Industrial Concentration and Retail Trade.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 23rd July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I am trying to give a general picture. I was saying that the volume of trade has fallen and must fall further. On the other hand, the value of the goods—and here I include the Purchase Tax, and I will give the figures in both forms, including and excluding Purchase Tax—sold in the shops has, up to now, been maintained at a reasonably high level. For example, in the year ended 31st May, 1941, the total value of non-food retail sales, including the Purchase Tax, was 6 per cent. above the pre-war level. In the following year, ended 31st May, 1942, it was still 1 per cent. above the pre-war level, but that figure covers wide differences in different articles.