HC Deb 16 February 1956 vol 548 cc2506-7
14. Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the highest average retail price of Indian tea in 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, and the price today.

Mr. Amory

Average prices of blends prepared solely from Indian teas are not readily available. For blends containing Indian and other teas the respective figures per lb. are 3s. 9d., 4s. 6d., 4s. 10d., 6s. 8d., and 7s. 6d. The average price today is 6s. 6d.

Miss Burton

As last week the Minister said he was always willing to give praise where praise was due, and as he remembered to praise the price today as being a reduction on that of last year, will he give some praise to the Labour Government for having the lowest price of all in 1951?

Mr. Amory

At that time, of course, the price of tea was subsidised.

Mr. Remnant

Will not my right hon. Friend agree that since 1951 the wages paid to Indian labour have risen considerably?

Mr. Amory

I can well imagine that that may be so.

Mr. Willey

Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) that if price control had been exercised during these last few years, prices could have been held within a measure of the prices under the Labour Government, and that in this case price control would have been most beneficial to housewives?

Mr. Amory

I am sure that had price control been maintained, the nation would not be eating anything like so well as it is eating today.