Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)
Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):
Mr. Speaker, while I was absent in Alberta last week, the hon. Leader of the Opposition asked the following question, and I quote from page 4813 of Hansard:
In the absence of the Minister of Justice, Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Prime Minister. In view of the fact that the Conrad Hilton chain is now operating under a contract with the publicly owned hotel which is in process of construction in Montreal-in the absence of the minister the Prime Minister may prefer to take this as notice-has consideration been given to the effect under the Combines Investigation Act of the agreement made between the Canadian National Railways and the Conrad Hilton chain from the point of view of the restrictive practices outlined in that agreement?
May I say, Mr. Speaker, that the answer to the hon. gentleman's question is as follows. The combines branch has noted the reports about a management contract between the Canadian National Railways and the Hilton hotel group. Since the information before the branch does not indicate that the Hilton group has other hotel interests in Canada, any such contract would not appear to give rise to inquiry under the Combines Investigation Act.
Inquiries of the Ministry In other words, in so far as Canada is concerned this would seem to be a case of substituting one independent management for another, rather than a combination or merger between two groups already in the country.
There is also doubt that hotel accommodation could be considered an article or commodity, within the meaning of the anticombines legislation, which refers to combinations and mergers in respect of articles and commodities.
Subtopic: QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL