§ Sir R. THOMAS
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the progress of building in this country is being retarded by the operations of rings and price-fixing associations, particularly in regard to timber; and whether he will set up a Committee of Inquiry into the matter?
§ Sir K. WOOD
The Inter- departmental Committee on the Prices of Building Materials, which is presided over by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Ripon Division (Major Hills), keeps in constant touch with and investigates prices of building materials. In their last Report, which dealt with the prices ruling on the 1st May last, they stated that prices in several directions tended to become easier. As regards timber, the Schedule appended to that Report indicated that between January, 1924, and May, 1927, timber prices generally have substantially fallen. I am advised that there is no ring or price-fixing association in the timber trade.