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Friday, 3 December 1965


Mr BUCHANAN (McMillan) . - What has been said does not really give the Committee an explanation. The AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Snedden) has given us his understanding that the Tribunal would do certain things, but we do not know what it would do. It might take an entirely different view from that which we are dealing with now. I am speaking of the intention of people to come here and invest their money and give us the benefit of the research they have done and this will be stifled by this legislation. We have had only a very quick explanation from the Attorney-General. I am not a patents expert, but tetracycline, for example, was selling for £78 a ton, but the patent has just run out and the price is now down to £28 a ton. If the Tribunal examined a position like that where a company had a monopoly and a patent and was getting such a high price for its product, it could easily take the view that the charge was too high. It might regard that as an excessive charge and a restrictive practice. After all, these things are distributed by the patent holders and the Tribunal might take the view that the price was excessive, whereas in fact it is essential for new products to come forward and replace these things and for people to get used to them.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 40 and postponed clause 34 - by leave - taken together.

Clause 40. (1.) For the purposes of this Act, the Commissioner shall cause to be kept a register to be known as the Register of Trade Agreements. (2.) Subject to this Act and the regulations, the Register shall be kept in such form and manner as the Commissioner directs.

Postponed clause 34. (1.) This section applies to every person who is of has been the Commissioner or a member of the staff assisting the Commissioner. (2.) Subject to this section, a person to whom this section applies shall not, either directly or indirectly, except in the performance of a duty under or in connexion with this Act or a complementary State law -

(a)   make a record of, or divulge or communicate to any person, any information concerning the affairs of any other person acquired by him by reason of his office or employment under or for the purposes of this Act; or

(b)   produce to any person the Register or a document furnished for the purposes of this Act or of a complementary State law.

Penalty: Five hundred pounds or imprisonment for three months.







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