HC Deb 02 August 1956 vol 557 cc178-9W
Mr. Simon

asked the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has for the first registration of restrictive trading agreements under the Restrictive Trade Practices Bill.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Now that the Bill has received the Royal Assent I have signed the first Order (the Registration of Restrictive Trading Agreements Order, 1956) making certain classes of agreement subject to registration. It is intended to seek Parliamentary approval of the Order early in the new Session and, if this is given, the Order would come into force on 30th November, 1956. During the three months following that date, particulars of the classes of agreement specified in the Order must be furnished to the Registrar of Restrictive Trading Agreements. The specified classes of agreement are, broadly, those which include restrictions as to prices or other terms or conditions or which involve collective discrimination. They therefore include agreements about common prices and conditions of sale, agreements about level or agreed tendering, agreements under which preferential terms are granted to certain persons or traders and agreements under which suppliers of goods are confined to certain persons or traders.

Agreements of the classes in question which contain restrictions affecting exports and which do not affect supply to the home market, do not have to be registered but must, under Section 31 of the Act, be notified to the Board of Trade. I have deposited copies of the Order in the Vote Office. Copies will be on sale to the public on 10th August, 1956.