HC Deb 20 September 1948 vol 456 cc22-3W
98. Commander Noble

asked the Minister of Food what procedure is adopted to see that Indian tea purchased for this country conforms with specification; why a consignment of rank Indian tea was recently accepted; what has happened to it; and what steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence of such receipts.

Mr. Strachey

All teas delivered to the Ministry of Food under contract are examined by brokers acting on behalf of the Ministry. Teas below specification are either rejected or are accepted at a discount price. In the event of disagreement there is provision for arbitration. The consignment to which I presume the hon. Member refers has been withdrawn from distribution after arbitration and a claim entered against the producer concerned. I see no reason to modify these arrangements. Since 1940 some 4,000 million pounds of tea have been allocated to distributors. Of this amount only 14,000 lb. have had to be withdrawn as unsuitable.