§ 2. Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether there has recently been any increase in the price of bread; and whether he has made any inquiry into the cause of the rise in price?
A general advance in the price of bread, amounting to a half-penny on the 4 lb. loaf, took place in London on 7th July. It is, I think, generally known that reports on the prospects of the coming harvests in Canada and the United States have been somewhat unfavourable, and the recent advances in the world prices of wheat are traceable to this cause.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the price of London flour went up 1s. to-day—
§ Sir K. WOOD
—and are not speculators operating in this market, and so causing the increase in price?
§ Mr. HANNON
Is not the speculation, in point of fact, taking place on the other side of the, Atlantic?
It is clear that a rise in the price of flour is taking place. I have no knowledge, of course, as to speculation, either on this side of the Atlantic or on the other, but when there is any apprehension of scarcity, there has always hitherto been a degree of speculation on both sides.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is not this another reason for getting on with the negotiations with Russia?
§ 15. Mr. WELLS
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the price of bread rose last February from 8d. to 8½d. per quartern loaf and again advanced by another halfpenny on 4th July last; and will he state what effect this increase in price will have on the cost-of-living index figure?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Miss Bondfield)
I have been asked to reply. I am aware that there have been increases, during recent months, in the price of bread. The prices charged, however and the dates at which the increases have taken effect, have varied in different localities. A general increase of ½d. per quartern loaf would raise the official cost-of-living index figure by approximately three-fourths of one point.