HC Deb 13 October 1942 vol 383 cc1486-7
38. Mr. Thorne

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the profiteering in Christmas toys; whether his investigators have made a report to him; and what action he intends taking about the matter?

40. Mr. Mort

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the exorbitant prices now being charged for toys, with the prospect of further increases as Christmas approaches; and whether he intends taking steps to regulate such prices?

Mr. Dalton

I have made an Order prohibiting any increase in manufacturers' prices of toys above the prices charged on 30th September, 1942, and fixing maximum margins for wholesalers and retailers. I am also arranging for the release of an additional quantity of toys, of the cheaper kinds, from manufacturers' and wholesalers' stocks during the next two months in order to increase the supply available for Christmas. But, in view of the ever diminishing quantities of labour and materials which can be devoted to toy manufacture, an increase in supply now will mean a reduced supply next year.

Mr. Thorne

Is my right hon. Friend aware that some people who are making various kinds of toys and working very long hours for very small pay are complaining that the toys are being sold by other people who are making a huge profit?

Mr. Dalton

That will not be possible when the wholesalers' and retailers' margins are fixed, as they will be under the Order.