§ Mr. E. BROWN
As at present advised, I do not anticipate that any of the large representative towns, including Leicester, from which information is now obtained will be excluded from the basis of the revised calculations. The precise details of the basis and scope of the revised index figures, however, will require careful consideration when the proposed inquiry into working-class family expendi- 286 ture has been completed, towards the end of next year, and I am not, therefore, in a position to make definite pronouncements on these points at the present time.
§ 4. Mr. BROOKE
asked the Minister of Labour whether he intends to alter the method of computing the cost-of-living index figure; and, if so, what changes are contemplated?
§ Mr. BROWN
As stated in the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby) on 7th April, it is proposed to ascertain by means of a sufficient number of representative family budgets whether in the light of present-day conditions any changes should be made in the items at present included in the computation of the cost-of-living index or in the numerical weights to be applied to them. These inquiries will take a considerable time, and until they are completed it is not possible to say what changes will be necessary in these respects.
§ Mr. BROOKE
Is it the intention to continue the present method of computing the index figure, and, if not, what is likely to happen as far as agreements are concerned where wages are calculated on a definite figure?
§ Mr. WATKINS
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, when he is seeking budgets upon which to base his calculation, he will also include the budgets of unemployed?