asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the difficulty experienced 'by the public in understanding the issues in the milk dispute, he will consider the desirability of publishing at fixed intervals a comparative table showing, in the case of agricultural and dairy products, the prices paid to the home producer and the corresponding prices charged by the distributors to the public?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
A comparison of the kind suggested by the hon. and gallant Member would not, I am afraid, be very informative or easily understood owing to the different forms in which agricultural and dairy produce are sold wholesale and retail. Wheat and live stock as sold wholesale by the producer cannot easily be compared with the price of flour, beef, mutton, pork or bacon, and even in the case of those articles, such as milk, eggs, butter, and cheese, which are sold retail in the same form as they leave the producer, there are wide variations in local conditions. In order to meet the hon. Member's wishes, I will, however, consider whether arrangements can be made to quote certain retail prices from time to time in the "Agricultural Market Report" issued by my Department.