§ 60. Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
asked the Prime Minister whether the Committee on the Price of Building Materials which he has appointed will have full powers to obtain for their own use books of account, balance sheets, and all necessary particulars from firms or combines supplying building materials required for houses under the new subsidy scheme; and whether it will be instructed to report what prices would in each case provide for the cost of producing these goods and for a reasonable trading profit thereon?
§ 96. Mr. TURNER
asked the Minister of Health if he is prepared to take steps to secure legal authority to punish any individual, directors of trusts, combines, or syndicates, who are helping to keep up the prices of building materials by restricting the supply?
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Neville Chamberlain)
I do not propose that any statutory powers should be given at the outset to the Committee, but that it should confine itself to a survey of prices and to reporting the facts to myself and the President of the Board of Trade. The question of legislation will be considered if experience of the work of the Committee shows that it requires special powers such as those mentioned by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Has the right lion. Gentleman any power to prevent building rings increasing the price of materials?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I have no statutory powers. I think that statutory powers are not the only powers.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
Cannot this Committee be made a Parliamentary Committee, and given powers for getting papers and records?