HC Deb 25 May 1943 vol 389 cc1385-6
2. Mr. Levy

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the new price control order for toys, Statutory Rule and Order, 1943, No. 615, will result in the same article being offered in different shops at a wide divergency of prices, the difference between the highest and the lowest being as much as 33i⅓ per cent.; and what action he proposes to take to prevent this anomaly?

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir. But this is not peculiar to the price of toys. Variations in retail prices were normal in peacetime, and it is not in the public interest to eliminate them.

Mr. Levy

I think the right hon. Gentleman is doing what he can, but the toy industry as a whole is rather disturbed. If he will give the matter further consideration, I am sure that he will be able to eliminate a number of these anomalies.

Mr. Dalton

I have given a good deal of time and thought to the question of toys and have thought it desirable to have prices fixed well in advance for next Christmas. That is why the Order has been made now. If you fix prices at each successive stage between the manufacturer and the consumer, as you must do, if there is a variation in the number of stages there must be a consequent variation in the maximum price. These are maxima within which a good number of sales take place.