HC Deb 06 July 1937 vol 326 cc172-3
62. Mr. David Grenfell

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the great increase in the price of tea and the reduction in the London stock, he is considering further relaxation of the tea restriction scheme for the purpose of supplying the market with tea at reasonable prices, and the maintenance of adequate stocks to prevent fluctuations in prices arising from speculative transactions in this commodity?

Major Sir George Davies (Comptroller of the Household)

I have been asked to reply. This matter is one for the International Tea Committee, on whose advice the Governments of India, Ceylon and the Netherlands act. The hon. Member may, I feel sure, be satisfied that all concerned have the market conditions to which he refers under close and constant review. Indeed, in view of these conditions, the Governments, on the recommendation of the Committee, recently authorised a further increase of 5 per cent. in the quota release for the current year, thus bringing the total permissible export up to 87½ per cent. of the standard quota.

Mr. Grenfell

Is it not the case that, in spite of the additional 5 per cent. on the quota, the price of tea is still rising, and that there is a serious apprehension that it will mount still further?