§ Mr. KEATING
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether it is contemplated by the Controller to take, at an arbitrary price of 1s. per lb. from British traders, not growers, 40 per cent. of their imports of Indian and Ceylon tea purchased in public auction in Calcutta and Colombo without consideration of the price actually paid for such teas, and without consulting or obtaining the consent of such merchants to this confiscation of their property, bought in the ordinary course of business and in all good faith?
The arrangements whereby 40 per cent. of the total amount of tea imported has to be made available for sale at the fixed price of 1s. per lb. were recommended to the Food Controller by the Advisory Committee on tea. This Committee contains representatives of all the interests concerned. It was, of course, an impossibility to consult every individual merchant, but the complete scheme is of such a nature that no material grievance is expected to result.