HC Deb 16 October 1946 vol 427 cc896-7
68. Mr. Sidney Shephard

asked the Minister of Food if he will now put an end to tea rationing.

Dr. Summerskill

I have nothing to add to the reply given the, hon. Member to his similar Question on 17th July.

Mr. Shephard

Is it not a fact that the stocks of tea in this country are greater than they were before the war? If that is so, is there any reason why tea rationing should be continued?

Dr. Summerskill

I do not think that the hon. Member is quite sure of his facts. We are consuming tea today at 89 per cent. of our pre-wax consumption.

Mr. David Eccles

Will the hon. Lady issue some statistics about world tea production and consumption? Many of us think that some of the markets where tea was consumed have been cut off. Is it not a fact that production is the same as before the war? If so, why cannot we have an abolition of tea rationing?

Dr. Summerskill

I would not agree that production is the same as before the war. I would remind the hon. Member of conditions in the Far East, where they have not yet rehabilitated themselves, and that we used to get a good deal of tea from Japan.

Mr. Eccles

Will the hon. Lady issue statistics about Indian tea, and other statistics, showing what the position really is?

Dr. Summerskill

If the hon. Member likes to put down a Question for next week, I will give him a detailed answer.