§ Mr. Grieve
asked the President of the Bo[...]rade what is the estimated cost of the Monopolies Commission's inquiry into the services of estate agents and what provision is made for defraying the costs incurred by estate agents in dealing with the Commission's inquiries.
§ Mr. Darling
It is not possible to estimate the cost to public funds of a particular investigation by the Monopolies Commission, but a summary of the Commission's annual expenditure is given each year in the Annual Report by the Board of Trade on the operation of the Monopolies and Mergers Acts.
Section 8(4) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Inquiry and Control) Act 1948 provides for payment by the Commission of the expenses of witnesses and persons furnishing returns or estimates or other information, but the Commission are expressly prohibited from making such payments in connection with the inquiries in which they find that monopoly conditions prevail.