Meat (Retail Prices).

Oral Answers to Questions — Irish Free State. – in the House of Commons on 23rd July 1923.

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Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

51.

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that the meat prices in London have jumped up in consequence of the dock workers' dispute; if he can state whether the cost of handling meat is now more than it was prior to the dispute; and if he can give any reasons why the prices of meat have been increased?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

I have been asked to reply. I assume the hon. Member refers to retail prices. The returns of retail prices of meat are only collected at the beginning of each month, and the results are issued about the 16th of the month. I have at present no statistics later than 1st July last, which is prior to the commencement of the dock workers' dispute. Probably the cost of handling meat has risen somewhat, but I cannot tell what effect this may have on the retail prices of meat till the figures come in next month.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the butchers are making increased charges for meat and giving the strike as an excuse?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

As I have stated, the only information which I have with regard to figures is contained in the returns issued about the 16th of every month. I have no further information.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the retail dealers are advancing prices according to the opportunities afforded by the law of supply and demand?

Photo of Mr John Muir Mr John Muir , Glasgow Maryhill

In exceptional circumstances like these, is there no way in which the Ministry could find out what is going on?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

It is impossible to compile these figures at shorter intervals than a month. They cannot be compiled daily or weekly. It would be impossible, having regard to the enormous amount of labour involved, to do it at shorter intervals than a month.