HC Deb 26 February 1951 vol 484 c1717
1. Mr. Oakshott

asked the Minister of Food if he will give details of the arrangements by which overseas visitors are allowed to buy tea without ration coupons; and what has been the quantity of these purchases for the most convenient period.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Maurice Webb)

Overseas visitors may, on production of a passport, buy tea without ration coupons from certain authorised suppliers for direct delivery to an overseas address or to ship or aeroplane on departure. Three and a half tons of tea were supplied in this way last year; the tea is imported by traders especially for re-export and is unsubsidised.

Mr. Oakshott

As the tea has been imported and is, therefore, actually in this country, is there any possible way by which it can be used to augment the ration so that our own people get the benefit of it?

Mr. Webb

We have to consider this figure of 3½ tons of tea against the whole quantity of the domestic ration of 180,000 tons of tea. Obviously, the hon. Member can see that we cannot distribute that amount over the large number of consumers without causing some difficulty.

Mr. Keeling

When the right hon. Gentleman refers to the production of a passport, does he mean a non-British passport? What about an Irish one?

Mr. Webb

I should like notice of that question.

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