§ 38. Sir E. GOULDING
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shipping Controller whether his attention has been called to the congestion in the tea trade; and whether he will take steps to facilitate the transport from India of at least the reduced shipments which were stipulated for in February?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of SHIPPING (Sir Leo Chiozza Money)
In view of the fact that at the end of last month there were 90,000,000 lbs. of tea, of which about two-thirds was Indian and Ceylon tea, in stock in bond in this country, to say nothing of other stocks, and of our constantly diminishing supply of tonnage, it is not possible to promise that greater facilities will be given for imports of tea. With regard to the second part of the question, as a matter of fact, the average monthly imports so far this year have exceeded the quantity recommended by the Restriction of Imports Committee to which the Prime Minister referred in his speech of 23rd February last.
§ Mr. FELL
Is it not a fact that the imports of tea are now considerably less than the consumption, and that within a very few month there will toe an absolute shortage?
§ Sir L. CHIOZZA MONEY
I can only reply to my hon. Friend by pointing out that priority is given to those commodities which it is most important to import at the present time in view of the ever-diminishing supply of tonnage.
§ Mr. LOUGH
Having regard to the reduction in the consumption of alcohol will sufficient consideration be given to the requirements of tea?