§ 61. Sir WILFRID SUGDEN
asked the President of the Board of Trade, if he is aware that an agreement has been arrived at by certain British manufacturers of incandescent gas mantles with foreign manufacturers for a period of five years which has had the effect of 1615 adversely affecting the price of mantles to British consumers; and what steps he proposes to take to protect the latter's interest?
I am aware of the agreement to which my hon. Friend refers, but I have at present no information which suggests that it has caused any increase of price to the consumers of British gas mantles. I have no power to intervene in respect of the agreement. I may say that since this answer was drafted, I have made further inquiries and I find that the total wholesale increased cost only amounts to 3d. per dozen mantles, and the increase is not charged to the consumer. If my hon. Friend; has reason to believe that an imposition is being put on the public, if he will let me know I will look into the matter.
§ Sir W. SUGDEN
Does that not mean that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is missing 6s. per gross duty on the mantles which would otherwise come to this country?
Why did the Government first give a duty to British manufacturers of gas mantles against the Germans and now permit them to make an agreement with the Germans to enable them to exploit trade in this country?