asked the President of the Board of Trade what stage he has reached in his discussions with the suppliers of colour film on the implementation of the recommendations in the Report by the Monopolies Commission on colour film.
I have now reached agreement with Kodak, and the other main suppliers of colour film, on the voluntary implementation of the recommendations in the report by the Monopolies Commission on the Supply and Processing of Colour Film.Kodak have agreed to make a reduction of 12½ per cent. on average in the prices of their colour films to the retailer, to take effect from 1st October, 1966. Discussions are continuing with Kodak on the subject of the level of retail margins, and I shall make a further announcement on this in due course. Kodak have also agreed to abandon any restriction on the supply of colour film to retail outlets, subject only to normal commercial considerations and, initially, to the availability of goods. Kodak and the other suppliers concerned have undertaken to introduce in time for the 1967 photographic season, arrangements which will enable retailers to sell reversal colour films either inclusive of a charge for processing or not, at the consumer's choice. These suppliers have also indicated their willingness to consider requests for technical help from independent processors who wished to process their colour films.I announced on 28th April that I would defer a decision on the recommendation to abolish the import duty on colour film pending an immediate inquiry.
After careful consideration of all the evidence produced by this inquiry I have decided that a change in the tariff in the present circumstances would not be in the public interest. However, should the arrangements now being instituted fail to produce the desired benefits for the consumer, I would reconsider the question of the tariff at some time in the future.
I would expect that this settlement will result in an average reduction in colour film and processing prices to the consumer of not less than 20 per cent. It might be more, depending on the final decision about retail margins. I believe that the settlement is fair and reasonable in the light of the Commission's findings.