HC Deb 23 July 1953 vol 518 cc570-1

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:

11. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Labour what factors have caused the recent rise in the cost-of-living index.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Willey.

Sir H. Williams

On a point of order. Before this Question is answered, may I ask, as this explanation is always given in the Ministry of Labour Gazette, why this Question was admitted to the Order Paper?

Mr. Speaker

The Question asks for the factors which have caused the recent rise in the cost-of-living index. That is rather a separate matter.

Sir H. Williams

But the monthly edition of the Ministry of Labour Gazette contains this information and a paragraph is given explaining the reasons for the change. That is available to hon. Members in the Library.

Sir W. Monckton

The rise of one point in the Interim Index of Retail Prices between May and June was due mainly to increases in the prices of cooking apples, oranges, corned beef, tea and fish, which were partly offset by lower prices for some vegetables and for eggs. There were also, in some areas, increases in the prices of coal, increases in the average charges for electricity and gas, and increased bus fares. Some of these changes between May and June were seasonal.

Mr. Willey

Will the Minister bring this report to the notice of the Minister of Food, because he seems to have a blind spot about tea?

Sir W. Moncktou

I constantly bring these matters to the attention of my colleagues.