Retail Prices

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North 12:00 am, 19th December 1957

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he is aware that, since his last appeal to manufacturers to reduce prices, there has been a further fall in import prices and, notwithstanding a 1·7 per cent. fall in the wholesale price of basic materials between October and November, there has been no corresponding reduction in retail prices; and what action he proposes to take to ensure that these falling prices are passed on to the consumer;

(2) if he is aware that, whilst almost all types of imports have fallen in price during the past few months, particularly raw materials, the lower prices have been particularly marked with regard to raw wool, raw cotton, raw rubber, lead, imported steel scrap, hides and skins and zinc; whether he will cause an investigation to be made into the industries which use these raw materials for manufactured goods to ascertain why these lower raw material prices have not been passed on in lower prices for the completed manufactured goods; and whether he will consider a special profits tax in his forthcoming budget on these types of industries and manufacturers.