HC Deb 10 November 1955 vol 545 cc2004-5
50. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Secretary to the Treasury what, taking the value of the £ at 20s. in 1938, was its value in February, 1946, May, 1952, February, 1955, and at the latest available date.

Sir E. Boyle

Taking the internal purchasing power of the £ as 20s. in 1938, it is estimated that the corresponding figure for 1946—for which monthly figures are not available—was 11s. 10d.; for May, 1952, 8s. 6d.; for February, 1955, 8s., and for September, 1955. 7s. 10d.

This estimate is based on the Consumer Price Index, which is available for calendar years from 1938 to 1954, supplemented by the Interim Index of Retail Prices, which has been used as a link to give the figures for particular months.

Sir I. Fraser

May I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, through my hon. Friend, whether he considers that these figures, and the trend which they show, indicate that we have a duty to look after those who are hurt by inflation, but equally a duty to take all possible steps to see that inflation does not continue so rapidly?

Sir E. Boyle

I entirely agree with what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. M. Stewart

In view of the need to curb inflation, is it not important not to waste money by giving subsidies to private schools, as was suggested in an earlier Question by the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser).