52. Sir F. HALL
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, having regard to the maintenance of high retail prices for essential foodstuffs, including bread, meat, and milk, and also for coal, notwithstanding the great reduction in the costs of production, the Government will appoint a committee to inquire into the matter and to advise as to the steps which could best be taken to put a stop to this profiteering by retail traders?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson)
I have been asked to reply. My hon. and gallant Friend 238 will find on reference to the reports of Committees appointed under the Profiteering Act that in such of the cases referred to as were investigated the Committees find no evidence of an inflation of prices consequent upon combinations of distributors. That Act has now determined; but the Government see no reason to change the view then expressed that normal competition between distributors affords the best security to the consumer against inflation of price.