§ Mr. CAREW
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the hardship being inflicted on the retail traders of boots and shoes by being obliged to sell war-time boots at Government fixed prices when co-operative societies are allowed to return to their customers from 10 to 15 per cent. on the sale of the same article; and what action he will take to remedy this grievance?
§ Mr. FORSTER
In view of the fact that war-time boots are sold at fixed prices by retailers and that the giving of discounts from these prices is prohibited by the Army Council Order of 10th November, 1917, no section of the retail trade can be considered to be placed in a position of comparative disadvantage by such fixing 1681W of prices. In reply to the second part of the question, co-operative societies are not permitted to return to their customers any portion of the sale price on individual transactions in selling war-time boots. The Department has not considered it desirable to interfere with the long-established practice whereby co-operative societies distribute among their members at the end of fixed trading periods a portion of their ascertained profits.