This resolution precedes the introduction of a bill designed to change the method of conducting investigations under the Combines Investigation Act and to strengthen the act in certain other particulars. It is proposed to have the act administered by a commissioner under the Minister of Labour instead of by the members of the tariff board in their additional capacities as members of the Dominion Trade and Industry Commission. The proposed bill differs in a number of respects from the Combines Investigation Act as passed in 1923. Under that act all extensive investigations, other than preliminary
inquiries which were conducted by the registrar, were intended to be conducted by temporary commissioners specially appointed for the purpose. Provision will be made in the new legislation for the appointment of a permanent commissioner whose duty it shall be to carry through all investigations to completion. At the same time provision is being made for temporary special commissioners if circumstances should arise which, make such assistance necessary.
Other proposed amendments include changes which have been found to be desirable at various times since the act was originally passed. For example, the definition of monopoly which was introduced in 1935, but which was considerably modified before it was enacted, is restated in terms designed to include those large scale enterprises which are able to control prices to their own advantage and to the disadvantage of the public. A more effective enforcement of the law is aimed at also through the removal of a provision which unduly limited the use of documents in court proceedings. This amendment was before the house last year.
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR