HC Deb 15 June 1854 vol 134 cc224-5

brought up the Report of the Resolutions as to the duty upon sugar used in Breweries.


said, that he desired to have from the Government some explanation on the subject of these Resolutions, which were introduced on the previous day without notice; that was to say, the only notice being that in the Committee of Ways and Means Resolutions would be moved, the House having had no notice what these Resolutions were about. These Resolutions, which had just been reported to the House, permitted the use of sugar in breweries upon the payment of a certain duty. Their Report was No. 3 upon the Orders of the Day; but No. 5 was a Bill, upon which the House was to go into Committee, which prohibited such use of sugar. That appeared to him to be an inconsistency which he dared say could be explained, but he thought it would facilitate the progress of public business if this explanation were given to the House before further proceeding in the matter. It appeared to him to be rather inconvenient, when a Bill prohibiting the use of sugar in breweries was so far advanced that it was printed, was in the hands of Members, and was upon the paper for the House to go into Committee upon it, that the hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Treasury should without notice introduce at a morning sitting, Resolutions, the object of which was to carry into effect that which was exactly opposite to this Bill. He therefore thought that some explanation was required, and he wished to know why the House was to be asked to agree to Resolutions permitting the use of sugar in breweries, and then to go into Committee upon a Bill prohibiting it.


said, that if the right hon. Gentleman had been present on the previous clay he would have heard, at some length, the explanation for which he now asked. As the law now stood, sugar was permitted to be used in breweries. In consequence of the additional malt duty which had been recently imposed, the difference between the Customs duty upon sugar and the Excise duty upon malt had been considerably increased. Under these circumstances, it was at first the opinion of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue that it would not be safe to continue to permit the use of sugar in breweries, and a clause was therefore introduced into the Bill, which had been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman, to prohibit it. Upon further inquiry, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue had satisfied themselves that if a system of licences were adopted in order that their officers might know what brewers were entitled to use sugar, the permission to use that produce in brewing might with safety be considered. In order to increase the duty, it was necessary to take a Resolution in the Committee of Ways and Means before putting it into the Bill; and the object of the Resolution which had been reported was to enable the House to add to the Bill an additional duty above that now charged upon sugar used in breweries. As a necessary consequence, the clause prohibiting the use of sugar would in Committee be struck out of the Bill, and the duty would remain as it was, modified by the addition of the new duty consequent upon the increase of the malt tax.

Resolutions agreed to.