asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the substantial increase in the cost of towels, sheets, curtains and similar materials since these were taken off points; that most of the present available supplies are priced higher than utility goods; and what steps he is taking to secure a reduction in the prices charged to the consumer.
I am not aware of any increase in the price of household textiles since the removal of coupon rationing of these goods on 15th March, 1949. Since rationing was abolished the considerable demand for these articles has been principally for utility goods and the result is that until stocks are replenished there is a higher proportion of non-utility household textiles in the shops. As these bear Purchase Tax and are often made of more expensive yarns, they are dearer than utility lines. We hope to increase the volume of utility production and this will enable housewives to buy more of the cheaper utility goods.