§ 37. Sir A. YEO
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that the stock of bonded tea in this country at the end of May last is the largest for that period on record; that 1708 at the same period for the year 1913 the total stock of tea in bond in this country was more than 15,000,000 lbs. less than at 31st May, 1918; whether it is the intention of the Ministry of Food to take steps to lower the price of tea to the consumer to a parity of pre-war times; and, if so, as to when the price is to be-reduced, and to what extent?
§ Mr. CLYNES
The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. I may, however, point out that this stock includes tea under the control of the War Office for Naval and Military requirements, a considerable quantity already sold but, owing to transport difficulties, not delivered, and a considerable quantity entered at the Customs but only in process of delivery from the ships. The price of tea to the consumer is governed not by the volume of bonded stocks but by the cost of the tea to the Government.