asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will indicate the relative import prices, on a comparable basis, of basic commodities paid by this country, such comparisons to include particularly those commodities that are purchased by this country through the medium of bulk buying and centralised buying.
It is difficult, owing to differing conditions of sale and delivery, to afford any ready comparison between the prices paid for basic commodities by the United Kingdom and by European countries, to which I understand my hon. Friend is referring. There is, however, no reason to suppose that, in general, we are paying more than other countries. In some cases, as the largest purchasers, we are probably paying less than other buyers.