§ Mr. FELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps are being taken in Germany to combat the prices now being charged for oil and petrol; and if he is considering the question of the trusts which are controlling the price of oil at the present time and the effect that they may have on the interests connected with lighting, locomotion, and shipping in this country?
I understand that the German Government have recently introduced a Bill into the Reichstag to confer the monopoly of the sale of illuminating oil in Germany upon a company to be formed and to be operated under Government control; and that it is proposed that the dividends payable by the company, and the Government share in the profits, shall vary inversely with the price charged to the consumers. With regard to the second part of the question, I shall be glad to consider any evidence which the hon. Member is in a position to furnish, showing that the prices of oil and petrol in the United Kingdom at the present time are being artificially raised by the operations of combinations.
§ Mr. FELL
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if any experiments are being made or money set aside to encourage the production of alcohol or vegetable spirit for industrial purposes to meet the price now charged for petrol and other spirits?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The answer is in the negative.