HC Deb 10 July 1923 vol 166 cc1148-50
13. Major ATTLEE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the British Dyestuffs Corporation, Limited, charge 10 per cent. commission on reparation dyestuffs, whereas, when the distribution was undertaken by the Central Importing Agency only 2½ per cent. was charged; and will he state for what reason this high rate of commission is permitted?


I am not aware that the British Dyestuffs Corporation charge 10 per cent. commission on reparation dyestuffs, and would refer to an answer which I gave on this matter on 4th December last, to the effect that the Corporation receives a commission of 6½ per cent. on the actual turnover, plus a further 1 per cent. for guaranteeing accounts, and a grant, which is limited in amount, towards the charges which they incur relating to the importation of the dyestuffs. The Central Importing Agency undertook the duty of importing and distributing the dyestuffs for a commission of 31 per cent., the rate to be adjusted if prices fell, but this charge proved to Le inadequate, and was considerably increased, with the approval of the Treasury, by various allowances made to the Central Importing Agency upon the final adjustment of their accounts.


Is not this a case of the disadvantage of State ownership?


There is not any State ownership.

14. Major ATTLEE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the high prices charged for reparation dyestuffs by the British Dyestuffs Corporation, Limited; that the price of diamine fast yellow F.F., a dye for which there is no satisfactory British substitute, has been raised from 4s. per lb. to 7s. 6d. per lb. and to 10s. per lb., although this dye could be imported from Germany for 4s. 6d. per lb.; and of the discontent aroused by this action among colour users; and what action he is prepared to take in the matter?


No complaint about the price of this dyestuff has been received by the Board of Trade, but the arrangements as to the pricing of reparation dyes are being reconsidered, and the price of this particular dye will come under review.


Is it not the fact that these very high prices are put on in order to enable the Corporation to foist inferior substitutes on the colour users?


No, Sir; there is no truth in any of the many allegations contained in that short sentence.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the growing restrictions, not only as regards the prices that have to be paid by the dye users, but as regards the inferior nature of these dyes, is seriously affecting the quality of manufactured goods in this country?


That does not arise now.

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