HC Deb 04 November 1920 vol 134 c610W

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawn to the prices at which mineral waters are being retailed in places of public refreshment or amusement; whether he is aware of the fact that though the wholesale cost of certain brands ranges from 4s. to 4s. 6d. per dozen single bottles of the same are frequently served at from 9d. to Is. each; that whereas it is not an unusual occurrence for only one bottle of mineral water to be employed in the dilution of several similar quantities of spirit supplied to a single order, yet a charge is made as though each separate serving of spirit contains also the entire contents of one bottle of the dilutient; and whether he can see his way to inquire into the retail prices of mineral waters generally supplied in such places, with a view to protecting the public?


While I was not aware of all the matters to which the hon. Member refers, I understand that the retail price charged for mineral waters is frequently high as compared with the wholesale price. The Profiteering Acts have been applied to mineral waters and it is open to anyone who considers that he has been charged an excessive price on a retail sale to lodge a complaint with the appropriate Local Committee, who are empowered to decide whether in view of all the circumstances an unreasonable profit has been made.