HC Deb 02 May 1904 vol 134 c101
Sir SEYMOUR KING (Hull, Central)

To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has recently been called to the fact that the importation into the United States and Australia of low-grade, impure, and unwholesome teas has been stopped by legislation; whether he is aware that quantities of teas which have been rejected by the Customs authorities in those countries have been and are being shipped to this country, and, together with quantities of similar low quality teas imported direct, are being employed here for mixing with superior teas without incurring the penalties for adulteration under existing laws; and, if so, whether he will consider if, without disadvantage to the Revenue, he can introduce similar regulations for the exclusion of such teas from this country.

(Answered by Mr. Austen Chamberlain.) Only one case has been brought to my knowledge of the importation into this country of tea rejected in the United States or Australia. The legislation in the United States to which the hon. Member refers requires that imported tea should come up to certain selected standard samples. The terms of the Australian Law appear to correspond closely with the law in this country, which provides for the seizure or destruction of any tea which is either exhausted or mixed with other substances or unfit for human food, and in pursuance of the Customs regulations over 66,000 lbs. of tea were condemned in 1903. I do not think that any alteration in the existing system is required.