§ Mr. WILKIE
asked the Minister of Munitions whether his Department have given any contracts for the supply of shellac; if so, whether the price of this article has increased from 90s. per cwt. to:375s. per cwt.; and whether he will make inquiries into the cause of this increase in price?
§ Sir W. EVANS
Arrangements have been made by which the shellac required for munitions is obtained direct from India and supplied at 144s. 6d. per cwt. to all Government contractors who can produce evidence that they require the supplies for Government orders. The present high market prices appear to be due to speculation which is outside the control of the Ministry and with which, as supplies for munitions are not endangered thereby, the Ministry of Munitions has no authority to deal.2139W