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Middle East (Retail Prices)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the arrival of American troops in the Middle East and elsewhere has caused prices to be put up locally; and whether he will consult with the American authorities regarding possible measures, such as price control, to prevent serious hardships being caused to British personnel?

I am aware that there have been rises in prices for a variety of reasons. Those articles of which the British soldier is most in need can be obtained from N.A.A.F.I. at regulated prices. The British military authorities are not generally in a position to control the retail prices of articles purchased outside the canteens which can be obtained not only by the troops but also by the civil population. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deal with the general question of price-control and other measures to check inflation in the Middle East in his answer to my hon. Friend to-morrow.