HL Deb 08 November 1932 vol 85 cc1112-4WA

asked His Majesty's Government whether their attention has been called to the great disparity between the wholesale market and the retail prices of food-stuffs, and whether they would consider the desirability of introducing some measure by which the retail price would approximate more closely to the wholesale market price.


A comparison between wholesale and retail prices of food-stuffs is shown in the following table:—

Wholesale Food Index Figure (Board of Trade) (1913 = 100). Retail Food Index Figure (Ministry of Labour) (July, 1914 = 100).
September, 1930. 123.7 144
September, 1931. 107.9 128
September, 1932. 107.4 125

This table, whilst indicating the general trend of wholesale and retail prices, must not be taken as constituting an exact comparison as the bases upon which the two sets of figures are founded differ in certain important respects. In considering the margin between wholesale and retail prices at different dates, various factors have to be taken into account, including the course of costs of production and distribution respectively and the varying nature of the services rendered by distributors. Thus no general rule can be laid down to govern the margin between wholesale and retail prices. It may be added that the Food Council have under constant review the prices of food-stuffs of general consumption.

House adjourned at ten minutes past seven o'clock.