§ 89. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Labour whether careful notice is taken when making up the index figures of the cost of living by those responsible for compiling those figures; if he is aware that in less than two weeks butter has become dearer by 3d. per lb. and bacon by 2d. per lb., while eggs have become much more expensive, and bread has been increased by ½d. per loaf; that recently butter has risen from 1d., 2d., and 3d. per lb.; that New Zealand has been increased by £50 per ton when the supplies have been entering the country on the same scale as ever; and if those increases mentioned in the selling price of commodities are taken into account?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Miss Bondfield)
I am aware that there have been increases recently in the retail prices of the articles referred to. So far as these increases had become operative by 1st July, they will be taken into account in the index figures relating to that date, which are now being compiled for publication on 17th July. Increases taking effect since 1st July will be taken into account in compiling the index figures relating to 1st August. I may add that as information as to retail food prices is obtained each month from over 5,000 shopkeepers, there is no possibility of any general change in prices escaping the attention of the Department.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Are not these increases due to the rejection by the Government of the Imperial Preference proposals?