HC Deb 12 May 1953 vol 515 cc1030-1
4 and 14. Mrs. Mann

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) what factors were considered before the decision was made to free nylon stockings from price control;

(2) what steps he will take to prevent increased prices due to decontrol of nylon stockings in scarce supply.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Among the factors taken into account were that home supplies from our own manufacturers and from overseas were increasing and would increase further; that the consumer should enjoy a greater range of choice than was possible under existing controlled prices, and that the manufacturers of the majority of nylon stockings made in this country had informed me of their intention not to increase the home market price of nylons previously sold at controlled prices. I see no reason to suppose that customers will not be able successfully to resist any attempt to raise prices unjustifiably, especially since supplies are steadily increasing.

Mrs. Mann

Is the President of the Board of Trade aware that these influences were prevalent when he gave the assurance to the House that he would retain price control, and why has he slipped in this respect now? Also, if it is true that the manufacturers can guarantee supplies at no higher prices, could the names of those manufacturers and the prices be placed in the Library?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am confident that I can never have given any undertaking in such unequivocal terms as that I would not do away with price control. I do away with all price controls when I consider them to be unnecessary.