Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been called to the profits earned by leading tobacco firms during the past year and to the high retail prices which are being charged; and if he will institute an inquiry as to whether these prices and profits have been maintained by the establishment of a virtual monopoly in the trade and as to whether at existing prices there is a margin for further taxation without increasing retail prices?1528W
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's attention has been called to the profits made by certain tobacco firms during last year, but he is not in a position to state whether in the circumstances these profits or the retail prices are excessive. As regards the last part of the question, he can only say that all relevant considerations will be borne in mind in framing the Budget.