§ Sir W. Smithers
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what, on any convenient bases, was the purchasing power of the £ sterling in 1913, 1938 and at the latest convenient date.
§ Sir J. Anderson
In my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Central Leeds (Mr. Denman) on 6th July, 1944, I explained the difficulty of estimating changes in the domestic purchasing power of the £ over the whole field of personal expenditure. I stated, however, that on the basis of the estimated levels of retail prices given in the National Income White Paper 1944 (Cmd. 6520) the domestic purchasing power of the in 1943 was about 71 per cent. of that in 1938. Similar estimates of the change between 1913 and 1938 are not available. For that period, but not for the later period, the change in the domestic purchasing power of the £ was probably reflected with reasonable accuracy by the change in the official cost-of-living index, and on that basis the domestic purchasing power of the £ in 1938 was about 64 per cent. of that in July, 1914.