HC Deb 12 July 1948 vol 453 cc820-1
12. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

asked the Minister of Food what price per lb. his Department offered to Malayan growers for their tea; and how this price compared with the price offered to Ceylon growers for tea of the same quality.

Dr. Summerskill

The Ministry's offers for Malayan teas were based on the prices payable to Ceylon and Indian producers for teas of similar quality and were fully comparable with those.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Will the hon. Lady tell me these prices? My information is that they are below the prices being given to the Ceylon producers, although the tea is of the same quality. They are certainly below the cost of production in Malaya.

Dr. Summerskill

I have told the House on many occasions it is quite impossible to give these prices because it would hamper our negotiations.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Is the hon. Lady aware that everyone concerned knows the prices being paid in Ceylon and Malaya, and that the Malayan price is very much lower?

Dr. Summerskill

In that case perhaps the hon. Member will tell his hon. Friend.