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Fruit And Vegetable Prices

Volume 462: debated on Monday 14 March 1949

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32.

asked the Minister of Food to what extent retail prices of fruit and vegetables have fallen since the removal of the obligation on retailers to obtain a licence to trade; and if he is satisfied that it is sufficient to justify decontrol.

So many factors influence these prices that it is quite impossible to assess the effect of any particular one of them. I am, however, quite satisfied that the decision to open this trade to new entrants has had very healthy effects.

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I draw attention to the renewed reference by the Ministry of Agriculture to the wide difference between producer and consumer prices, and ask when can other practical steps be taken to reduce that wide gap?

I can assure my hon. Friend that we are very concerned with this matter and are giving it our closest attention.