In the six months to the middle of May, 27 items, apart from seasonal increases in the price of some fresh fruits and vegetables. The increases on individual items range from 4 per cent, to 33 per cent.
A fairer indication of the food price level is the Index of Retail Food Prices, which has risen in the four months January to April by 3.9 per cent., compared with an increase of 7 per cent. in the first six months of last year.
This is a selective question, intended to produce a particular type of reply. A fairer indication would be to recall the steeper rises in prices in corresponding periods of earlier years.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
Would the Minister be good enough to circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the details of price increases in these unrationed goods?
§ Mrs. Castle
How many of these 27 items of which the prices have risen are those from which the Minister deliberately took off price control since the present Government came into power?
It would take a little time to sort them out. They certainly include flour, which is the one responsible for the 33 per cent. figure.
§ Following are details of the items in question:
|Canned peas||25 percent.|
|Dried beans||23 percent.|
|Dried peas||15 percent.|
|Meat and fish pastes||12 to 15 percent.|
|Canned meats and meat products||11 percent.|
|Canned beans in tomato sauce||10 percent.|
|Canned tomatoes||10 percent.|
|Coffee||5 to 10 percent.|
|Barley products||9 percent.|
|Cereal breakfast foods||8 percent.|
|Table jellies||6 percent.|
|Custard powder||Some increases for individual brands|
|Condiments and sauces|
|Cake and bun mixtures|
|Infant and invalid foods|