HC Deb 17 April 1940 vol 359 c967
55. Mr. Leonard

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will take steps to review the circumstances associated with the control of commodities required for national needs, with a view to taking possession of controlled materials and so obviate the need for successful contractors, in possession of authorised licences, to search for and compete for their requirements?

Colonel Llewellin

The problem referred to by the hon. Member is kept under continuous review. The Government are already the sole owners of many essential commodities, and no trouble is experienced by consumers holding the necessary licences in obtaining supplies. There would, however, be practical difficulties in extending immediately Government ownership to cover all essential commodities. If the hon. Member has any specific case in mind, my right hon. Friend will be glad to consider the position.

Mr. Leonard

Is it not the case that the Department already have knowledge of contractors who have succeeded in gaining Government contracts and who, after receiving their licences to get material, and going round to holders of commodities, have actually been refused a right to purchase?

Colonel Llewellin

I do not think that, as a general case, that is true, but if the hon. Member has any information, I should be obliged if he would bring it to the notice of myself or my right hon. Friend.