HC Deb 08 December 1943 vol 395 cc963-4
42. Sir J. Mellor

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works why he is proposing to inquire into the earnings of the paint industry; when the inquiry will begin; and how will it be conducted?

Mr. Hicks

It is a well recognised practice that the appropriate Government Department should satisfy itself that the prices of important commodities are reasonable. My Noble Friend proposes to inquire into the earnings of the paint industry in order to implement his responsibility in regard to the prices of building materials. Discussions have already begun with the industry. The inquiry will be conducted, as is usual in these matters, by an examination of the accounts of certain representative firms.

Sir H. Williams

Will the inquiry distinguish between those firms which have been made richer by Government action and those which have been made poorer under the concentration scheme?