HC Deb 12 June 1939 vol 348 c893
45. Mr. Day

asked the Prime Minister what preparations the Government are making to meet the contingency that may occur in the event of national emergency to prevent profiteering in national necessities; and whether arrangements have been made which are capable of immediate application?

The Prime Minister

Plans are in active preparation for the control of the prices and distribution of essential foodstuffs, and it is contemplated that these plans would be put into immediate operation at the outset of an emergency. The plans that arc being prepared for the control of the main materials required by industry include provision to ensure that, from the outset, manufacturers using these materials do not increase the prices of necessities unjustifiably.

Mr. Day

Will those plans also control commodities outside armaments, such as foodstuffs?

The Prime Minister

I have said that.

Mr. Leach

Does the reply mean that during peace time profiteering is quite all right and that any hampering of it must be left until war breaks out?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I think the question was designed to deal with the situation which might arise in what is called an emergency, when it might be expected that prices would tend to rise.