HC Deb 21 February 1940 vol 357 cc1388-9W
Mr. Holdsworth

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state in terms of percentage increase or decrease, as compared to 1st July, 1938, the present prices of those articles whose price is controlled by Government order, including foodstuffs, textiles, paper, finished iron and steel products, iron and steel scrap?

Major Lloyd George

Owing to the large number and range of commodities whose price is controlled by Government Orders it is impracticable to furnish the precise information desired. The records maintained in connection with the Board of Trade Index Number of Wholesale Prices show, for the following groups of commodities which consist very largely of articles subject to price control under Government Orders, increases in the average monthly wholesale prices between July, 1938, and January, 1940, as follow:

Group Increase in January, 1940, compared with July, 1938.
Per cent.
Cereals 28
Meat, fish and eggs 31
Coal 13
Iron and steel 3
Non-ferrous metals 30

The textile groups in the wholesale prices index number comprise, in the main, products whose prices are not controlled. Paper is not included as an item in the index number, but a comparison of the prices set out in the schedules to the Control of Paper (No. 1) Order, 1939, and the Control of Paper (No. 5) Order, 1939, will show the changes which have taken place in prices of paper during the war.