§ Mr. PERKINS
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the high and increasing price of leather; whether he is aware that harness makers are now required to pay 4s. 4d. to 5s. 2d. per lb. for the leather which before the War was sold at 1s. 8d. to 1s. 11d., while the tanners are paying only Id. per lb. more for hides; whether there is still any control over the prices of leather; and whether he will inquire into a general charge of profiteering in the leather trade?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I am fully aware of the continual rise in the price of leather, but am not prepared to accept the hon. Member's figures as to the price of hides, which I am advised has risen by from 7d. to 9d. a pound above the pre-war price of 7d. to 8d. As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, a Bill to prevent profiteering is now before the House, and in these circumstances I cannot promise to take action in respect of a particular trade until a decision has been reached as to the policy to be adopted to prevent profiteering generally.