asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the inquest on Mrs. Mitchell, aged 73, of Macclesfield, who took her life, at which evidence was given that she supported herself by making rugs for sale by auction and that her mind was unbalanced owing to her concern that she had contravened Statutory Rule and Order No. 1496 of 1947, which forbids any person to enter goods for sale by auction more than once every six months; and if he will now revoke this regulation.
I have seen a short Press report of the inquest referred to by the hon. and gallant Member. The order in question is enforced by the local price regulation committees. I cannot find that any of the committees for the regions likely to be concerned has been in communication with or had even heard of Mrs. Mitchell; I do not think therefore that there can be any reason for attributing the unbalance of her mind to the enforcement against her of this order. The purpose of the order is to ensure that advantage is not taken of auction facilities to carry on a business of selling price-controlled goods without complying with price control regulations. We are considering modifying some of the provisions of this order, but it is not proposed at present to revoke it.