« PreviousContinue »
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
A BILL TO AMEND THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ACT,
APRIL 23, 24, 25, 26; MAY 14 AND 15, 1963
Printed for the use of the
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1963
COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE
OREN HARRIS, Arkansas, Chairman
WILLIAM L. SPRINGER, Illinois
J. ARTHUR YOUNGER, California SAMUEL N. FRIEDEL, Maryland
MILTON W. GLENN, New Jersey TORBERT H. MACDONALD, Massachusetts SAMUEL L. DEVINE, Ohio GEORGE M. RHODES, Pennsylvania ANCHER NELSEN, Minnesota JOHN JARMAN, Oklahoma
HASTINGS KEITH, Massachusetts LEO W. O'BRIEN, New York
WILLARD S. CURTIN, Pennsylvania JOHN E. MOSS, California
ABNER W. SIBAL, Connecticut JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan
GLENN CUNNINGHAM, Nebraska
JAMES T. BROYHILL, North Carolina
W. E. WILLIAMSON, Clerk
GEORGE W. PERRY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON COMMERCE AND FINANCE
HARLEY O. STAGGERS, West Virginia, Chairman JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan
MILTON W. GLENN, New Jersey JAMES C. HEALEY, New York
HASTINGS KEITH, Massachusetts GILLIS W. LONG, Louisiana
WILLARD S. CURTIN, Pennsylvania LIONEL VAN DEERLIN, Callfornia
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D.C., April 29, 1963. Hon. OBEN HARRIS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in reply to your letter of February 22, 1963, for a report on H. R. 3669, to amend the Federal Trade Commission Act, to promote quality and price stabilization, to define and restrain certain unfair methods of distribution, and to confirm, define, and equalize the rights of producers and resellers in the distribution of goods identified by distinguishing brands, names, or trademarks, and for other purposes.
The Department recommends against this bill.
The objective of H.R. 3669 is the same as that of H.R. 457, for which we have submitted a report recommending against the bill. The exemption of certain transactions provided for in paragraph 5(a) (16) of the act, as added by H.R. 3669, would reduce, somewhat, the scope of the bill. However, neither this change nor others made, alters our judgment that enactment of either bill would not be in the public interest. We do not think that these bills are an effective way to promote quality of the products of agriculture.
Authorizing owners of brands, names, or trademarks to exercise greater control than they now have over resale prices to the consumer would be against the public interest, particularly for food products. The bill would give added advantage to large-scale, well-financed manufacturers and merchandising organizations capable of engaging in extensive brand advertising and promotion. All merchants would be compelled to abide by minimum resale prices. Those merchants who, by the adoption of more efficient methods, achieved real economies in distribution would not be able to pass on the resulting savings to consumers if they were required to observe the retail prices established by wholesalers or manufacturers. Prices paid by consumers for food and fiber would be higher than otherwise; the sales of some products might be reduced; and higher prices at the retail level would not result in higher prices for farmers.
The proposed legislation does not define "bait merchandising practices" re-, ferred to in paragraph (8) (A) on page 2 of the bill. Without further clarification, this could either result in injustice to the vendee or present enforcement problems for the owner of the brand, name, or trademark. Moreover, the statutory remedies which paragraph (10) on page 5 of the bill proposes to make available to an owner of a brand, name, or trademark, whether or not he has an agreement or contract with a vendee prescribing minimum prices, and the consequences imposed upon the vendee by the provisions of the bill, appear to be unwarrantedly harsh.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to this report from the standpoint of the administration's program. Sincerely yours,
ORVILLE L. FREEMAN, Secretary.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,
Washington, D.O., April 26, 1963. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request for views of the Bureau of the Budget on H.R. 457 and H.R. 3669, similar bills to amend the Federal Trade Commission ict, to promote quality and price stabilization, to define and restrain certain unfair methods of distribution and to confirm, define, and equalize the rights of producers and resellers in the distribution of goods identified by distinguishing brands, names, or trademarks, and for other purposes.
These measures would provide, among other things, that the owner of a brand, name, or trademark would retain his property rights in such brand, name, or trademark in the event of sale or resale of goods bearing his brand, name, or trademark. They would also grant the owner the right to sue in a civil action for both damages and injunctive relief. H.R. 3669 would allow certain exemptions