§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the fact that there are many costly high-class wines used by connoisseurs and persons in affluent circumstances which escape the extra duty levied since the 25th March, 1888, on sparkling wines; has he any information to show whether the slight addition to the present duty of 6d. per gallon on all German, French, and Colonial wines, in cask and bottle alike, would yield a larger revenue than the exceptional duty on sparkling wines; and whether, in the interests of the Revenue, and for the more equal treatment of consumers and the different branches of the wine trade, he will consider the advisability of replacing the present extra duty on sparkling wines, by a higher duty on all German, French, and Colonial wines?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover Square)
The hon. Member will remember that my original proposal was to put a small tax on all wines, but partly in deference to the consumers of cheaper wines I did not press that proposal, but substituted one on sparkling wines. I would add that the present would be a particularly unpropitious moment to suggest any change in the Wine Duties.