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Surplus Stores And War Equipment (Sales)

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Supply what conditions apply to the sale of Government stores and war equipment to ensure the protection of the public from profiteering on the part of dealers and retailers.

Where necessary, prices are controlled, either by agreement with the trade, by Statutory Order, or, as in the case of machine tools, by my Department conducting the sale at a fixed price for each article.

Does my right hon. Friend realise that in the case of officers' field boots, his Department disposed of these at 25s. a pair, and that their price in the shops is 65s., and that, in the case of deck shoes, his Department are getting 7s. 6d. a pair, whereas the retail price to the public is 22s. 6d. a pair? Does he consider it justified that the price should go up three times before the public get them?

The price of second-hand clothing to the consumer is fixed after consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Does my right hon. Friend consider that a price increase of 300 per cent. is a fair margin?