§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
As measured by the Board of Trade index, wholesale prices in June were about 10 per cent. higher than in 1913. There is no official index of retail prices in general, but the average increase at 2nd June, 1936, as compared with July, 1914, shown by the Ministry of Labour cost-of-living index number was 44 per cent. In both scope and basis, however, these index numbers are far from similar. The wholesale price index covers classes of goods of importance in the industry of the country but comparatively negligible in retail trade, and is based mainly on the prices of raw or simply prepared articles. 1875 The cost-of-living index, on the other hand, is concerned with goods ready for use by ultimate consumers and is affected much more by the course of wages. These and other considerations make it difficult to draw any general conclusions from a comparison of the two index numbers.
§ Sir ARTHUR MICHAEL SAMUEL
Is this not another reason why the Board of Trade should now embark upon an investigation as to costs of distribution?