HC Deb 22 February 1955 vol 537 c1048
19. Mr. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of the companies declared bankrupt in 1951, 1952, 1953, and 1954; and how many of these were tea companies.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Four hundred and seven, 436, 421, 416, and none.

Mr. Lewis

Can the President explain that, because the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food stated on Monday week that the poor old tea companies are in dire straits and hence have had to put up the price of tea to prevent some of them from "going broke"? Does he remember how many tea companies have "gone broke" over the last few years? Is there any fear of them "going broke" in view of the continual rise in price?

Mr. Thorneycroft

It seems to me that the supplementary question should be directed to the Minister of Food.