The hon. Member should realise that, a year ago the price of the common tea which is the basis of blended tea was 1s. 11d. per lb. at the auctions—a level which meant disaster and unemployment in the Indian tea gardens—and that the price has now risen to 4s. 3¾d. per lb. I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman would have welcomed the opportunity of paying the price for better conditions in the industry.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that nobody is suggesting bringing hardship to Ceylon and other growers, but that we are suggesting that the Government should reintroduce the subsidy on tea?
That was not the suggestion in the original Question, but let me add that the reintroduction of the subsidy means the reintroduction of control and rationing, which my right hon. and gallant Friend is not prepared to do.