HC Deb 28 July 1915 vol 73 cc2296-7W

asked the President of the Board of Trade what amount of increase in the price of a quarter of wheat and of a sack of flour, respectively, is found by the Board's experience to be the fair equivalent of, and to justify an increase of, a halfpenny in the price of a 4 lb. loaf of bread?


The number of 4 lb. loaves made from a sack of flour varies somewhat, but if it be taken as ninety-two—a usual figure—a change of a halfpenny in the price of a 4 lb. loaf would correspond to a change of 3s. 10d. in the price of a sack of flour, on the assumption that other materials and labour are unchanged in cost. The proportion of flour obtained to the grain milled varies considerably in practice. The census of production returns show an average yield of flour in United Kingdom mills of about two-thirds of the weight of the wheat milled, and taking this proportion the change in price of wheat corresponding to a change of a halfpenny in the price of the 4 lb. loaf would be about 4s. 4½d. per quarter of 480 lbs. On the basis of a 70 per cent, yield of flour, in accordance with the practice of some districts, the corresponding change in the price of wheat would be rather over 4s. 7d. per quarter. These figures are based on the assumption that the wheat offals remain unchanged in price, and that the expenses of milling remain unchanged.


asked what were the average market prices in England and Wales of a quarter of wheat, a sack of flour, and a 4 lb. loaf of bread on the 1st August and the 1st October, 1914, and the 1st January, the 1st April, and the 1st July in the current year?


The prices in London of two typical grades of wheat, and of a standard quality of flour on the Mondays preceding the 1st of August and October, 1914, and January, April, and July, 1915, respectively, and the predominant prices of bread in London on the 1st of each of these months are as under. Owing to variations in grades and. descriptions, average prices of wheat and flour for the country generally are not completely comparable:—

August, 1914. October, 1914. January, 1915. April, 1915. July, 1915.
Wheat (London Quotations)—
No. 1 Northern Manitoba (ex ship) per quarter of 496 lbs. 38/6 47/0–47/6 54/0 67/6 57/6
English White (delivered), per quarter of 504 lbs 36/6–38/6 40/0–41/0 49/6–51/6 56/6–60/6 53/0–56/0
Flour, London Town Households, No (ex-mill, less usual discount) per sack 27/6 34/6 39/6 49/6 42/6
Broad. Predominant prices in London per 4 lbs. 5½d. 6d.&6½d. 6½d. 8d. 8d.