§ Mr. Evelyn Walkden
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that wholesale selling prices for English spring produce at Spitalfields Market for the first week in May, 1941, as compared with 1940, have risen in the case of spring onions, per 12 bunches, to 60s. from 8s. 6d., parsnips, per 56-lbs. box, to 12s. 6d. from 4s., and beetroot, per bushel box, to 17s. from 3s. 6d.; and will he safeguard, both growers and consumers, by fixing a maximum wholesale selling price for this and other similar produce?
Major Lloyd George
My hon. Friend must, I suggest, be aware that comparisons of prices of spring produce, one year with another, such as he makes in his Question, are entirely misleading and liable to cause unnecessary discontent among consumers. At this time of the year the quantity of spring crops available, and therefore the price, depends almost entirely on weather conditions, and the conditions this year are not comparable with those of last year. I have1546W no reason to think that when the supply becomes equal, prices will be different. Beetroots and parsnips, to which reference is also made in the Question, are nearing the end of their season. The answer to the last part of my hon. Friend's Question is in the negative.