HC Deb 08 February 1965 vol 706 cc47-8W
Mr. Floud

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will introduce legislation to increase the scope of the Monopolies Commission in particular in relation to proposed mergers and takeover bids;

(2) if he will introduce legislation to repeal Section 28(3) of the Restrictive Practices Act 1956, which reduced the maximum permissible number of members of the Monopolies Commission from 25 to 10;

(3) if he will introduce legislation in the near future to repeal Section 28(4) of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1956, which deprived the Monopolies Commission of the right to work in separate groups and so to investigate a number of industries at the same time.

Mr. Jay

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister informed the House on 2nd February, the Government will in the course of the present Session introduce a Bill strengthening the Monopolies Commission. This will increase the size of the Monopolies Commission to a maximum of 25 members, and enable the Commission once more to carry on its investigations in panels, so that more investigations can be carried on simultaneously. It will also empower the Monopolies Commission to investigate mergers at the request of the Government, and will give the Government new and stronger powers affecting mergers and monopolistic abuses.