asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state who in his Department is responsible for the meat prices published in the "Labour Gazette"; whether he is aware that during the whole of July, 1914, chilled flanks were purchasable in Smithfield at 2d. and 2¼ d. per lb.; that the first week of June this year the price was 8½ d. to 9d., a rise of 300 to 350 per cent.; that this week no firm have sold, even in big quantities, bright chilled flanks under 6½ d. and 6¾ d. per lb., a rise of over 200 per cent.; whether the figures supplied to the "Labour Gazette" are supplied by someone interested in concealing the facts respecting high meat prices; and whether he will take steps to secure greater care in tabulating these prices?
The figures quoted by my hon. Friend with regard to the wholesale prices are not inconsistent with those published in the "Board of Trade Labour Gazette" respecting retail prices. As is stated in the "Gazette," retail prices of inferior cuts of meat have risen since July, 1914, by 4½d. or 5d. per lb. During the same period wholesale prices have also risen by about the same amount, but as the wholesale price is always much lower than the retail price a rise of 4½d. per lb. wholesale represents a much higher percentage rise than an increase of 4½d. per lb. retail.