§ Mr. G. Strauss
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he can give figures showing the changes in the retail prices of the basic foodstuffs since the beginning of the war?
§ Mr. Mabane
According to the statement appearing in the "Ministry of Labour Gazette" for April, 1943, the changes between 1st September, 1939, and 1st April, 1943, in the retail prices of the foods included in the cost of living index, which comprise the majority of the basic foodstuffs consumed in this country, were as follow:1412W
Percentage Increase (unless otherwise shown).Per cent Beef British— Ribs 11 Thin Flank 27 Beef Chilled or Frozen— Ribs 35 Thin Flank 23 Mutton British— Legs 13 Breast 8 Mutton Frozen— Legs 16 Breast — Bacon 50 Fish 32 Flour 26 Bread 9 Tea 21 Sugar (granulated) 1 (decrease) Milk 32 Butter— Fresh 21 Salt 31 Cheese 30 Margarine— Special 12 Standard 12 Eggs (fresh) 1 Potatoes 5
On the basis of the above figures the average level of retail food prices at 1st April, 1943 was nearly 20 per cent. higher than at the beginning of September, 1939.