§ 85. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether he is aware that, notwithstanding the Government's rigid enforcement of the wages and salaries standstill, there were 4,134 grocery price increases last year; and what further action he proposes to take to enforce the price standstill.
§ Mr. Frederick Lee
I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer given yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.—[Vol. 739; cols.80–81.] The increases, which affected food and drink and to a lesser extent articles such as toiletries and cosmetics, mostly occurred before the standstill was announced. The much smaller number of increases between 20th July and the end of 1966 appear to have been confined to the exceptions envisaged in Cmnd. 3073. In the circumstances further action does not seem called for, though the Government are ready to use their powers under Part IV of the Prices and Incomes Act where increases cannot be justified against the criteria set out in Cmnd. 3150.