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Restrictive Practices

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 30 November 1950

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33.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the report of the productivity team of industrial accountants and managers who recently visited the United States of America; and if he will set up an independent commission to investigate the extent of price agreements, quotas and restrictive practices in Britain, as recommended in the report.

I have seen this report, but see no advantage in duplicating the work of the existing Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission by setting up another Commission to cover the same ground.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is likely to be two years before the Commission issue their recommendations, and does he approve of the British people being cheated for the next two years into believing that there is such as thing as free, competitive private enterprise in Britain?

It will not be two years before we have the first report from the Monopolies Commission, because one is being published in a few days' time, and another should be available in January. I hope, shortly after that, to make a statement on the arrangements in hand to speed up the work of the Monopolies Commission.