§ 25. Mr. G. Jeger
asked the Minister of Food the retail price of coffee immediately prior to decontrol.
There has been an increase; and there has been one in recent months due to a world shortage as a result of the disaster in Brazil last year.
§ 26. Mr. G. Jeger
asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the intention to increase the price of coffee to 10s. per lb; and whether he will restore control of the price at a more reasonable level.
§ Mr. Jeger
Would the hon. Gentleman pursue his researches a little further —but not quite as far as the replies that used to be given by the previous Government? Would he go back to the time when the decontrol of coffee was being put forward in this House, and would he recall the words used then, that the price could safely be left to competition and the trade? Would he regard the present terrific increase in price—the continued increases—as being satisfactory evidence of competition and decontrol?
The recent increase in price is evidence of a serious disaster in Brazil which has resulted in a world shortage of coffee.
I have nothing to add to the replies given to the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) on 8th March and the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) on 13th May.
That comes strangely from the hon. Lady when one recalls what was added to food prices in the last year of her party's Government—18 per cent.