HC Deb 13 December 1900 vol 88 cc698-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether, seeing that it is stated in the Report of the Committee on Beer Materials, 1899, that the Treasury is empowered to prohibit the use in the manufacture of beer of any substance or liquor of a noxious or detrimental nature, he will state upon how many occasions within the last five years has the Treasury exercised such power, and how many specimens of cheap sulphuric acid such as is apparently used in the manufacture of sugar for brewing purposes have been examined during the current year.


The power referred to was conferred on the Treasury by Section 5 of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1888, but the duty of providing proper securities for the wholesomeness of beer like other articles of food is placed by law on the local authorities subject, if necessary, to the Local Government Board or Board of Agriculture. The Treasury, therefore, has not exercised this power. Sulphuric acid would only come under the cognisance of the Government Laboratory in the event of samples being submitted for analysis under a magistrate's order, and no instances of such submission have occurred. It ought not to exist in any sugar found in a brewery.

COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Official Analysts to the Department, Doctors Stevenson and Luff, who are members of the Expert Committee appointed by the Manchester Brewers' Association, are acting on behalf of the Department, or are being remunerated by the Brewers' Association; and if the latter is the case whether, in view of the great public interests involved, he would consider the advisability of causing a Report to be made by some expert analysts entirely unconnected with the trades concerned.


Doctors Stevenson and Luff are not acting on behalf of the Home Department. I think that the suggestion in the last paragraph of the question is scarcely within my jurisdiction, but I have consulted my right hon. friend the President of the Local Government Board, and understand that that Department has the whole matter under their active consideration.