Tea.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 8th December 1931.

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Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

33.

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of pounds of tea of non-Empire origin imported into this country in each of the years 1920, 1925, and 1930?

Photo of Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha , Plymouth, Devonport

The total weight of tea im- ported into the United Kingdom during the years 1920, 1925, and 1930, consigned from foreign countries, was 57 million lbs., 65 million lbs., and 96 million lbs., respectively.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

In view of the progressive increase in the imports of foreign tea, will not the Government consider the advisability of putting an import duty on foreign tea?

Photo of Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha , Plymouth, Devonport

There has also been a progressive increase in the import of tea from Empire countries, and that now represents over 82½ per cent.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

But is it not true that the percentage of foreign tea is now very much greater than it was 10 years ago?

Photo of Sir Smedley Crooke Sir Smedley Crooke , Birmingham Deritend

58.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take with regard to the communication he has received from the Empire tea associations in the interest of these associations, in view of the increasing importation of tea grown outside the Empire?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

I have noted the representations made by the associations referred to but am unable to make any further statement at present.

Photo of Sir John Ferguson Sir John Ferguson , Twickenham

69.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the import of Dutch-grown teas has increased from 32,000,000 pounds in 1921 to 76,000,000 in 1930; and will he take immediate steps to impose a duty, in view of the fact that Holland imposes a duty of 7d. a pound on tea reaching her ports?

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

71.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the imports of tea from foreign sources, having increased from 32,000,000 lbs. in 1921 to 85,000,000 lbs. in 1930, have resulted in severe loss to Indian and Ceylon growers; and whether, in view of the fact that ample tea for all Empire requirements is grown within the Empire, he will extend a measure of protection to Empire growers?

Sir F. HALL:

72.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the increase in the importation of foreign-grown tea into the United Kingdom and the correspondingly reduced imports from India and Ceylon, and with a view to improving the position of the tea producers in India and Ceylon, he will consider the advisability of imposing a tax on the importation of foreign-grown teas?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

As I have already stated in reply to similar recent questions, I am unable to make any statement on this subject at present.

Photo of Sir John Ferguson Sir John Ferguson , Twickenham

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the large increase in these importations from Holland, especially during the last three years?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

Yes, my attention has been drawn to it.

Sir F. HALL:

Will this matter receive further consideration in the month of April?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

I shall be happy to answer that question then.

Sir F. HALL:

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the matter on the Budget at that time?

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Will the right hon. Gentleman consent to receive a deputation on this question?

Photo of Major Frank Heilgers Major Frank Heilgers , Bury St Edmunds

99.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that Java tea is being blended with Empire tea and sold as Empire blend during the Buy British campaign, he will take steps to prevent the sale thereof under this misleading description?

Photo of Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha , Plymouth, Devonport

If my hon. and gallant Friend will furnish me with particulars of the cases which he has in mind, I will be glad to consider them.

Photo of Sir John Ferguson Sir John Ferguson , Twickenham

125.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can give statistics to show to what extent the requirements of the United Kingdom and the Empire can be provided for by Empire-grown tea; and what is the percentage of Empire tea imported in 1920 and 1930 compared with the total imports for these years?

Photo of Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha , Plymouth, Devonport

The quantity of tea produced within the British Empire is greater than the consumption of tea within the Empire, but the Empire does not produce tea of all qualities and flavours. Of the total imports of tea into the United Kingdom during the years 1920 and 1930, the proportions consigned from British countries were 86.9 and 82.3 per cent, respectively.

Photo of Sir John Ferguson Sir John Ferguson , Twickenham

Does not that show a very large increase within that period of years, out of all proportion to the quantity used in this country?