§ Mr. MILLS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to profiteering on the part of well-known dealers in tea who, since the reduction in the duty on tea by 4d. in the lb., are selling tea which was previously priced at 2s. 6d. per lb. at 2s. 4d. per lb. without any explanation except that the price has been reduced since the Budget, thus giving their customers the impression that they are still receiving 2s. 8d. tea; whether he will supply the names of such dealers; and if he will take such action as is necessary to prevent extra profits being made by tea trusts as a result of legislative changes specially designed to relieve the consumer?
Allegations of the nature indicated have been received. There is no power in law to compel traders to reduce retail prices to correspond with reductions in duty, but in general the effect of competition has been sufficient to ensure that the full benefit 2499W of the Budget reduction in the Tea Duty has been passed on to consumers. I would remind my hon. Friend that the reduction in duty on the bulk of the tea imported is not 4d. per lb., as suggested, but 3⅓d. per lb.