asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food why the farmer receives only 5s. 6d. per cwt., unwashed, and 6s. per cwt., washed, for carrots, while the retail price to the consumer is 18s. 8d. per cwt. and 23s. 4d. per cwt.; into whose pockets does the difference go; and whether, as this is a case of profiteering on the part of some intermediary, he will consider giving to the farmer a larger return for this produce?
The producer prices quoted by my hon. and gallant Friend were correct in November, but the prices in December are 5s. 9d. unwashed and 6s. 3d. washed. The current retail prices as shown by returns collected by my Department are generally speaking lower than those quoted in the Question. With regard to the latter part of the Question, I would refer to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Price) on 10th December.
Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that this time last year the farmer received 10s. a cwt. for his carrots and that the price to the consumer was the same as it is to-day, namely, 2d. and 2½d. a pound? Who receives the difference, and is this a typical example of Government marketing?
Major Lloyd George:
My hon. and gallant Friend quoted the prices of 2d. and 2½d., which, of course, are not the prices throughout the country. The average price is 2d., and, if anything, slightly less, and in many cases it is 1½d. I would add that the price is progressively increasing, and that in January it will be 6s. 6d. and in February 7s. The margins between grower and consumer are very little different from what they were before the war.