asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will take the necessary steps to restore and prevent any further deterioration in the quality of the utility grades of worsted and woollen cloths and also will arrange for larger supplies of this grade of cloth.
The considerable increase in the price of raw wool in 1948, particularly in the finer qualities, has not been fully reflected in increased utility cloth price ceilings. The relatively small increases in price ceilings made last November were designed to avoid deterioration in the wearing qualities of the cloths but some reduction in fineness was inevitable. As regards the second part of the Question, 74 per cent. of civilian clothing fabric was utility in November and we are aiming at a proportion of between 75 per cent. and 80 per cent.
asked the. President of the Board of Trade if he will arrange with the manufacturers of worsted and woollen cloths to reduce the price of this article by diverting for this purpose some of the large profits that they are making.
I am aware that recently announced profits of some companies in this industry have shown an increase over the previous trading year. My hon. Friend will appreciate, however, that these profits are derived from the whole of the activities of the companies. The prices of worsted and woollen cloths for the home market are already strictly controlled, and allow for no more than a reasonable margin of profit.