§ Mr. William Price
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether she will make a statement on the implementation of the Report of 356W the Monopolies Commission on the Supply of Electric Lamps.
§ Mr. Dell
When this report was published my right hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland) informed the House that he accepted the Commission's 357W conclusions in principle and that his Department would discuss their implementation with the companies concerned. These discussions have been completed and the four main lamp manufacturers have given undertakings which give effect to the Commission's conclusions. They have undertaken in particular that they will not recommend resale prices, or relate prices to individual buyers to the buyer's purchasers from all suppliers. I am arranging for the terms of the undertakings to be placed in the Library of the House.
The four major manufacturers have, as recommended by the Monopolies Commission, ceased to exchange information on prices and discounts. Since agreements to exchange information are now the subject of a draft Order at present before Parliament, I have not thought it necessary to seek a formal undertaking on this point.
Glass Bulbs Ltd., and Lamp Caps Ltd., which are joint subsidiaries of Thorn Lighting Limited and Osram (G.E.C.) Ltd., have agreed that they will publish lists of prices for glass bulbs and lamp caps which would be the prices charged to all independent purchasers subject only to discounts not exceeding 10 per cent. and to settlement discounts which would be available equally to all purchasers.
In addition to their formal recommendations, the Commission expressed hopes concerning future developments in certain other fields. I am glad to say that there has been progress here, too, since the Commission's report was published; one of the leading manufacturers has added a long-life lamp to the range of its lamps offered in the shops. The Lighting Industry Federation, a body recently formed by the amalagmation of the Electric Lamps Industry Council and the Electric Light Fitting Association, has offered membership to any lamp or fitting manufacturer on reasonable terms, and most of the smaller manufacturers have taken advantage of this.
I am sure that these measures will assist the trend to greater competition in the electric lamp industry, and benefit both consumers and the smaller manufacturers, without impairing the efficiency of the major manufacturers.