§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will cause an investigation to ascertain how and why the price of butter has risen from 46p a pound a few weeks ago to 59p a pound; and what action he proposes to take to see that the price of food shows reduction in prices at retail levels.
§ Mr. Maclennan
I have been asked to reply.
Price information collected by the RPI suggests that prices have risen on average by much less than my hon. Friend's example suggests. Home-produced butter, for example, has this year risen by less than half the amount suggested.
Retail butter prices have increased as a result of a combination of the effects of the final transitional step to EEC prices, the devaluation of the green pound, the increase in CAP farm support prices agreed at this year's price fixing and reductions in the EEC subsidy. An investigation is therefore unnecessary. Butter prices are subject to maximum price control under the Prices Act 1974.