§ 12. Mr. Sorensen
asked the President of the Board of Trade what commodities, other than oil, are likely to be scarce or reduced in supply owing to the blocking of the Suez Canal and Middle East disturbance; to what extent this will involve increased prices of retail goods dependent on supplies of raw materials that must now be transported to this country by alternative routes.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
Supplies of imported commodities, other than oil, are not likely to be seriously reduced, although there may be some delays in arrivals. The price of imported materials constitutes only a part of the final cost, and the rise in freight rates should not greatly affect retail price of manufactured goods.
§ Mr. Sorensen
Has the President taken any action to see that whatever increase there may be is not exaggerated by those who have control at some intervening point?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
I am grateful to the hon. Member, and I am sure he is right in sayine that we should not exaggerate these things.