The approximate number of motor vehicles which have been returned to the industry for disposal to date is 18,000. The great majority of these were civilian type vehicles and were returned to industry under the conditions contained in the agreement between the Ministry of Supply and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a copy of which was sent to my hon. and gallant Friend on 9th October, 1941. Recently, however, Service type vehicles have become available for disposal and all vehicles are now being sold under a new agreement which has not yet been finalised, but which imposes somewhat different but basically similar conditions of price regulation to those contained in the old agreement.
Is it not a fact that the prices charged to the public by the dealers who get these vehicles from military supply bear no relation at all to the price paid by the trade to the Ministry, and that the Ministry is, therefore, assisting in putting on to the public the biggest racket known in relation to second-hand motor vehicles?
My hon. and gallant Friend is entirely wrong in what he says. The final price to the consumer is very carefully joined up to the price which the Ministry gets in the first place.
If that be so, will the hon. Gentleman say what is the condition, and what is the relation of the price to the consumer, which the Ministry imposes on the industry? Let me have the figures.
Because of the unsatisfactory nature of the whole transaction which has been disclosed, and the complete lack of grip of the Ministry on the situation, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment, and ask for figures to be disclosed to the House.