HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2265-6
6. Mr. Nabarro

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number and aggregate of advances in the controlled prices of carpets, authorised by his Department since 1st January, 1947, and the current price index relative to a basic figure of 100 on that date; and the current carpet manufacturers' average cost of wool, cotton and jute, respectively, relative to a basic figure of 100 for each commodity on 1st January, 1947.

Mr. H. Wilson

Since 1st January, 1947, and including the increase which takes effect next Monday, the maximum prices of carpets have been increased on seven occasions. The Board of Trade does not publish an index of wholesale prices of carpets; but such an index for home-produced carpets, using as a base prices in May, 1947, when control was first placed on manufacturers' prices, would be about 200. Of the various grades of raw wool used, prices of some are five times and of others up to six and a half times the January, 1947, figures: the raw cotton component of the Board of Trade Index of Wholesale Prices stood in January this year at 367 on the same base, and raw jute at 235.

Mr. Nabarro

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his comprehensive reply, may I ask him if he could arrange for the Treasury to have a copy of these figures in view of the thoroughly inflationary effect of Purchase Tax due to the exorbitant rise of wholesale prices, and the grave threat to the carpet industry which is now inherent in the fact that prices are far too high?

Mr. Wilson

That seems to be an entirely different question.

Mr. Osborne

Are these seven increased prices reflected in the cost-of-living index?

Mr. Wilson

I should want notice of that question.