ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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TEA COMPANIES-Milking the British Cuppa

TEA COMPANIES Milking the British Cuppa TEA companies have been taking some stick in Britain as welt as in India recently, but a propaganda success for the British government has little to offer any of the affected parties. The stick used in Britain was the Price Commission which produced its most incisive Report yet when it published the result of its investigations into tea prices in February. The Prices Commission has a certain amount of statutory power to prevent price rises or to enforce price reductions and, as a result of its Report, the UK Prices Secretary, Roy Hattersley, threatened statutory action if retail prices of tea did not fall by 5 pence a quarter pound within a month. Complex in-fighting then took place, while the tea companies rejected the Price Commission's retail price figures and then refused to enter the tea auctions in London, for two weeks, but agreement was finally reached on a 2' pence cut in prices which left retail prices around 21 or 22 pence, as the Price Commission wished. The government can thus claim a propaganda victory, with the tea companies complaining of reduced profit expectations in the coming months, and the tea drinker getting a cheaper cuppa, but many of the more important questions remain unanswered.

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