§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (1) whether he is aware that during the month of February more than 500 grocery items from about 40 manufacturers rose in price, and that in some instances this was the second such rise in two consecutive months; how many of these price increases were 634W considered by or reported to the National Board for Prices and Incomes; and with what results;
(2) whether he is aware that 1,167 grocery prices have increased during the past two months; row many of these price increases were referred to the National Board for Prices and Incomes; and with what results.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
Figures such as these are extremely misleading. The most reliable indicator—the food section of the index of retail prices—actually fell between December, 1965, and January, 1966, which is the last month for which we have figures.
My right hon. Friends the First Secretary and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have not considered it necessary to refer to the National Board for Prices and Incomes the prices of any grocery items.