§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information in his possession as to the present prices of food and other necessaries charged by the co-operatives or State shops in the Soviet Republic as compared with the prices of the same articles ruling in Russia in 1913?
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
The Foreign Office have no responsibility for the 1959W prices which are here quoted, but they have in their possession the following figures which are taken from official Soviet sources of information.
Prices ruling in the State and co-operative shops of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December, 1928.
TABLE "A." — Pre-War. Co-operative and State shops (1928). Butter … 11¼d. per lb. 2s. 1d. to 2s. 6d. per lb. in very limited quantities, or often not to be had at all. Eggs … ½d. each 1½d.–1¾d. in limited quantities. Black bread … ¾d. per lb. 1d. per lb. in very limited quantities. Card system. Anything over quantity allowed is double price. White flour … 1d.–1¼d. per 1b. 2¾d. per lb. (2½ lbs. once a fortnight). Milk … 4d. per litre 9d.–10d. per litre of very inferior quality and in limited quantities. Sugar … 3¼d.–4d. per lb. 7d. per lb. Herrings … ¾d.–1¼d each 7½d.–1s. 1d. each. Kerosene … 1d. per lb. 3d. per. lb. Long queues and not always obtainable. Printed calico … 1¾d.–2d. per arshine (28"). 1s. 5d.–1s. 7d. per arshine. Wood … £2 10s. per 7 cubic feet £16 per 7 cubic feet of green wood. Seasoned wood impossible to obtain.
Taken from the "Economic Life" of 20th April, an official organ of the Soviet Government, gives the index figures of retail prices of various commodities in the State and co-operative shops on 1st April, 1929, as compared with the prices ruling in 1913.
All-Union Index of Retail Prices on 1st April, 1929. Index (prices 1913=1). State and Co-operative Trade. General Index 1.92 (a) Index Agricultural goods 1.91 (b) Index Industrial goods 1.92 Bread 1.79 Vegetables 2.62 Meat 1.94 Dairy produce 2.45 Fish 1.79 Salt 1.56 Tea 1.95 Tobacco 2.03 Textiles 2.06 Footwear 2.00 Paper 1.71
(Compared with pre-War prices.)
Translation of official figures and comments published by the Soviet Government.
(Prices calculated at approximate par rate of £1=R10.)
(The Russian lb.=14 ozs. English.)
The following is a quotation from an article which appeared on 22nd March, 1929, in the "Pravda," an official organ of the Soviet Government: "If we judge by the indexes the increase might appear to be insignificant but we must take into consideration that the index represents only the average figure and that the prices for various commodities urgently required by the population have increased to a much greater extent."