HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 c2679
51. Mr. Alpass

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the abundant supplies of tea in the country, he will now consider taking it off the ration.

Sir B. Smith

My hon. Friend is unfortunately mistaken in assuming that there are abundant supplies of tea in the country. Existing stocks are little more than sufficient to maintain the regular distribution of tea and are expected to be considerably depleted by the end of the year. I can assure my hon. Friend that I shall not maintain tea rationing a day longer than is necessary.

Mr. Alpass

Is the Minister aware that within the last fortnight representatives of certain large wholesale firms in the city of Bristol have stated that they have large stocks of tea which they are anxious to dispose of to retailers?

Sir B. Smith

No doubt that is true, but I have to be responsible for it.