§ 81. Mr. SUGDEN
asked the Food Controller if he will state what steps he purposes to take to reduce the cost of living, in view of the fact that the data published in the "Labour Gazette" for the two months ending in April shows retail prices of food fell from 120 per cent. to 107 per cent. above pre-war level, but there was actually an increase in the cost of living during the two months due to improvement in the supply of certain foodstuffs, greater consumption, and therefore greater expenditure?
I am aware that during the two months in question increased consumption of foodstuffs involved increased expenditure. I have under continuous and close consideration the question of reducing the price of foodstuffs to the utmost extent possible, but I do not regard it as within my province to place restrictions on the amount of food consumed by any class of the community except in so far as they are rendered necessary by shortage of supplies.
§ Mr. SUGDEN
May I ask if preference in shipping will be given to those articles of food which are a necessity, rather than to articles of expensive food luxury—of food which are the cause of the increased cost of living, and also no increased physical advantage to the people?
Yes, I am endeavouring to arrange shipping so as to bring an increased supply of commodities which are short.