Oral Answers to Questions — West Indies (Cost of Living)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th October 1949.

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Photo of Sir Kenneth Pickthorn Sir Kenneth Pickthorn , Cambridge University 12:00 am, 26th October 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the expected rise in the cost-of-living index in each West Indian colony, or generally, consequent on devaluation; and what is being done to minimise the effect on the real incomes of the masses.

Mr. Creech Jones:

The cost of living in the West Indian colonies will inevitably be affected by the increase in the sterling prices of necessary food and other imports from dollar sources, and also by any price increases in sterling goods which may occur. It is not yet possible to make any precise assessment. The problem is naturally receiving urgent consideration by the Governments concerned, but I cannot yet make any statement as to what measures they may consider necessary.

Photo of Sir Kenneth Pickthorn Sir Kenneth Pickthorn , Cambridge University

Is it not possible to make some statement, not perhaps extremely precise; and cannot the right hon. Gentleman at least be so precise as to be sure that the rise will be greater in the West Indies than the Chancellor of the Exchequer promised it would be here?

Mr. Creech Jones:

Well, that is just possible, but I must wait until the discussions with the Colonial Governments have been concluded.