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Footwear (Profits)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the statement in the Auditor-General's report on the Government's Trading Accounts for the financial year 1947–48 that footwear manufacturers' profits were more than double those which controlled prices were anticipated to produce; that this came

Monthly Digest of Statistics. No figures are available showing the relative position as between Utility and non-utility furniture, because the term non-utility covers a wide range of non-domestic articles. If like is compared with like, and non-utility furniture defined as domestic types only, then the proportion of utility output is estimated to be certainly not less than 90 per cent., and there has been no great change in this figure for some time.

Following is the information:

about partly by the manner in which the leather subsidy was allocated; what steps he proposes to take in order to bring down the prices of footwear; and whether he will make a statement as to the cost to the public of the arrangements condemned by the Auditor-General.

The maximum margins for footwear manufacturers were reduced in November last, largely as a result of the investigation of 1947 trading results mentioned in the Comptroller and Auditor-General's recent report. If, in 1946, we had known accurately what the turnover in the various qualities and types of footwear would be in 1947, the margins then introduced would have been narrower, and 1947 prices might have been lower by amounts ranging from 4d. to 1s. in the £. It is too early to assess the general level of profits which manufacturers are making under the reduced maximum margins which were prescribed last November. The situation will, however, be kept under review and further action taken as and when necessary.