In 1953 the former President of the Board of Trade, Mr Harold Wilson, stated2 that he would not have contemplated the appointment of any Commissioner connected in any way with a monopoly firm or with an industry containing a trade association which exercised restrictive powers. He would have refused to appoint anyone with a grievance against a monopoly or a cartel. He wished to guard against damaging the reputation of the Commission by an unwary appointment. It is interesting to note that a later President, Peter Thorneycroft, refused to give such an undertaking when pressed in the House of Commons.s

Until 1953, only the Chairman and one other Commissioner held full-time appointments as members of the Commission.! The remaining members operated on a part-time basis, continuing to practise their outside professions. Commissioners holding office ranged in number from eight to ten during this period; two resignations took place in 1952.2 Initially the periods of appointment ranged from three to five years, with, of course, the possibility of subsequent extension of office. The dates of appointment were staggered, as were terms of appointment, to provide for continuity in membership insofar as this was dependent upon the lagged retirement of members. There is little indication that any of the political parties were dissatisfied with the calibre of appointments or with the terms of office adopted by the Board of Trade during the early period of the Commission's activities.