements into conformity with the Monopolies Commission's conclusions in respect of those goods.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The steps taken by the Electric Lamp Manufacturers' Association to implement the recommendations in the Monopolies Commission's Report which were agreed by the Government are as follows:

  1. (a) E.L.M.A. has given the required undertaking that members who sell lamp components (other than patented components and ready coiled filaments) will make them equally available to members and non-members at prices which shall not be higher to non-members than to members;
  2. (b) E.L.M.A. has given the required assurance that the controlled companies will continue to provide a measure of competition as suppliers of cheap lamps and that they will not be used as fighting companies;
  3. (c) the sales quota system has been brought to an end;
  4. (d) E.L.M.A.'s rules about type B lamps have been altered to remove quantity and quality restrictions;

the figure is available; and what percentage increase or decrease this figure represents compared with comparable figures three years ago and 12 months ago, respectively.

Mr. H. Macmillan

The answer is as follows:

  1. (e) the arrangements for exclusive dealing have been brought to an end;
  2. (f) payments to associations of distributors have been brought to an end;
  3. (g) E.L.M.A.'s revised rules no longer provide for the enforcement of resale price maintenance by means of the collective sanction of fines and the stop list;
  4. (h) E.L.M.A.'s revised rules permit all retailers to give deferred dividends on purchases.
    • On prices the Monopolies Commission recommended that the continuance of the practice of fixing common manufacturers' prices should be subject to two conditions, namely:
      1. (a) that E.L.M.A. members should take steps to ensure that the system of exchange of technical knowledge ex tended to all manufacturers who are within the system of common prices; and
      2. (b) that the level of prices fixed by E.L.M.A. should be reasonable.

The Association has given an assurance that the necessary steps have been taken to meet the first condition. The Monopolies Commission concluded that the general level of prices charged by E.L.M.A. in 1950 was almost certainly moderate and the Association has justified the two subsequent increases on the grounds of increased production costs.

As regards insulated electric wires and cables, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Cleveland (Mr. Palmer) on 21st February and to the two statements made by my predecessor on 20th May and 30th July, 1954, of which I am sending him copies.

The detailed measures taken by the Associations to bring their arrangements into conformity with the conclusions of the Monopolies Commission's Report are a domestic matter for the Associations.