HC Deb 05 July 1951 vol 489 c2487
42. Mr. Janner

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the large profits made by tobacco companies, he will now introduce price control for tobacco and cigarettes.

Mr. Rhodes

Except in the case of some pipe tobaccos, there have been no changes since well before the war in the retail prices of tobacco and cigarettes apart from increases following changes in the tobacco duties. At present, therefore, I do not consider it necessary to impose a statutory price control.

Mr. Janner

Is my hon. Friend aware that statements are now being made that it is proposed to increase the price of cigarettes and pipe tobacco? Is he also aware that there is very grave concern throughout the country about it, and will he see that there is no increase?

Mr. Rhodes

I will certainly consider the matter.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that if the tobacco companies took a halfpenny off the price of a packet of cigarettes they would turn all their profits to losses?

Mr. Nally

Can we have a clear assurance from my hon. Friend that his reply was not intended to give the slightest encouragement to the industry, which is making exceptionally high profits, to increase the prices at which they are already doing so well?

Mr. Rhodes

I gave no encouragement in any shape or form.

Forward to