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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79


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Prior to his retirement from office the Hon. J. A. Millar, then Minister of Labour, decided that the statistical information on the cost of living, collected by the Department of Labour last year, should be compiled and published. The Editor of the Labour Journal was deputed to do so, and the information is presented in this pamphlet.

Although the returns received from householders were comparatively few in number, considering the total number of booklets distributed, it was felt that in the absence of any prior statistics on the matter it would be best to publish what were obtained.

We consider that the results, now published in the following article, will be of considerable value to all those interested in economics. The figures certainly show that the data supplied has come almost exclusively from those workers who are thrifty and careful, and on this account they may therefore be considered of special interest, as the community generally is mainly concerned in "the struggle for existence" by those who practise economy in household and general expenditure.

To those families who have contributed towards the inquiry we have to express our sincere thanks. We are aware of the very great care and diligence necessary in keeping the record faithfully, and hope that should a similar inquiry be conducted on a future occasion the Department will receive the same ready assistance. The Department would be willing, if the promise of a more general support could be given, to undertake a similar inquiry covering not only the main centres, but the whole of the Dominion.

J. Lomas,

Secretary of Labour.
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