HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 c440
8. Sir A. Hurd

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent the total of food items in the retail prices index has changed in the past year.

Mr. Iain Macleod

At 12th May, 1959, the index for the food group of the retail prices index was about 0.4 per cent. below the corresponding figure for 13th May, 1958.

Sir A. Hurd

As this is the first year since the war that, on the whole, food prices in the shops have fallen, would my right hon. Friend tell us briefly which foods in particular have contributed to this result?

Hon. Members


Mr. Macleod

I do not know whether hon. Members consider beer to be a food but I assure them that it is not included in this Index. Foods that have gone down over the year are potatoes, vegetables, fresh fruit and eggs which, on the whole, seem to be home-produced. Those that have gone up are butter, cheese and beef, a large proportion of which no doubt come from overseas.

Mrs. Mann

How much have the weights gone down?

Mr. Macleod

The weight of food in pre-packages, which is presumably what the hon. Lady means, does not come into this matter, because allowance for any change in weights is made every month when we take our soundings of the figures.

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