HC Deb 20 January 1949 vol 460 cc61-2W
Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the present value of real wages for Malayan workers and how it compares with the value in 1939; and what steps he is contemplating in order to raise the present value.

Mr. Creech Jones

It is estimated that on an average wage rates are 2½ to 3 times what they were in 1939, and that their real value is at least equivalent to that of the 1939 rates. With regard to the second part of the Question, the Government of the Federation of Malaya is taking all possible steps further to improve the standard of living, particularly by increasing rice production. The cost of living has declined progressively since January, 1947.