HC Deb 02 December 1941 vol 376 cc993-4
30. Mr. Glenvil Hall for

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that certain chain stores which in pre-war days confined their sales to articles costing 6d. or less have taken advantage of the war to change the character of their business and are now selling articles of clothing priced at 5s. or more; and, in view of the difficulty that established retailers experience in securing stock as a result of quotas, concentration of industry and other necessary war-time measures for which his Department is responsible, whether he will take steps to confine the firms referred to within their pre-war price range, apart from the incidence of Purchase Tax and increased cost of manufacture?

Captain Waterhouse

Many classes of traders have no doubt, since the beginning of the war, modified the types of goods they sell, to suit the changing requirements. As at present advised, my right hon. Friend does not propose to take further steps in this matter than those recently recommended by the Retail Trade Committee.

Mr. Hall

Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman watch this matter very closely, as there appears to be cause for some alarm?

Captain Waterhouse

Yes, Sir, certainly. The Retail Trade Committee are still sitting, so they have the matter still under review.