§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if his attention has been drawn to the fact that quantities of inferior Ceylon and other teas alleged to contain microbial products dangerous to health are being sold in bend in London at prices ranging below 4d. per 1b.; if the Customs officers have taken and analysed any samples of such teas, and with what results; and what amount has been seized and destroyed during the past twelve months; and if, in the interests of public health, he is willing to consent to an inquiry into the best methods of checking the sale of such unwholesome teas by determining some minimum standard of purity, and by securing a proper analysis of such teas before they are blended with other teas.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The Hoard of Customs have no knowledge of sales in bond of tea containing microbial products dangerous to health. They have power to forbid the introduction of tea that is found on analysis "to be mixed with other substances or exhausted tea," or is declared by the analyst to be "unfit for human food." During the past twelve months 2,055 packages were refused admission for home consumption or for use as ship stores. The second paragraph of the question should be addressed In the Local Government Board, which is the authority specially charged by statute with the protection of the public health.