HC Deb 07 June 1887 vol 315 cc1220-1
MR. BONSOR (Surrey, Wimbledon)

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reference to his statement to the deputation that waited on him on the 5th of April last on the subject of pure beer, that the Excise officers would render every possible assistance in the way of analyzing samples with a view of detecting adulteration, Whether any samples had been so obtained and analyzed; and, if so, with what result?


Since I conferred with the deputation in question 18 samples of beer have been purchased from various publicans; and, as I understand, they were chosen by the hon. Member for the Southern Division of Suffolk (Mr. Quilter). They were submitted to careful analysis by the analysts at Somerset House; and I am able to inform the House that in no single case was there any trace of adulteration by anything noxious, or otherwise detrimental. On the contrary, the beers were pure, genuine, and of high alcoholic strength. This statement fully corroborates the correctness of the view maintained by the Board of Inland Revenue.

MR. QUILTER (Suffolk, South)

May I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he can inform the House whether the samples that were obtained were obtained by officers of the Excise of the district, who were presumably well known to the different publicans, or whether they were purchased by the public over the bar in the ordinary course of business?


I understand that the samples were arranged for by the hon. Member himself.


With the permission of the House I beg to make a personal explanation. With the exception of indicating the localities in which they might be procured, I had nothing to do with it. They were procured by means of the Excise Department, and, I presume, by officers of the Excise. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will ascertain exactly how they were procured.


If the hon. Member wishes for any further inquiry it shall be made; but I understood that the samples were obtained from publicans indicated through the means of my hon. Friend.


I am very unwilling to detain the House; but I venture to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will at some future date, if not now, answer my Question as to whether the samples were obtained by the officers of Excise of the district or the public?