Friday, 17 January 2014

Abolition of price-fixing

The Second Reading of the Abolition Of Resale Price Maintenance Bill was introduced in the Commons fifty years ago today. It was a Private Members Bill, proposed by John Stonehouse who had strong links with the Cooperative movement and also sponsored by Roy Jenkins, still then a Labour MP. Although many Conservatives sympathised with its aims, the Bill was largely supported by Labour, and voted down by the parliament in which the Conservatives had a majority. However, prime minister Edward Heath saw which way the wind was blowing and introduced a government measure which became the Retail Prices Act 1964.

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