4 1958

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Number 4 of 1958.


PRICES ACT, 1958.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I.

Preliminary And General.

Section

1.

Short title and commencement.

2.

Definitions generally.

3.

Construction of references to selling and rendering a service.

4.

Hire-purchase agreements.

5.

Restriction of Act.

6.

Laying of orders before Houses of the Oireachtas.

7.

Expenses.

8.

Repeals.

PART II.

Prices Advisory Committees.

9.

Constitution of Prices Advisory Committees.

10.

Functions of an Advisory Committee.

11.

Dissolution of Advisory Committees.

12.

Notice of constitution of an Advisory Committee.

PART III.

Prices For Commodities And Charges For Services.

13.

Fixing of maximum prices of commodities and charges for services consequential on a report by the Fair Trade Commission.

14.

Fixing of maximum prices of commodities and maximum charges for services consequential on a report by an Advisory Committee.

15.

Declaration by the Government of existence of a state of emergency affecting the supply of commodities.

16.

Fixing of maximum price of a commodity and maximum charge for a service during currency of an order under section 15 (1).

17.

Fixing of maximum wholesale and retail prices of bread and sugar and maximum retail prices of butter and milk.

18.

Provisions in relation to orders.

19.

Retail price display orders.

20.

Revocation and amendment of orders under Part III.

21.

Effect on contracts of orders controlling prices and charges.

22.

Offences under Part III.

PART IV.

Miscellaneous Provisions

23.

Authorised officers.

24.

Powers of authorised officers.

25.

Prohibition on disclosure of information.

26.

Penalties for offences.

27.

Offences in relation to bodies corporate and unincorporated bodies.

28.

Prosecution of offences.

FIRST SCHEDULE.

Enactments Repealed

SECOND SCHEDULE.

Prices Advisory Committees

THIRD SCHEDULE.

Commodities in Respect of Which the Minister May Make Retail Price Display Orders


Acts Referred to

Supplies and Services (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1946

No. 22 of 1946

Emergency Powers Act, 1939

No. 28 of 1939

Control of Prices Act, 1937

No. 26 of 1937

Prices Commission (Extension of Functions) Act, 1938

No. 15 of 1938,

Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1953

No. 14 of 1953

Hire-Purchase Act, 1946

No. 16 of 1946

Local Government Act, 1941

No. 23 of 1941

Milk (Regulation of Supply and Price) Act, 1936

No. 43 of 1936

Local Authorities (Combined Purchasing) Act, 1939

No. 14 of 1939

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Number 4 of 1958.


PRICES ACT, 1958.


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONTROL OF PRICES AND CHARGES FOR COMMODITIES AND SERVICES AND FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH. [19th March, 1958.]

WHEREAS by reason of the fact that the Supplies and Services (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1946 (No. 22 of 1946), will not continue to be in force after the 31st day of December, 1957—

(a) the wide powers (in this Preamble referred to as the emergency powers) of controlling by order the prices of commodities and the charges for services conferred on a member of the Government by Article 31 of the Emergency Powers Order, 1939 (S.R. & O., No. 224 of 1939), as amended by the Emergency Powers (No. 173) Order, 1942 (S.R. & O., No. 166 of 1942), (which Orders were made under the Emergency Powers Act, 1939 (No. 28 of 1939), now expired, and were continued in force by the said Supplies and Services (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1946 ) will cease to be exercisable after the said date, and

(b) any orders, made in exercise of the emergency powers, which were in force on the said date will cease to be in force after the said date;

AND WHEREAS the Control of Prices Act, 1937 (No. 26 of 1937), is unsuited to the present needs of the State, and it is therefore expedient to repeal it, and consequentially, the Prices Commission (Extension of Functions) Act, 1938 (No. 15 of 1938);

AND WHEREAS it is desirable, in the public interest, to provide for controlling, in certain cases hereinafter mentioned in this Recital, the prices for certain commodities (excluding, amongst other commodities, commodities sold for export or exported for sale) and the charges for rendering certain services (excluding, amongst other services, services to be rendered outside the State), and for that purpose to authorise the Minister for Industry and Commerce to control the prices for any such commodity and the charges which may be made for any such service, where—

(a) he is of opinion that, by reason of the existence of restrictive trade practices in connection with the supply or distribution of the commodity, excessive prices are being or may be charged, or

(b) he is of opinion that, by reason of the existence of restrictive trade practices in connection with the rendering of the service, excessive charges are being or may be made, or

(c) he is of opinion that, by reason of causes within the control of manufacturers or undue labour costs, excessive prices are being or may be charged for the commodity by manufacturers, or

(d) he is of opinion that by reason of causes within the control of persons rendering the service or undue labour costs, excessive charges are being or may be made for rendering the service by those persons, or

(e) there is in force an order made by the Government declaring that a state of emergency affecting the supply of the commodity exists;

AND WHEREAS it is also desirable, in the public interest, to authorise the Minister for Industry and Commerce to make, whenever and so often as he thinks fit, orders controlling the wholesale and retail prices for bread and sugar and the retail prices for butter and milk;

AND WHEREAS it is also desirable, in the public interest, to authorise the Minister for Industry and Commerce to provide for the display, by persons selling certain commodities, of the retail prices thereof.

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

PART I.

Preliminary And General.

Short Title And Commencement.

1. — (1) This Act may be cited as the Prices Act, 1958.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day as the Minister appoints by order.

Definitions generally.

2. —In this Act—

the Act of 1953” means the Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1953 (No. 14 of 1953);

Advisory Committee” means a Prices Advisory Committee constituted under section 9 of this Act;

authorised officer” means a person appointed to be an authorised officer under section 23 of this Act;

the Minister” means the Minister for Industry and Commerce;

restrictive practices” has the same meaning as in the Act of 1953.

Construction of references to selling and rendering a service.

3. —In this Act—

a reference to selling shall be construed as including a reference to agreeing or offering to sell or inviting an offer to buy;

a reference to rendering a service shall be construed as including a reference to agreeing or offering to render a service or inviting an offer for its rendering;

a reference to an offer.to sell shall be construed as including a reference to a notification by a person of the price proposed by him for the sale of a commodity made by the publication of a price list or by exposing the commodity for sale in association with a mark indicating price or by the furnishing of a condition or otherwise;

a reference to an offer to render a service shall be construed as indicating a reference to a notification by a person of the charge proposed by him for its rendering made by the publication of a list of charges or by the furnishing of a condition or otherwise.

Hire-purchase agreements.

4. —For the purposes of this Act, a hire-purchase agreement, within the meaning of section 1 of the Hire-Purchase Act, 1946 (No. 16 of 1946), shall be deemed to be an agreement to sell and the sale shall be deemed to take place on the date on which the agreement is entered into.

Restriction of Act.

5. —This Act does not apply to any of the following—

(a) activities carried on by or on behalf of a Minister of State, a local authority, within the meaning of the Local Government Act, 1941 (No. 23 of 1941), a vocational education committee, a railway, road, air or water transport undertaking or a harbour authority;

(b) prices for commodities (other than bread or milk), the prices for which are or may be controlled, regulated, or specified either under any other enactment or any instrument made thereunder or in discharge of any statutory duty;

(c) charges for services, the charges for which are or may be controlled, regulated, or specified either under any other enactment or any instrument made thereunder or in discharge of any statutory duty;

(d) prices paid to producers, or received by dealers at factories, for primary agricultural products (including eggs, poultry, milk and milk products) and horticultural products;

(e) charges for artificial insemination;

(f) ex-boat prices of fish and all transactions of An Bord Iascaigh Mhara;

(g) charges for services wholly of a professional character;

(h) charges for services rendered in connection with banking or insurance;

(i) prices for commodities sold for export or exported for sale;

(j) charges for services rendered outside the State.

Laying of orders before Houses of the Oireachtas.

6. —Every order made by the Government or the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either House, within the next twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the order has been laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

Expenses.

7. —The expenses incurred in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Repeals.

8. —The enactments mentioned in the First Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent mentioned in the third column of the said Schedule.

PART II.

Prices Advisory Committees.

Constitution of Prices Advisory Committees.

9. —(1) The Minister may from time to time by warrant under his hand constitute such and so many bodies of persons as he thinks fit, each of which bodies shall be called a Prices Advisory Committee and is in this Act referred to as an Advisory Committee.

(2) The warrant constituting an Advisory Committee shall state the names of the persons who are to be members of it.

(3) The provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall apply to each Advisory Committee.

Functions of an Advisory Committee.

10. —(1) The functions of an Advisory Committee shall be to enquire into, and report to the Minister upon, such of the following matters as may be specified in the warrant constituting it, namely—

(a) the prices charged for the commodity specified in the warrant by manufacturers thereof,

(b) the methods of marketing that commodity by manufacturers thereof,

(c) the charges made for rendering the service specified in the warrant by persons rendering it,

(d) the methods of rendering that service by persons rendering it.

(2) An enquiry by an Advisory Commitee shall, as may be specified in the warrant constituting it, be—

(a) general, or

(b) relate to a particular area or to prices charged or charges made under particular conditions, or be otherwise limited in its scope.

(3) An Advisory Committee shall report to the Minister not later than the date specified in that behalf in the warrant constituting it, and, if it reports that the prices or charges specified in its report are unduly high owing to causes within the control of manufacturers or of persons rendering services or to undue labour costs, shall state whether in its opinion circumstances are such as to require the Minister to make an order under section 14 of this Act fixing maximum prices or charges.

Dissolution of Advisory Committees.

11. —(1) Where the warrant constituting an Advisory Committee provides for the date of its dissolution, it shall stand dissolved on that date unless it has prior thereto furnished its report to the Minister, in which case it shall stand dissolved immediately after furnishing its report.

(2) Where the warrant constituting an Advisory Committee does not provide for the date of its dissolution, it shall stand dissolved immediately after furnishing its report to the Minister.

Notice of constitution of an Advisory Committee.

12. —Where the Minister constitutes an Advisory Committee, he shall cause to be published, in such manner as he thinks fit, notice of its constitution and of the matters into which it is to enquire.

PART III.

Prices for Commodities and Charges for Services.

Fixing of maximum prices of commodities and charges for services consequential on a report by the Fair Trade Commission.

13. —(1) Where the Minister, having considered a report of the Fair Trade Commission under the Act of 1953, is of opinion that—

(a) restrictive practices, in connection with the supply or distribution of any commodity, exist, and

(b) by reason of the existence of such restrictive practices, excessive prices are being or may be charged for that commodity,

the Minister may by order fix the maximum price at which that commodity may be sold.

(2) Where the Minister, having considered a report of the Fair Trade Commission under the Act of 1953, is of opinion that—

(a) restrictive practices, in connection with the rendering of any service, exist, and

(b) by reason of the existence of such restrictive practices, excessive charges are being or may be made for rendering that service,

the Minister may by order fix the maximum charge which may be made for rendering that service.

Fixing of maximum prices of commodities and maximum charges for services consequential on a report by an Advisory Committee.

14. —(1) Where the Minister, having considered a report of an Advisory Committee, is of opinion that the prices charged for a commodity by manufacturers thereof are excessive, owing to causes within the control of manufacturers or to undue labour costs, the Minister may by order fix the maximum price at which that commodity may be sold.

(2) Where the Minister, having considered a report of an Advisory Committee, is of opinion that the charges made for rendering any service by persons rendering it are excessive owing to causes within the control of those persons or to undue labour costs, the Minister may by order fix the maximum charge which may be made for rendering that service.

Declaration by the Government of existence of a state of emergency affecting the supply of commodities.

15. —(1) Whenever and so often as the Government are of opinion that abnormal circumstances prevail or are likely to prevail in relation to the supply of any commodity, the Government may by order declare that a state of emergency affecting the supply of that commodity exists.

(2) An order under subsection (1) of this section may define a commodity in such manner as the Government think fit.

(3) An order under subsection (1) of this section may relate to one or more than one commodity.

(4) An order under subsection (1) of this section shall remain in force for such period (not exceeding six months from the date of the making thereof) as the Government think proper and specify in the order and shall then expire, unless continued in force by an order made under subsection (5) of this section.

(5) Where—

(a) there is for the time being in force an order (in this subsection referred to as the principal order) under subsection (1) of this section declaring that a state of emergency affecting the supply of a commodity exists, and

(b) the Government are of opinion that abnormal circumstances still prevail in relation to the supply of that commodity the following provisions shall have effect—

(i) the Government may by order (in this subsection referred to as a continuance order) made before the expiration of the principal order, continue the principal order in force for such period (not exceeding six months from the date on which the principal order would but for the continuance order expire) as the Government think proper and specify in the continuance order, and may thereafter from time to time by order (in this subsection also referred to as a continuance order), made before the expiration of the principal order under the last previous continuance order, continue the principal order in force for such period (not exceeding six months from the date on which the principal order would have expired under the last previous continuance order) as the Government think proper and specify in the continuance order,

(ii) if only one continuance order is made, the principal order shall continue in force until the expiration of the period for which it is continued in force by that continuance order, and shall then expire,

(iii) if two or more continuance orders are made, the principal order shall continue in force until the expiration of the period for which it is continued in force by the last of those continuance orders, and shall then expire.

(6) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be published in the Iris Oifigiúil.

Fixing of maximum price of a commodity and maximum charge for a service during currency of an order under section 15 (1).

16. —(1) Where there is for the time being in force an order under subsection (1) of section 15 of this Act declaring that a state of emergency affecting the supply of a commodity exists, the Minister may by order do either or both of the following things—

(a) fix the maximum price at which that commodity may be sold,

(b) fix the maximum charge which may be made for rendering, in the course of carrying on any trade or business, any service affecting the supply or distribution of that commodity.

(2) Where, during the continuance in force of an order (in this subsection referred to as the emergency order) under subsection (1) of section 15 of this Act declaring that a state of emergency affecting the supply of a commodity exists, the Minister makes an order (in this subsection referred to as the Ministerial order) under subsection (1) of this section fixing the maximum price at which that commodity may be sold or fixing the maximum charge which may be made for rendering in the course of carrying on any trade or business, any service affecting the supply or distribution of that commodity, the Ministerial order shall, if not previously revoked, expire on the expiration of the emergency order.

Fixing of maximum wholesale and retail prices of bread and sugar and maximum retail prices of butter and milk.

17. —(1) The Minister may from time to time by order fix the maximum wholesale and retail prices of bread and sugar.

(2) The Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture, may from time to time by order fix the maximum retail prices of—

(a) butter,

(b) milk when sold in an area, declared by an order for the time being in force, made under section 6 of the Milk (Regulation of Supply and Price) Act, 1936 (No. 43 of 1936), to be a sale district for the purposes of Part II of that Act.

Provisions in relation to orders.

18. —An order made by the Minister under any of the foregoing provisions of this Part may—

(a) define a commodity or service in such manner as the Minister thinks fit,

(b) define the conditions by reference to which a maximum price or charge is fixed, and fix different maximum prices or charges in relation to different conditions,

(c) relate to the whole State or to a particular area in the State,

(d) fix a maximum price or charge by specifying it or by setting out provisions by means of which it may be ascertained,

(e) contain all such incidental or ancillary provisions (including a requirement that the commodity to which the order relates shall be sold only in specified units of weight or measure) as shall appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for giving full effect to any provision inserted in the order under the powers conferred on him by this Act or to secure compliance with the order.

Retail price display orders.

19. —The Minister may from time to time by order require every person, who carries on in a specified area the business of selling by retail any commodity specified in the Third Schedule to this Act, to display in a specified manner the retail price charged by him for that commodity.

Revocation and amendment of orders under Part III.

20. —(1) The Minister may by order revoke any order made by him under this Part.

(2) The Minister may by order amend any order made by him under this Part.

Effect on contracts of orders controlling prices and charges.

21. —(1) An order under this Part controlling the price of a commodity or the charge for a service shall not affect the legality of a contract made before the date on which the order comes into force, or of anything done under the contract.

(2) Any order under this Part controlling the price of a commodity or the charge for a service shall not affect the legality of a contract made on or after the date on which the order comes into force, or of anything done under the contract if—

(a) the contract is made in pursuance of a legal obligation arising from a prior contract made before that date, or

(b) the contract is made by a local authority with an official contractor appointed under section 3 of the Local Authorities (Combined Purchasing) Act, 1925 (No. 20 of 1925), or under section 6 of the Local Authorities (Combined Purchasing) Act, 1939 (No. 14 of 1939), as the result of an application made by him before that date.

Offences under Part III.

22. —If any person—

(a) contravenes, whether by act or omission, a provision of an order made under this Part, or

(b) sells a commodity at a greater retail price than that shown in any list which he is required by an order under section 19 of this Act to display,

such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

PART IV.

Miscellaneous Provisions.

Authorised officers.

23. —(1) The Minister may appoint such and so many of his officers as he thinks fit to be authorised officers for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Every authorised officer shall be furnished with a warrant of his appointment as an authorised officer, and, when exercising any power conferred on an authorised officer by section 24 of this Act, shall, if requested by any person affected, produce the warrant to that person.

Powers of authorised officers.

24. —(1) An authorised officer may, for the purpose of obtaining any information which the Minister may require for enabling him to exercise his functions under this Act, do any one or more of the following things—

(a) at all reasonable times enter premises at which any activity in connection with the business of manufacturing or processing or packaging or supplying or distributing commodities or in connection with the organisation or assistance of persons engaged in any such business is carried on, and inspect the premises,

(b) require the person who carries on such activity and any person employed in connection therewith to produce to him any books, documents or records relating to such activity which are in that person's power or control and to give him such information as he may reasonably require in regard to any entries in such books, documents or records,

(c) inspect and copy or take extracts from such books, documents or records,

(d) require such person to give to him any information he may reasonably require in regard to the persons carrying on such activity (including, in particular, in the case of an unincorporated body of persons, information in regard to the membership thereof and of its committee of management or other controlling authority) or employed in connection therewith,

(e) require such person to give to him any other information which he may reasonably require in regard to such activity.

(2) If any person obstructs or impedes an authorised officer in the exercise of his powers under subsection (1) of this section or does not comply with a requirement of an authorised officer under the said subsection (1), that person shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

Prohibition on disclosure of information.

25. —(1) No person shall disclose information available to him by virtue of the powers of obtaining information conferred on him by this Act or through being present at a meeting of an Advisory Committee held in private.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to—

(a) a communication made by a member of an Advisory Committee or an authorised officer in the execution of his duties under this Act, or

(b) the disclosure of information in a report of an Advisory Committee or for the purpose of legal proceedings under this Act.

(3) If any person contravenes subsection (1) of this section he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

Penalties for offences.

26. —Every person who commits or is deemed to have committed an offence under any section of this Act shall on summary conviction thereof be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds (together with, in the case of a continuing offence, a fine not exceeding ten pounds for every day on which the offence is continued) or, at the discretion of the Court, imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both such fine and such imprisonment.

Offences in relation to bodies corporate and unincorporated bodies.

27. —Where an offence under any section of this Act is committed by a body corporate or by a person purporting to act on behalf of a body corporate or an unincorporated body of persons and is proved to have been so committed with the consent or approval of, or to have been facilitated by any neglect on the part of any person, being a director, member of the committee of management or other controlling authority thereof, or manager, secretary, or other officer thereof, that person shall also be deemed to have committed the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Prosecution of offences.

28. —(1) Proceedings in relation to an offence under any section of this Act may be brought and prosecuted by the Minister.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (4) of section 10 of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851, summary proceedings for an offence under any section of this Act may be instituted within twelve months from the date of the offence.

FIRST SCHEDULE.

Enactments Repealed.

Section 8.

Number and Year

Short title

Extent of Repeal

(1)

(2)

(3)

No. 26 of 1937.

Control of Prices Act, 1937 .

The whole Act.

No. 15 of 1938.

Prices Commission (Extension of Functions) Act, 1938 .

The whole Act.

SECOND SCHEDULE.

Prices Advisory Committees.

Section 9 (3).

The Panel.

1. In this Schedule, “the Panel” means the Prices Advisory Committees Panel to be maintained under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

Prices Advisory Committees Panel.

2. (1) The Minister shall for the purposes of this Schedule maintain a panel (to be called and known as the Prices Advisory Committees Panel) consisting of such number (not exceeding twelve) as the Minister thinks fit of persons willing and able to act as members of Advisory Committees.

(2) Every member of the Panel shall be appointed by the Minister and shall remain a member for a term of twelve months from the date of his appointment and shall be eligible for re-appointment at the expiration of any such term of office.

(3) Where a person who is a member of the Panel becomes a member of either House of the Oireachtas, he shall, upon his becoming entitled, under the Standing Orders of that House, to sit therein, cease to be a member of the Panel.

(4) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein shall be disqualified from being a member of the Panel.

(5) A person who is a member of the Panel shall be disqualified from being and shall cease to be a member of the Panel if he—

(a) is adjudged bankrupt or makes a composition with his creditors, or

(b) is sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to suffer imprisonment or penal servitude, or

(c) ceases to be ordinarily resident in the State.

(6) The Minister shall, from time to time, as he thinks appropriate publish in the Iris Oifigiúil, the names of the persons for the time being forming the Panel.

Membership of Advisory Committee.

3. An Advisory Committee shall consist of not less than three and not more than five members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Minister from persons who, at the time of appointment, are members of the Panel.

Chairman of an Advisory Committee.

4. (1) There shall be a chairman of each Advisory Committee.

(2) The following provisions shall apply to the office of the chairman of an Advisory Committee—

(a) the chairman shall be such member of that Advisory Committee as the Minister shall nominate as the chairman,

(b) whenever the chairman ceases to be a member of that Advisory Committee, he shall cease to be the chairman,

(c) whenever the person holding that office becomes from any cause temporarily unable to discharge the duties of that office, the Minister may nominate a member of the Panel, who is not then a member of that Advisory Committee, to perform, during a specified period (not exceeding the duration of such temporary inability), the duties of that office, and the person so nominated shall, during such period, have all the powers of the chairman and be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be the chairman and a member of that Advisory Committee.

Resignation of or removal from office of member of Advisory Committee.

5. (1) A member of an Advisory Committee may resign from office.

(2) The Minister may remove from office a member of an Advisory Committee if—

(a) he has become incapable through ill-health of performing efficiently his duties as such member, or

(b) he has ceased to be a member of the Panel, or

(c) his removal appears to the Minister to be necessary in the interests of the effective and economical performance of the duties of that Advisory Committee.

Casual vacancies.

6. If a casual vacancy occurs in the membership of an Advisory Committee, the Minister may appoint to fill the vacancy a person who is for the time being a member of the Panel.

Remuneration and expenses of members of Advisory Committees.

7. A member of an Advisory Committee may be paid such remuneration and allowance for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determines.

Declaration of interest by member of an Advisory Committee.

8. Where a member of an Advisory Committee enquiring into the price of any commodity or the charge for any service is personally interested in any business selling that commodity or providing that service, he shall inform the Minister accordingly, and thereupon the following provisions shall have effect—

(a) he shall not, unless authorised by the Minister, act as a member of that Advisory Committee,

(b) the Minister may remove him from that Advisory Committee and appoint in his place from the Panel a new member of that Advisory Committee.

Officers and servants of an Advisory Committee.

9. (1) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, appoint such officers and servants as he thinks necessary to assist an Advisory Committee in the performance of its functions.

(2) Officers and servants appointed under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph shall hold office on such terms and receive such remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.

Appointment of person to assist an Advisory Committee.

10. (1) Where an Advisory Committee requests the appointment of a person to assist it in the conduct of an enquiry, the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, appoint such person as he thinks fit for the purpose.

(2) A person appointed under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph may be paid such remuneration and allowance for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determines.

Procedure at meetings of an Advisory Committee.

11. (1) The chairman of an Advisory Committee shall preside at each meeting of that Advisory Committee, and no meeting of that Advisory Committee shall be held in his absence.

(2) Every question at a meeting of an Advisory Committee shall be determined by a majority of the members present and voting on the question, and, in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairman of that Advisory Committee shall have a second or casting vote.

(3) An Advisory Committee may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies amongst the members.

(4) The quorum for a meeting of an Advisory Committee shall be such number as it may from time to time fix, and if no quorum is for the time being so fixed, three.

(5) An enquiry by an Advisory Committee shall not be held wholly or partly in public, except with the prior consent in writing of the Minister.

(6) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, an Advisory Committee may regulate its procedure and business, including the manner in which persons may make submissions in relation to the subject matter of any enquiry which it is making.

Power of the chairman of an Advisory Committee to summon witnesses, etc.

12. (1) The chairman of an Advisory Committee may for the purposes of its functions—

(a) summon witnesses to attend before it;

(b) examine on oath (which the chairman is hereby authorised to administer) any witness attending before that Advisory Committee;

(c) require any such witness to produce to that Advisory Committee any document in his power or control.

(2) A summons to a witness to attend before an Advisory Committee shall be signed by the chairman thereof.

(3) A witness before an Advisory Committee shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness before the High Court.

(4) If any person—

(a) on being duly summoned before an Advisory Committee makes default in attending, or

(b) being in attendance as a witness refuses to take an oath legally required to be taken by him, or to produce any document in his power or control legally required to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which that Advisory Committee may legally require an answer, or

(c) does any thing which if that Advisory Committee were a court of justice having power to commit for contempt of court, would be contempt of such court,

that Advisory Committee may certify the offence of that person under their hands to the High Court, and the High Court may, after such inquiry as it thinks fit, punish or take steps for the punishment of that person in like manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of the High Court,

THIRD SCHEDULE.

Commodities in Respect of Which the Minister May Make Retail Price Display Orders.

Section 19.

1. Batch Bread—that is to say, bread which is not baked in containers and is sold or offered for sale in loaves of which the outside is not all crust.

2. Flour.

3. Butter.

4. Tea.

5. Eggs.

6. Potatoes.

7. Beef.

8. Mutton.

9. Bacon.

10. Pork.

11. Oranges.