HC Deb 20 June 1950 vol 476 cc92-3W
76. Mr. Porter

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that under his present regulations big stores which buy cotton goods direct from the manufacturers get a preference over the smaller shopkeeper who has to buy from the wholesaler; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this anomaly.

Mr. Rhodes

I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the fact that although the manufacturers' maximum prices for some utility goods, including cotton goods, are higher for sales direct to retailers than for sales to wholesalers, they are often lower than the wholesalers' ceiling prices for the same goods. These provisions reflect normal trade practice since big stores and other organisations purchasing in large quantities are usually able to buy more cheaply than small retailers. We are, however, considering whether the price control provisions governing sales by manufacturers direct to retailers should be amended in any way, although we should, of course, be most reluctant to take any step which would have the effect of raising the maximum prices for goods sold by those retailers who buy direct from manufacturers.