§ 63. Sir K. WOOD
asked the Secretary for Mines whether there is any substantial difference in the price charged to the public for coal by coal merchants and cooperative societies, respectively?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Shinwell)
So far as my information goes there does not seem to be much difference between the prices charged by merchants and co-operative societies in London, though in some provincial districts the co-operative prices are rather lower than the merchants. But it must of course be remembered that the profits made by co- 602 operative societies are returned to their members in the form of dividends.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Has the hon. Gentleman ascertained that in certain districts in Yorkshire the co-operative societies are charging 7s. 9d. a ton more than the ordinary traders?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I have no such information, and if the hon. Member will read the report of the proceedings of the co-operative societies he will find that that is not so.
Mr. W. A. JENKINS
Is it not a fact that the price charged for coal by the co-operative societies is cheaper than the price charged by the merchants because the societies do not pay their proper share of taxes, and will he take steps to amend that unjust law?
§ Mr. H. H. SPENCER
In reference to the profits of co-operative societies, is the hon. Gentleman aware that in some of these societies some of the profits are used to finance Socialist candidates?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I am aware that the profits are used for many purposes. I have not made any inquiries of the coal merchants as to how their profits are used. Such information as I have been able to obtain will be published.