MONOPOLIES LEGISLATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Publication Date01 March 1957
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1957.tb00433.x
AuthorV. T. H. Delany
MONOPOLIES LEGISLATION IN
THE
REPUBLIC
OF
IRELAND
THE most valuable comment on the first General Report of the
Monopolies Commission appearing in this journal,’ coupled with
the enactment of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act,
1956,
impels
the present writer to make a brief incursion into the domestic law
of a neighbouring State, in order to ascertain how the equivalent
problems have been handled there.
In the Republic
of
Ireland, a policy
of
industrial protection,
pursued by successive administrations since
1932,
has produced
a very special need for the promotion of internal competition
wherever possible. This has resulted in efforts to stimulate in
Irish industrial undertakings that element of risk which would
tend to force those engaged in them to strive towards maximum
efficiency and,
on
the whole, these efforts have met with more
than moderate success. Like most other countries, however, the
rapid advances in collective bargaining which have been made in
recent years have resulted in the formation in Ireland of
a
con-
siderable number
of
trade protection associations of employers in
order to facilitate the negotiation of trade union-employer agree-
ments: and one of the results of the formation of such groups
has been to produce the kind of trading conditions that have
led to the passing of the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices
(Inquiry and Control) Act,
1948,
and the Restrictive Trade
Practices Act,
1956.
By
1952,
this tendency had become increasingly manifest, and
towards the end
of
that year,
a
Restrictive Trade Practices Bill
was introduced in the Irish legislature.2 In the course of the
debates
on
the Bill, the Minister for Industry and Commerce
indicated that in spite of the claim by the Irish trade associations
that
no
such legislation was necessary, there had been
cc
a growing
uneasiness” amongst the public as a result of the development
and expansion of certain restrictive practices and of the realisation
that there existed
no
machinery for investigating them. He defined
cc
practices contrary to the public interest
as
practices which
are designed to eliminate
or
restrict competition in the supply
or
distribution of any class of goods,
or
which operate to deprive
the individual citizen of the right to engage in legitimate trade
in any class of business,” and he went on to say that his Ministry
had been receiving an increasing number of complaints with regard
1
B.
S.
Yamey, “First General Report
of
the Monopolies
Commission,”
(1956)
19
M.L.R.
63.
2
Dail
Debates, October 21, 1962.
148

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