HC Deb 19 December 1946 vol 431 c2152
26. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the President of the Board of Trade why it is necessary for British manufacturers buying bristle in the free market to undertake to purchase 25 per cent, of their requirements from stocks held by his Department; and whether he will state the average difference between the prices from the two sources.

Sir S. Cripps

In order to ensure an orderly liquidation of Government stocks, it has been agreed with importers of China bristles that they will take 25 per cent, of the value of their imports from the Board of Trade at prices which are broadly in line with replacement cost.

Mr. Shepherd

Is this not another example of the folly of Government purchase? Will the President of the Board of Trade say why the trade should be burdened with the results of the Government's incompetence in this direction?

Sir S. Cripps

That is not so. Nor is the trade burdened, because the prices are the same substantially as those at which they are purchasing now.