§ Mr. A. Lewis
asked the President of the Board of Trade how much out of £I spent on cotton goods goes to distributors.
Mr. H. Wilson
It is not possible to say how much of £I spent on cotton goods goes to distributors, partly because it is not known what proportion of goods goes through wholesalers and what proportion goes direct from manufacturers to retailers, nor to what extent distributors take less than the maximum permitted margins for these goods.
The maximum percentage gross margins which distributors are permitted to add to the price they pay for utility cotton goods vary according to the class of goods. For example, in the case of utility cotton shirts, the maximum gross margins for wholesalers and retailers would together represent 6s. 8d. in the £1 on the maximum permitted retail selling price, while for utility sheets and towels the corresponding figure would be 5s. 11d. These margins have, of course, to cover wages, rent, rates and all the other costs incurred in distribution.