§ Major CHAPPLE
asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he is aware that the stock of tea in bond in Great Britain for 1916 is 25,000,000 lbs. greater than the average for the previous five years; that there are in addition increasingly large stocks of duty-paid tea in the hands of individual traders, and that reports with regard to these stocks based on buying-over speculation induce demands which raise the price of tea artificially against the retailers and the consumers; and whether he will ascertain the stock of tea both in bond and duty-paid held by individual traders with a view to limiting the stock held by them to an amount governed by their average sales in order to defeat speculators and keep down the price of tea?
The figures cited by the hon. and gallant Member are not in agreement with those published in the monthly trade accounts, which furnish no evidence of large increases in 3tocks of tea as compared with the average of recent years.