9. Mr. L. MALONE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that rings and combines have a virtual monopoly of materials for house construction; that this monopoly is a menace to the community; that it is retarding the building of the houses so necessary to public health and inflicting a burden on the ratepayers; and whether he will give his attention to these facts, and also to the disclosures made in the Report of the Sub-Committee on Building Materials appointed under the Profiteering Acts, and in that of the Special Committee appointed by the Minister of Health which reported last July, and will redeem the promise made as long ago as November, 1920, by the then President of the Board of Trade, that the Government would bring in legislation dealing with trusts in trade and industry?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
I am aware of the existence of trade combinations of various kinds in respect of building materials, but I would point out that neither of the Committees to which the hon. Member refers found that any such combination had acted unfairly. As to the concluding part of the hon. Member's question, I am not at present in a position to make a statement.
§ Major M. WOOD
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the protest made by the Committee which investigated the price of soap at the interruption of their labours?