HC Deb 02 July 1935 vol 303 cc1685-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the operation of the tea restriction scheme during the past two years has done little more than maintain the average price level which existed in the second quarter of 1933, when the scheme was introduced, and to raise which substantially was understood to be the purpose of the scheme; and what further steps, if any, the Government proposes to take in the matter?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)

The primary object of the Tea Regulation Scheme is to restore equilibrium between supply and demand. I would draw attention to the fact that market prices in the second quarter of 1933, when the scheme came into operation, were already substantially higher than in the third quarter of 1932, when negotiations relating to the scheme began. Since the second quarter of 1933, prices have in general been at a still higher level, and His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom sees no reason for initiating any action in the matter. The scheme is under the management of the International Tea Committee.