HC Deb 27 September 1939 vol 351 cc1339-40
54. Mr. Brooke

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the instructions issued by the Tea Brokers Association of London to its members on 15th September, forbidding them to complete open contracts entered into since 5th June, were issued on his authority; if so, what were the reasons for cancelling the previous instructions that buyers were to be responsible for completing their contracts; and is he aware of the confusion and loss occasioned to the trade?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The advice from the Tea Brokers' Association to buyers of tea on 15th September was issued at the request of my Department having regard to the legal position in respect of requisitioned tea arising from the Tea (Control) Order, 1939. The previous advice to buyers to complete their contracts was prompted by a desire within the trade to continue their peace-time custom pending the ascertainment of the principles of compensation for requisitioned tea. I regret that this inconvenience, inseparable from the introduction of control, has been caused to the trade.

Mr. Brooke

May I ask whether it is the right hon. Gentleman's desire to make full use of the excellent normal machinery of the trade with as little interference as possible, consistently with securing the objects of the Government scheme?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, that is so.