asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the present average price of hops, as fixed by the Controller, is £18 per cwt.; that on 1st November, 1914, the average price of English hops was from £2 10s. to £4 10s. per cwt., according to the prices quoted in the "Brewers' and Wine Merchants' Gazette"; and does he propose to take any steps to ascertain the reason for this increase?
I have been asked to reply. The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. I would point out, however, that the English crop of hops in 1914 was exceptionally large, and prices were conesequently abnormally low. The price of hops in 1914 cannot, therefore, be taken as a good basis for comparison, average prices in the pre-War period 1911–1913 being very much higher. The reply to the last part is in the negative.