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Wednesday, 19 November 1941

Senator ALLAN MacDONALD - In view of the lengthy statement made by the Minister for Trade and Customs setting out the reasons for the increased price of tea, I should like to know if the Minister read in the Perth Sunday Times the report of an interview with a visitor from Ceylon who has spent a lifetime in the tea trade, in which he stated that tea-planters in Ceylon were still burning their surplus stocks of tea in order to keep up the price? If the Minister has not read that report will he undertake to do so as soon as possible, and make some inquiries to ascertain whether or not it is correct?

Sena tor KEANE. - I have not seen the report to which the honorable senator has referred, but tea is one of the commodities concerning which all available data have been placed at my disposal by the Prices Commissioner. I shall endeavour to obtain a copy of the report, and if able to do so I shall give it full consideration, but in consonance with my remarks earlier to-night on this question, I may state that I am satisfied that the increase is -inescapable.

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