HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc53-4W
Sir P. Hurd

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is bringing under expert examination the explanation given by wholesale dealers in electric torches and batteries for the steep rise in prices; whether British manufacturers are being brought within the scope of his inquiries; and whether he will ensure a fair rationing to retailers, large and small, of such supplies of batteries as are available?

Mr. O. Stanley

The Board of Trade have no facilities for a detailed investigation of the wholesale trade in torches and batteries, but as I informed my hon. Friend in reply to his question of 31st October, the question of applying the Prices of Goods Bill to these goods will have to be considered when that Bill becomes law. I have been in communication with the chief British manufacturers. They had not increased their prices until yesterday when certain increases were made as a result, I am informed, of increased cost of materials. I understand that manufacturers are allocating available supplies as equitably as possibly to their regular wholesale and retail customers.