§ Mr. R. C. Morrison
asked the President of the Board of Trade the amount in the Commodity War Risks Insurance Fund and to give an estimate of the total value of stocks insured?
§ Mr. Stanley
The amount in the fund at the close of business on the 28th November was £12,875,000, after allowing for refunds of premiums made under the concession in regard to September premiums which I announced on the 5th October and in respect of goods which have been declared to be uninsurable. No precise estimate of the total value of stock insured can yet be made, as further refunds have yet to be calculated but on the information available it is estimated that the value of the stocks insured exceeds £1,100,000,000.
§ Sir J. Lamb
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that many traders who asked their customers to accept additions in prices to cover the cost of commodity war risks insurance premiums have declined to modify these additions although the premiums they have paid in respect of the period 3rd September to 2nd October have been refunded to them; and if he will take steps to compel the refund of these additions by the traders to the customers concerned?281W
§ Mr. Stanley
Some cases have been brought to my notice in which traders have refused to modify increases of price made on account of the cost of war risks insurance in spite of the refund of premiums paid in respect of the period from 3rd September to 2nd October. I have expressed disapproval of their action, but I have no general powers to compel traders to modify or to refund charges which they have made on this account. I should hope, however, that purchasers will be on their guard against demands for surcharges which bear no relation to the actual cost of insurance. The Prices of Goods Act will provide a safeguard in the future against abuses of this nature in respect of goods to which the Act is applied.