HC Deb 01 March 1955 vol 537 c238W
19. Mr. Lewis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been drawn to the fact that at the end of 1954 the general level of food prices rose twice as much as wage rates, and that these figures are now officially confirmed by his Department in a Treasury bulletin issued within the last few days; and, in view of the new situation disclosed by these figures, if he will make a further statement on the action Her Majesty's Government proposes to take to stabilise the cost of living and restore prices to the 1951 level.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 22nd February to questions on this subject by the hon. Members for Goole (Mr. G. Jeger) and Dartford (Mr. Dodds).

Mr. Lewis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the concern felt at the continued rise in the cost of living since October, 1951, particularly with regard to food, whilst import prices have been declining; and whether he will move to appoint a Select Committee, or appoint some other independent committee of inquiry, to ascertain the cause of these increased prices and recommend suitable action for the Government to take to reduce prices and the cost of living generally to the October, 1951, level.

Mr. R. A. Butler

In fact, prices of food imports rose slightly between October, 1951, and December,1954. This subject is not one which, in the Government's opinion, should be referred to an independent committee of enquiry.