§ 85. Mr. FIELD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the profits of the Leyland Company increased from £387,000 in 1914 to £1,196,000 for 1916; whether he is aware of the rise in the price of shipping shares; whether he is aware that within the past two years certain companies have earned more than their subscribed capital; and whether, in view of this fact, and that consumers and the community are unduly taxed by this system of profiteering, the Government will make an endeavour to protect the public from unnecessary expenditure for food supplies and raw materials?
I am informed by the Leyland Company that the figures are £412,000 for 1914 and £1,196,000 for 1915. I am aware of the rise in price of shipping shares and the large earnings of some shipping companies. These large earnings are, of course, subject to high taxation. Every endeavour is being made to deal with the point mentioned in the last part of the question.