§ 33. Mr. BROMFIELD
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether he was aware that by the direction of the Disposal Board silk sewings which originally cost 18s. per lb. were offered for sale in Leeds at 24s. per lb.; that silk sewings which originally cost 20s. per lb. were offered for sale in Leeds at 28s. and 29s. per lb.; and whether he would take the necessary steps to prevent this profiteering by the Government?
§ The DEPUTY-MINISTER of MUNITIONS (Mr. Kellaway)
The facts are generally as stated in the first two parts of the question. There is no Government monopoly of these materials, and the selling prices referred to are based on the current market values, with a bare margin to cover the heavier handling charges incurred in offering the material in small lots, for the benefit of the small purchaser. The question of profiteering does not arise. It is the duty of the Disposal Board to secure the highest prices for the National Exchequer and to take advantage of favourable markets.
§ Mr. BROMFIELD
Are we to assume that the Government regard 40 per cent. profit as not profiteering?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
There is no profiteering here. It would be a very egregious thing if we were to sell the taxpayers' property at less than its value.