§ Mr. D. SOMERVILLE
ask the Minister of Labour whether he can state from the index figure of the cost of living the cost of clothes as compared with pre-War; whether, seeing that the disparity in 1800W price is the greatest of any commodity entering into the compilation of a working-class budget, and that it is now stated that there is to be a further rise in the cost of such articles, he can give any explanation of the causes or cause?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
At 1st November, the latest date for which figures are available, the cost of clothing and clothing materials, of the kinds bought by working-class families, averaged about 130 per cent, above the pre-War level. Retail prices have been steadily falling for the past two years, and although I am aware that wholesale prices of some of the principal textile materials have recently shown an upward tendency, it is not yet possible to say whether this will be followed by an increase in retail prices.