§ Mr. Whitaker
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will introduce legislation to amend the Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1956.
§ Mr. Jay
The 1956 Act has made an important contribution to a more competitive climate in British industry and 69W commerce. I have now decided to seek Parliamentary approval for legislation to strengthen and extend the Act in a number of ways and in particular to bring information agreements within its scope. This legislation will not, however, be brought forward during the present Session.
I shall take this opportunity to seek powers which would enable me to grant temporary exemption from registration under the 1956 Act of agreements which can be shown to be positively beneficial to the national economy. The National Economic Development Council has suggested action on these lines. The exemption procedure would be subject to appropriate safeguards and exemptions would be sparingly granted.