HC Deb 22 November 1920 vol 135 cc69-70W

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps have been taken by the Central Committee and by the local profiteering committees to ascertain whether manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers generally are reducing prices in proportion to the reduced cost of raw materials and the reduced cost of replacement?


The Central Committee endeavour as far as possible to keep a watch on the rise and fall of prices both of raw materials and of manufactured articles, and it is a standing instruction to all investigating committees that the question of replacement value should be taken into consideration. As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade informed my hon. Friend on the 4th November, it has been pointed out to local committees, to whom have been delegated the bulk of the Board of Trade's powers under the Profiteering Acts in regard to retail trade, that in considering the reasonableness of a given rate of profit they should take into consideration the cost of replacement, and I understand that this is done. The prices of a number of articles of first necessity (for example, boots and shoes and clothing) are certainly declining, but some delay is to be anticipated before retail prices are reduced in accordance with the decline in wholesale prices.