Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Tea Ration in Kilkenny.

asked the Minister for Supplies whether he is aware that people in Kilkenny City making application for an extra allowance of tea were informed that their ration cards had been transferred from local shops to the branch shop of a multiple firm and that in future the latter would supply them with their requirements of tea, and, if so, whether he will say if there is a special arrangement with multiple firms having their headquarters in Great Britain to take over the ration cards of people applying for extra allowances of tea.

Transfer of the registration of a householder for tea is not facilitated except where the shopkeeper concerned has contravened the provisions of the tea rationing scheme by accepting the registration of a greater number of householders than he would be in a position to supply out of the monthly tea quota available to him under the rationing scheme. In such circumstances, endeavours are made, so far as possible, to secure that the registration is transferred to the shop from which the householder obtained his tea supplies before the rationing came into operation.

There is no special arrangement with multiple firms having their headquarters in Great Britain, as suggested by the Deputy, and I do not understand the Deputy's reference to extra allowances of tea.

Will the Minister say on what authority his local officer in Kilkenny sent this communication to a person who never got tea at Lipton's:—

"A chara,

In reply to your letter requesting extra supplies of tea from Mr. Conway, I beg to inform you that your ration card has been transferred from Conway's to Lipton's and you are now a registered customer of Lipton's who will supply you with your future requirements of tea."

If the Deputy wants to know under what authority he did it, it was under the authority of the appropriate order. If the Deputy wants to know why he did it, he will find the answer in the reply I have already given.

Will the Minister explain why the firm of Lipton's should be specially authorised, as against a local trader?

They are in no different position from that of any other firm. I do not know the circumstances of the case to which the Deputy refers, but if the person concerned was formerly a customer of Lipton's and should have registered there instead of somewhere else, it is the duty of the authorised officer to secure a transfer of the registration.

The point is that the person who got this communication never was, and intends never to be, a customer of Lipton's.

The Deputy cannot expect me to deal with that case without having had the particulars.

It does not fit in with the Minister's reply.

It does, if the Deputy understood it.