HC Deb 19 July 1912 vol 41 c671

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he realises that the value of the Return relating to vegetables in the Board's buff book [Cd. 6272] is minimised by the use of such different units of comparison as the crate, the bundle, the hundredweight, and the pound, and in the case of vegetable marrows, cucumbers, lettuces, and cabbages of the dozen, an expression giving no indication of the merits of the crop; and whether steps can be taken in the next official Returns of such produce to reduce in number these various units of comparison and to select either weights or measures well understood by the general public, and affording some indication of the seasonal standard of each crop referred to?


The annual Return of prices is compiled mainly with a view to the comparison of the market value of agricultural produce at different periods, and the weights and measures for which the prices are quoted are those generally used in the trade and most readily understood by persons interested. In the Board's weekly return of market prices, where the main object is to compare values at different markets within the same week, the varying weights and measures are, as far as possible, converted to a common denominator, the rates of conversion—which must in many cases be approximate—being given in a footnote. My right hon. Friend is inclined to think that this is on the whole the most convenient system that can be adopted, but he will be glad to consider any practical suggestions for improvement.


Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that the market value of vegetable marrows or cabbages is clearly indicated by the price given for the sale of a dozen of such commodities?


Personally, I have no information as to that.