§ Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that in the "Labour Gazette" for May the price quoted for the following 1078W article was greatly in excess of the price at which it was freely advertised in the multiple stores in London, viz., fresh butter was quoted at 2s. 8¾d. per lb., whereas stores prices were 1s. 10d. per lb.; that in the case of other articles the price stated in the "Labour Gazette" is greatly in excess of the current price, and that as a result of this inflation of price the average percentage increase compared with July, 1914, is stated to be 126 per cent. of this commodity, whereas if the true price was stated, viz., 1s. 10d. per lb., at which fresh butter could be bought freely in London on the date mentioned, the average percentage increase would only have been 52 per cent. increase above that of July, 1914; and whether, in view of these inaccuracies, steps can be taken to compile a more accurate table, in view of the far-reaching importance of the figures compiled from these data?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The figure quoted by my hon. and gallant Friend from the May issue of the "Labour Gazette" represents the average price at 30th April in the United Kingdom as a whole. I am aware that some butter was being sold at a minimum of 1s. 10d. per lb. on 30th April at one or two large establishments in London; but this price was exceptionally low, and in practically all the shops in working-class localities throughout the country the price was substantially higher, the average price being as stated in the "Gazette." In the early part of May there was a considerable reduction, which will affect the figures for 1st June, to be published in the next isssue of the "Labour Gazette."