§ Mr. RAMSDEN
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many articles of common use he has investigated as to price since the passing of the Profiteering Act, 55W and in how many cases of kindred articles he has refrained from taking action though he has received representations in favour of the course; whether he can state, as a result of his general investigations, the articles in which profiteering has been especially noticeable; and whether the responsibility therefore has rested mainly with the producer, the middleman, or the retailer?
§ Sir A. GEDDES
Complaints arising out of sales by wholesale traders are investigated, heard and determined by a Central Committee appointed for this purpose. This Committee also exercises the powers of the Board of Trade in relation to Trusts.
The Central Committee are investigating the following articles:—
Complaints arising out of retail sales are being investigated by seine 1,600 Local Committees established by the local authorities. These Committees are investigating such complaints respecting the following articles to which the Act has been applied, namely:—articles of wearing apparel, household utensils and requisites, mending and knitting mate- 56W rials, articles of furniture (except antique furniture), building materials, and certain specified and unspecified articles of food.
- Boots, Shoes and Clogs.
- Tins enamelled, and galvanised ware.
- Ready made clothing.
- Weights and measures.
- Weighing and measuring machines.
- Blankets and
- Brushes and brooms
In answer to the second part of the question the Board of Trade have not refrained from taking action in regard to any article to which the Act applies.
I fear it is at present too early to give a definite answer to the questions asked in parts three and four of my hon. Friend's question.