§ 5. Mr. FELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the quantity of tea in stock in the United Kingdom according to the latest, returns and estimates, and how long will it suffice for the ordinary consumption of the country if there are no further imports?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY Of LABOUR (Mr. Bridgeman)
I have been asked to reply. The stocks of tea in bonded warehouses on 31st May were approximately 90,000,000 lbs. No information is available as to the stocks cleared from bond in the hands of wholesale or retail dealers, but such stocks are probably inconsiderable. At the ordinary rate of consumption the above-mentioned quantity would last about fifteen weeks if there were no further imports.
§ Mr. FELL
If the rate for the last two months, which is 5,000,000 lbs. for the ordinary public, is maintained, is it not clear that unless something is done there will shortly be a shortage?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I think the answer makes it clear that if there is no further stock imported it will be exhausted in fifteen weeks.