HC Deb 11 March 1948 vol 448 c1403
23. Mr. Albert Evans

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that shirts imported from Czechoslovakia are being retailed at 47s. each; and to what extent he controls the price and quality of these and other imported items of apparel.

Mr. H. Wilson

There is no control of the prices charged by the manufacturers of these shirts or of the quality of their products. But the maximum margins which can be taken by importers, wholesalers and retailers of imported items of apparel are statutorily prescribed.

Mr. Evans

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind the Government's policy of price control, and look into this matter?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir, but I have no control over the price of manufactured goods made in foreign countries.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Is the Minister aware that if there is a shortage of cheap Czechoslovak shirts, there appears to be no shortage of Czechoslovak shifts?

Sir Ronald Ross

Can the President of the Board of Trade assure the House that it will not be possible to sell Czechoslovak made shirts at a price which undercuts shirts made in this country at proper wages and under proper conditions?

Mr. Wilson

There has been no complaint of undercutting. All the complaints have been that the price of imported shirts has been far too high.

Mr. House

Is the Minister aware that shirts of no exceptional quality are being sold within a mile of this House at the apparently exorbitant price of £2 10s. each, and does he not think that there is useful ground there for inquiry and investigation?

Mr. Wilson

I would like my hon. Friend to let me have particulars.