HC Deb 15 December 1942 vol 385 cc1738-9
4. Mr. Thorne

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the high prices of various kinds of toys charged by the stallholders in a Birmingham bazaar, where a wooden engine, without mechanism or pedals, is priced at £9 19s. 6d.; and what he intends doing about the matter?

Mr. Dalton

Such a price for such an article appears outrageous and a complaint should be laid by the person from whom this sum was demanded before the local price regulation committee.

9. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the President of the Board of Trade why the sale of Christmas toys is being restricted, since there are substantial quantities in the manufacturers' hands, for which there is an eager market?

Mr. Dalton

Restrictions on the supply of toys, as on other less essential forms of production, are imposed in order to divert labour and materials to work of national importance. In view of representations made to me that considerable stocks of toys, already manufactured, were being withheld from sale at Christmas owing to quota restrictions, I made an Order last Saturday allowing free supply of the cheaper kinds of toys by manufacturers and wholesalers until 26th December.

Sir T. Moore

Does my right hon. Friend think that this will be in time to catch the Christmas trade?

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir, I am advised that it is in time for that. I want to emphasise that it is not designed to allow more toys to be manufactured, but to clear out the stocks in the hands of manufacturers and wholesalers.

Mr. Sorensen

What steps are taken to see that the prices of the toys do not become exorbitant?

Mr. Dalton

The concession applies only to toys below a certain price. It applies only to toys and children's indoor games, at a price not exceeding 5s. at the manufacturers' level, 6s. 8d. at the wholesalers' level, and about 13s. retail.

Mr. John Dugdale

Is there any means of preventing the trader from charging 5s. for a 1s. toy?

Mr. Montague

How many of these toys can be bought out of £2 a week?