HC Deb 22 May 1924 vol 173 cc2405-7
69. Mr. BAKER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the high rates of dividend which have been declared in the past three years by prominent London stores; that two have


The answer involves a tabular statement, which, with the permission of the hon. Member, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following in the statement:

declared 20 per cent. each year, one 17½, 18, and 20 per cent., another 14, 20 and 25 per cent., another 10, 15 and 20 per cent. on a capital which had been increased by a 900 per cent. share bonus in 1920, that others paid 25, 22½ and 25 per cent., and 12, 16 and 18 per cent., respectively; whether, in view of these facts, he will expedite a decision as to the setting up of a Committee, on the lines of the Departmental Committee on Distribution and Prices of Agricultural Produce or the Coal Advisory Committee of the Mines Department, on the possibility of effecting economies in the costs that make up the price of coal to the consumer, to inquire whether the spread between the producers' and consumers' prices in the matter of clothes, grocery and such articles is not unjustifiably wide; and whether distributive costs could not be reduced by reorganisation under public ownership?

Mr. LUNN (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

I would refer to the answer which was given to the hon. Member on 8th May, to which I have at present nothing to add. The question is receiving the continued consideration of the Board of Trade.

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