§ Mr. Moss
To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) for what reasons the Director General of Fair Trading did not meet the undertaking given to the Trade and Industry Committee in 1996 that the quadrennial review of the retail petrol industry would be brought forward to early 1997; 
(2) what are the terms of reference for the quadrennial review of the retail petrol industry to be undertaken by the Director General of Fair Trading; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Nigel Griffiths
I am informed that, following the Trade and Industry Select Committee hearing on 16 December 1996, the Office of Fair Trading did in fact start preliminary work on the review in January. They commenced the review itself in April, as the Director General of Fair Trading stated in his recent press notice.387W
The review is focusing on the key indicators identified by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in their 1990 report on the supply of petrol: market structure, profitability and prices. It is also looking at the longer-term market trends to see whether it is possible to draw any conclusions about the future competitiveness of the market and whether it will continue to operate to the benefit of consumers.