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Footwear (Profit Margins)

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 23 June 1949

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18.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what further reductions in the profit margins allowed to footwear manufacturers he proposes to make, in view of the excessive profits earned by footwear manufacturers.

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Piratin) on this subject on 24th May.

Can the President of the Board of Trade give an assurance that the present margins will not continue to yield excessive profits and impose unnecessary burdens upon parents with families of young children?

I can certainly give an assurance that we are watching these margins all the time. As my hon. Friend knows, not very long ago we reduced the margins on the distribution of footwear.

Are any steps being taken to recover from these firms some of the public subsidies which were used to inflate their own private profits?

Those subsidies refer, of course, to utility leather, and are a different consideration.

To what extent are these large profits due to the continued rise in the price of raw materials; and if they are due to that, is there not likely to be a general rise in world prices?

Will my right hon. Friend make it quite clear that the profits of boot manufacturers are due entirely to profits on the distributive side, which are in a different category?