§ Mr. FLAVIN
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that the English and Scottish co-operative wholesale societies are large buyers and dealers in tea, etc.; whether he is aware that their invariable practice is to make up their tea in ¼lb., ½lb., and 1 lb. packets; whether he is aware that these societies weigh into each tea wrapper 4 ozs. of tea nett, 8 ozs. of tea nett, and 16 ozs. of tea nett, and do not include or weigh in the wrappers with their packet teas, and therefore do not charge the public, as other shops do, the price of tea, which is 2s. 6d. per pound, for paper which is 500 per cent. cheaper; and whether he will take such action as is necessary to compel others to do what the English and Scottish co-operative societies do namely, to give full weight in tea which the public are entitled to get?
The answer to the first three parts of the question is in the affirmative As regards the suggestions contained in the last part of the question, I must refer the hon. Member to the answer given last Monday to the hon. Member for South-West Ham.
§ Mr. FLAVIN
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that, amongst other multiple shops, the Home and Colonial Stores, Limited, and J. Lyons and Company, Limited, are weighing the wrappers in with tea; that each 4 ozs. of tea given by these multiple shops to the consumer contains less than 3¾ ozs. of actual tea; and that each alleged 4 ozs. of tea is enclosed in a wrapper which weighs over a quarter of an ounce; whether he will say what Statute Law there is which enables these companies to charge the public at the rate of 2s. 6d. per lb., the price of tea, for a 1106W paper wrapper which is not worth more than 6d. per lb.; what steps he proposes to take to regulate the prices and stocks of tea; and whether he can state what profits have been made by the Home and Colonial Stores, Limited, and J. Lyons and Company, Limited, on their last year's trading?
I must again, refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for South-West Ham last Monday. I have already informed the House that the Food Controller is conferring with representatives of the tea trade as regards prices and stocks of tea. I have no information as to the profits made by the firms mentioned in the last paragraph of the question.