§ Sir J. RANDLES
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that numbers of grocers, owing to the increase of customers since the datum period, are still unable to obtain sufficient tea to supply the regulation amount to those registering with them; and will he give an assurance that the necessary quantity will be distributed to them through the usual channels of the datum period?
§ Mr. PARKER
In locally-rationed areas tea retailers receive sufficient supplies to enable them to provide the amount of the ration to each registered customer. Any deficiency should be brought to the attention of the executive officer of the food control committee in order that steps may be taken to correct it. In other areas registration of customers is at present proceeding for the new scheme of distribution under which, from the 14th July, tea will be distributed to retailers in accordance with the number of their registered customers. In the meantime a liberal distribution has been made through the usual channels of the datum period.
§ Colonel W. THORNE
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been called to the notices announcing that a new scheme of distribution of tea supplies will take effect on 14th July, and that every person in Great Britain not already registered shall, not later than 10th June, register with a tea retailer; if he will say whether steps are being taken to prevent consumers registering with more than one retailer; and whether a tea-rationing or registration card will be immediately issued?1884W
§ Mr. PARKER
Yes, Sir; steps have been taken to prevent consumers registering with more than one retailer. In districts where customers are not already registered for tea, registration is being effected on existing cards.
§ Colonel THORNE
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food which Department was responsible for the issuing of the Tea Distribution Order Form, 1918, T1; whether that form was withdrawn on account of its incorrectness; what was the number of forms issued and wasted; whether the Director of Tea Supplies was consulted before that form was compiled and printed; whether any other similar form referring to tea distribution has been issued and afterwards cancelled; and what was the quantity destroyed or rendered useless owing to the instructions given being inaccurate?
§ Mr. PARKER
Two alternative schemes for the redistribution of tea on the basis of registered customers were recently prepared by the Director of Tea Supplies and two forms T 1 and T 2 had been prepared in alternative shape accordingly. By a clerical error in the Printing Department of the Ministry of Food two forms appropriate to the scheme which was not accepted were sent to the printers. 178,500 copies of the form T 1 and 300,000 copies of the form T 2 were in consequence printed and subsequently withdrawn, the correct version of each form being substituted as soon as the mistake was discovered.