§ Mr. PRICE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a ring exists in the wholesale dried-fruit trade, which artificially restricts competition; that, in the week ending the 25th November last, the brokers were forced by dealers to withdraw from public auction the whole of their available stocks of raisins, thus stifling outside competition and keeping up prices; and whether he will adopt measures to prevent such action being taken in the, future?
§ Viscount WOLMER
The dried-fruit trade is limited and largely seasonal in character, and I understand that anticipation of increased demand has recently caused unwillingness to sell. The natural antidote to this tendency consists in the falling value of supplies unsold before Christmas, and I do not propose to interfere with the operation of the laws of supply and demand.