§ Mr. Ovenden
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection when she expects to implement the recommendations of the Monopolies Commission Report on the supply and export of wire rope, fibre rope and cordage; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Williams
As a result of the consultations which the Director General of Fair Trading has, at my request, had with Bridon Limited—formerly known as British Ropes Limited—the company has given certain undertakings which I consider as requisite for the purpose of remedying or preventing the adverse effects specified in the report.
Bridon Limited has undertaken not to give to, or to seek from, other manufacturers of wire and fibre ropes and cordage any information relating to the level of discounts quoted or granted to domestic customers. It will require other manufacturers to act in a similar fashion 470W towards itself and will inform the Director General if any manufacturer fails to obey this requirement.
The company has already withdrawn from the so-called "flag" agreements between it and certain overseas manufacturers not to undercut each other's tender prices for supplies of ropes to ships of their respective countries and will not enter into such agreements again in the future.
I shall be asking the Director General to keep under review the carrying out of the undertakings, copies of which will be placed in the Library.