HC Deb 27 July 1953 vol 518 cc886-7
47. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware of the concern felt by housewives at the continued rise in the price of food, particularly since October, 1951; and what action he proposes to take to restore the price of food to such a figure as to enable the poorer sections of the population to take up their full rations.

Major Lloyd George

I am confident that housewives appreciate our success in checking the increase in the cost of living, which rose over twice as fast in 1951 under the late Government as it did in 1952 under the present Administration.

As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to him on 15th July.

Mr. Lewis

Is the Minister aware that the figures he has quoted are misleading, because when the Korean war was at its height world food prices were rapidly rising while the cost of living in this country rose far less rapidly than in any other country in the world? In fact, the reverse is now the case. World food prices are dropping, but prices here have been rising far more rapidly than in any other place. Is the Minister further aware that at the last Election the Government promised that it would bring down the cost of living to make the £ worth something, and bring down the price of food? Is he further aware that the purchasing value of the £ has now reached the lowest level ever, and that housewives are completely fed up with this Government?

Major Lloyd George

I could not, in two minutes, possibly cover the points which the hon. Gentleman has raised. I must, however, call his attention to his own question, in which he refers to the rise in the price of food, particularly since October, 1951. Since October, 1951, the index has risen at exactly half the rate at which it rose before.