HC Deb 10 July 1919 vol 117 cc2001-3
52. Sir J. BUTCHER

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the abnormally high prices of woollen clothes and garments, he will order a searching inquiry to be made into the cost incurred and the prices paid at every stage of the production and distribution of these articles, beginning with the raw materials and ending with the finished article as sold to the consumer, in order to ascertain what profits are made by the various persons through whose hands these articles pass on their way to the consumer?


I have been asked to reply. The Government have the high price of clothing under consideration, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.


In view of the exceedingly high prices of clothing, food, and other commodities, will my hon. Friend consider the advisability of similar inquiries in regard to all these articles, in order to stop profiteering and bring down prices?

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Are there any import restrictions on wool at present?


Will my hon. Friend be able to reply if I repeat the question next week?


I will represent to the Government what my hon. and learned Friend says.


May I ask the Leader of the House, to whom the question was addressed, how the high prices for all these commodities came about, and will he consider as early as possible the various suggestions I make with a view to bringing them down?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

That is a subject, I need not say, which has been engaging the attention of the Cabinet very closely. We will formulate our proposals, and hope to be able to announce them shortly.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give a day for a Debate on the subject?


I have no objection to that, but I doubt very much whether it would help. It would probably be better, in any case, if we can formulate our proposals shortly, that we should have them before the House before there is a discussion. I do not wish to be taken as saying we shall be able to make our proposals next week. It is a very difficult subject.