Tea Duty (Abolition).

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons am ar 25 Ebrill 1929.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

29.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, having regard to the total remission of the duty on tea and the consequent cessation of charges for bond storage and transport thereto, he contemplates any means of passing on the benefit to the consumers of tea?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I understand that consumers have already reaped the full benefit of the repeal of the Tea Duty through lower retail prices.

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the reduction in transport charges and bonded store charges is considerable, and is actually computed at as high a figure as 2d. per lb.; and does he intend to take no steps to see that that reduction is passed on to the consumer?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I should certainly not accept, without close examination, the various statements which the hon. Gentleman has just made, but the House is probably aware that the reduction of duty is 4d. per lb. on foreign tea only, and that it averages rather less than 3½d. per lb. over all tea; that is to say, the average reduction of the duty is ½d. less than the general reduction in retail prices.

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

May I take it from the right hon. Gentleman's answer that the Treasury have not computed at all the saving due to the reduction in transport and bonded store charges, and intend to take no action to see that the benefit of that reduction is passed on to the consumer?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

The Treasury have made the sacrifice involved by the abandonment of the Tea Duty of 4d. per lb., and we must allow that important step to carry its effects steadily forward through every range of the tea industry.

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in Greater London alone, 2,500 men are about to be paid off; is not that a serious addition to the amount of unemployed labour; and does the Treasury intend to take no steps to counterbalance it?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I can quite understand the chagrin with which the hon. Gentleman views the removal of the Tea Duty.

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Has the right hon. Gentleman no answer at all to the question on the Paper?

Photo of Mr Philip Snowden Mr Philip Snowden , Colne Valley

Does the right hon. Gentleman think he can evade an answer to the question that has been put, by insolence?

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

What was the reason for taking 4d. off the duty on tea?

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Is it in conformity with Parliamentary procedure for the word "chagrin" to be used in answer to a question?

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

On a point of Order. I want to know why it was that you, Sir, stopped the Chancellor of the Exchequer from answering my question. He was quite prepared to answer it.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

The hon. Member's question had nothing to do with the question on the Paper.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Linlithgowshire

In your judgment, Sir, is it not desirable for Members of the Front Bench, when replying to questions, to address themselves seriously to the question put, rather than to make clowns of themselves?