3 MAY 1930, Page 3

The Government and the Price of Necessaries The Government are

introducing a Bill to create a Consumers' Council. This Council will apparently take the place of the Food Council and will have powers of compulsory investigation. It will also recommend to the Board of Trade maximum prices for food and fuel, which it would be an offence to exceed. Meanwhile the Food Council has directed the attention of the Presi- dent of the Board of Trade to the action of the two principal Societies representing the master bakers of London. The Council had requested the two Societies to present figures before they raised the price of bread, but the Societies instead of sending the required infor- mation announced their intention of raising the price of bread on the average by a farthing for four pounds. The Council estimates that if all the London bakers were to adopt this policy consumers would pay between 1830,000 and £400,000 a year more for their bread. The master bakers may have an answer, but they have given neither the Food Council nor the public any means of knowing what it is. They propose to alter the scale which has stood for four years and this without any consultation whatever with the Food Council. The Council has pointed out that all its work will be nullified unless powers are given either to it, or to any body succeeding it, to deal with such a situation. * *