HC Deb 30 October 1919 vol 120 cc920-1W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the whole of the quinine (chinchona) production of the world, apart from the small quantity produced by the Government of India for local use, has lately been made the subject of a monopoly of the Dutch and British producers; whether he is aware that this monopoly is fortified, so far as this country is concerned, by an equally firm monopoly of the wholesale chemists of the United Kingdom; whether he realises that the consumer is now being charged 3s. 6d. per ounce, as compared with 1s., or even less, pre-war; and what steps he proposes to take to enable this commodity to be obtained without profiteering?


The answer to the first part of the hon. Member's question is in the affirmative. The whole question of the prices and supply of quinine sulphate to this country is being investigated under Section 3 of the Profiteering Act, and I hope that the findings of the investigators will be ready for publication before the end of this week or, at latest, next week.