Cement.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 13th March 1923.

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Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON:

14.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the British combine of cement-makers makes it a condition that in order to secure the most favourable terms their customers must give an undertaking not to buy cement from any foreign source or from any British maker not in their combine; and whether, seeing that this attempt to crush out all competition by selling at a lower price to those who will give this undertaking than to those who refuse is a practice at variance with the best interest of the community and, in effect, an illegal restraint upon trade, he will say what steps he proposes to take in order to combat this evil practice?

Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 3rd November last, to which I have nothing to add.

Mr. THOMSON:

Is the Noble Lord not prepared to take action to prevent trusts from putting up the price of building material so excessively, on the lines of the Government Inquiry, as suggested some time ago?

Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

The Government are watching the situation very carefully, but the facts at present in our possession do not lead us to believe that the steps suggested by the hon. Member would be appropriate now.

Photo of Mr George Hardie Mr George Hardie , Glasgow Springburn

Is the Noble Lord aware that under the housing schemes in certain parts of Scotland we were asked to take cement from a trust in London, whereas we could manufacture it for much less?

Photo of Viscount  Wolmer Viscount Wolmer , Aldershot

I should be very much obliged if the hon. Member will give us all the information at his disposal.