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Bacon And Ham

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 28 July 1954

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30.

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that Belfast bacon has been increased to 6s. per lb., and cooked gammon from 7s. 4d. to 9s. per lb., while alternatives to these, such as sausages, meat and fish, are correspondingly increased; and if he will reimpose controls.

I am not so informed. The average price of bacon is about the same as before decontrol, and from this weekend there will be bacon in some districts at much lower prices. The reply to the last part of the Question is: No, Sir.

I am not at all surprised that the hon. Gentleman is not informed. As a matter of fact, is he aware that when he asks housewives to take action by avoiding high prices the alternatives to which they have to resort are also all correspondingly increased?

But the statements in the hon. Lady's Question are inaccurate. For example, she refers to cooked gammon, where the range of price is between 7s. 4d. and 8s. per lb. as compared with between 11s. and 12s. under the Administration of the party opposite. Secondly, the Index of Retail Food Prices shows that the figure for June is no higher than it was a year ago.

In view of the high cost of living, will the hon. Gentleman admit that the time has come when the British people should be sold Danish bacon at the price which the Government pays for it, and not be exploited by the Government to the tune of £30 million a year as they are at the present time?

If the hon. Gentleman would put down a Question on Danish bacon I shall be glad to answer it.

Is it not a fact that, unfortunately, some people are grossly exaggerating increases in the cost of living?

Some people are denying, for political purposes, the validity of the figures which they themselves used.