HC Deb 03 February 1947 vol 432 cc1388-9
79. Mr. Piratin

asked the Minister of Food whether he will give a list of those fruits and vegetables from which price control has been removed; and whether he will state the average retail price of those fruits and vegetables at January, 1946, and at January, 1947.

Mr. Strachey

Since January, 1946, price control has been lifted from all green vegetables, leeks, rhubarb, soft fruits, cucumbers and root vegetables, excepting cooked beetroot, but price control of soft fruits will be reimposed this year while the pre-emption arrangements for jam manufacture are in force. With permission, I will circulate the retail price figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Piratin

Can the Minister say whether those figures show an increase since decontrol took place, and if so, will he do something about it?

Mr. Strachey

The serious increase is in the case of Brussels sprouts. That is a serious one. For this season it would be impossible to do anything about it, because the season is practically finished, but it has caused a good deal of concern.

Mr. Walkden

Is my right hon. Friend aware that over the last fortnight, since the decontrol of green vegetables, the cost to -the average home has increased by 3s. 6d. per week, and in comparison with prewar prices, the cost has increased by 7s. 6d. a week? Cannot he review this situation once again?

Mr. Strachey

Decontrol has not operated only for the last fortnight, but for three months now. The figures for the last fortnight are very largely because of the weather.

Following are the retail prices: The average retail prices during January, 1947, of those items which have been freed from control and of which supplies have been available this month, as compared with the maximum prices in operation during January, 1946, are as follow:
Price per lb.
January, 1946. January, 1947.
commodity s. d. s. d.
Cabbage 0 0
Cauliflower / Broccoli 0 0 9
Brussels Sprouts 0 0 10
Leeks 0 5 0
Beecroot (uncooked) 0 3 0 3
Parsnips 0 3 0 3
Swedes 0 0 2
Turnips 0 0
Rhubarb 1 0 2