§ 17. Mr. Osborne
asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the Raw Cotton Commission's net profit of £10 million for the year ended July, 1950, and of its monopoly powers, he will instruct the Commission to supply the manufacturers of utility garments at lower prices; and so prevent a further rise in the cost of clothing and the cost of living.
§ Sir H. Shawcross
No. The obligations imposed upon the Raw Cotton Commission under the Cotton (Centralised Buying) Act, 1947, with regard to the prices at which they sell, constitute an adequate safeguard for the public interest. An explanation of the Commission's selling policy is contained in paragraph 59 of their Annual Report for the year ended 31st July, 1949, which readsThe Commission's price policy is directed towards securing the best competitive conditions for raw cotton users in the United Kingdom, by selling cotton at prices approximating to world replacement prices while maintaining the greatest practicable stability. At any particular time there may be a substantial gap, favourable or otherwise, between the cost per pound of the cotton when it was bought and the current selling price