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Volume 86: debated on Monday 11 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on his Department's inquiry into the conduct of auctions; and if he will incorporate in any such inquiry a review of current auction practice, the operation of the buyers' premium and the difference in practice between auctions of personal property and auctions of real property.

The consultations which my Department is undertaking are aimed at ascertaining views on the extent to which illegal auction rings may be operating. Some of the responses received so far comment on other aspects of auctions, including the premium charged to buyers, but it is not at present the intention to extend the consultation into these other areas.