§ Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has yet received the report of the Monopolies Commission on the proposed acquisition by Westminster Press Limited of 18 newspapers owned by the Kentish Times Limited, Gravesend and Dartford Reporter Limited and F. T. Parsons Limited.
§ Sir G. Howe
I received the report on 10th October, and it is being published this afternoon. The commission has concluded that the transfer may not be expected to operate against the public interest. Formal consent to the transaction is being given to Westminster Press Ltd. today. I am considering again, as the commission's report recommends, whether it would be appropriate to arrange for a special inquiry into the problem of the increasing concentration of ownership of local weekly newspapers.