HC Deb 30 June 1949 vol 466 c1499
25. Mr. John E. Haire

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a detailed statement on the £9 million profit made by Timber Control last year.

Mr. H. Wilson

The trading accounts of the Timber Control for the year ended 31st March, 1949, are not yet available. The profit made by the Control on its trading for the year 1947–48 amounted to £3,901,744 on a sales turnover of £123,540,200. The Profit and Loss Account is published in detail in the volume of Trading Accounts and Balance Sheets, 1947–48. (House of Commons paper No. 49 of 1948–49.)

Mr. Haire

While I congratulate my right hon. Friend on being in charge of a Department which makes a handsome profit—reported in trade circles to be £9 million—will he, nevertheless, consider taking advantage of this profit to advise the Timber Control to bring down the cost of timber so that the benefit can be passed on to the consumers in the form, for example, of cheaper furniture?

Mr. Wilson

The figure of £9 million to which my hon. Friend refers, relates purely to actual cash payments and receipts during the year, irrespective of the period for which they are due, and takes no account of the value of stocks or charges for which there is no cash basis. The correct figure for profit is £3.9 million.

Captain Crookshank

Do these profits come within the category "frightfully high" which were deprecated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

Mr. Wilson

I do not think they are unduly high, all things considered.