§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ *MR. PURVIS (Peterborough)
I rise Sir, to move the Second Reading of this Bill to amend the law relating to the manufacture and sale of beer. The 1442 imperfection of the existing law has lately been brought before the notice of everyone in so startling a manner by what has happened from drinking poisonous beer, and the remedy is so obvious, if I may say so, that notwithstanding the Amendment. I should have felt it unnecessary to do more than barely state the object of the Bill, did I not remember that two Bills with a similar object have already, within the past not very many years, been considered by this House, without the desired result; and that this though like is vet so unlike them that I. must needs explain as briefly as I can the method of this Bill, whereby I trust that it will meet with better fortune than was ultimately theirs. The Bills of 1886 and 1896 were introduced by the hon. Baronet the Member for Sudbury, whose devotion and public spirit have inseparably associated his name with this question, and his unflagging attention, and that of many others bestowed on the present measure will now, I trust, be suitably rewarded by the realisation of their patriotic desire that everyone throughout the United Kingdom shall have a glass of pure beer when he asks for it.
I will give just so much of the history of this matter as is necessary to explain the immediate business in hand. For generations down to the latter part of the 18th century, beer had been a liquor, old, mature, and mellow, brewed after the barley harvest, from malt and hops, in the mild autumnal weather of October. But the 19th century arrived with all its cheap methods, some good, some bad, and Parliament had to interfere. So from 1802 till 1847 only barley malt, hops, and yeast were allowed in the brewing of beer, save for one slight exception, hardly indeed a real exception, that brown sugar for colouring was allowed from 1811 to 1817. But in 1847, after forty-five years of security, was sown the seed of all our woes in this respect; for in that year a concession was made to the woeful importunity of our old friend the West Indian planter, and sugar was then first allowed to have a real component share in the brewing of beer. But sugar was the signal for an invasion of imitations. Sugar can be made from other things besides the West Indian cane. It is only a matter of starch. Dapper 1443 chemists with their glucose were followed jauntily by pseudo-scientists with countless substitutes, rejoicing in such a list of fearsome names as would have made Quintilian stare and gasp. When the burden of all this began to grow too grievous to be borne, there arose a doughty champion of reform, the hon. Baronet, who took the field in that behalf and brought in his Bills of 1886 and 1896. He proposed to turn back, make the law as it was before 1847, and suffer no drink to bear the name of "beer" save only what was brewed from malt and hops.
And herein lies the cardinal difference between those Bills and this—for here I leave, history and betake myself to the present Bill. Its main object is to secure to the buyer a glass of beer brewed from malt, hops and yeast if he asks for it. But to enable him to do so we had to give it a name. Well, as the House is aware, outside the walls of Parliament, from, all sorts and conditions of men, county councils, municipal councils, boards of guardians, trade and labour leagues—has arisen a cry for pure beer, and we who had to frame the Bill were much exercised in our minds whether we should not take that name for what we call in our Bill by the modest name of "Malt Beer." But a sense—perhaps too strict—of justice restrained us. The name "beer" has now for over fifty years been shared in common by malt beer and that brewed with substitutes for malt and we felt that the name "Pure Beer," while it would truly denote our beer would yet connote offensively that all others were impure, whereas we do not seek to claim any monopoly, express or implied, of the name beer. This meets more than one objection to the Bill of 1896. It was then argued by our opponents that several industries engaged in making legitimate substitutes would be ruined if the Bill passed into law, and the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer declared that the revenue would suffer if he could not tax as beer any but malt beer. Well, we have changed all that by Clause 1. We advocates of barley malt are still the same but not the same. Sir John Cutler had a pair of black worsted stockings which his mild darned so often with silk that they became a pair of silk stockings. It 1444 is no longer monopoly that we seek, it is Free Trade for all. The enterprising makers of substitutes may go merrily on save in so far as malt beer shall openly compete with them, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his revenue shall not be interfered with.
Clause2.prohibiting the use of hop substitutes, is for the safety of the consumer of beer, and is necessary from the great danger of their use, and the extreme difficulty of detection. Hop substitutes cannot plead in their defence the use and wont of fifty years ago like malt substitutes. On one occasion—twenty years ago—in a time of acute hop famine, they attempted and failed to take a permanent place among the constituents of the mash tun, and it is admitted on all hands that to allow them would be most hurtful to the public, but that their prohibition will hurt nobody, because hops virtually hold the field against all substitutes.
Coming now to Clauses 3 and 4, as to marking and labelling of cask and bottle and tap, and putting up notice in the bar room, it is an undisputed function of Government to take precautions against deception, which a buyer cannot take for himself. The evidence against this marking and labelling given to the Beer Committee was all on the assumption that there might have to be ten or more different labels required, and so chaos and confusion would reign supreme at the public-house bar. but this Bill proposes only two labels corresponding with the two names in Clause 1, a simple division by which there is no beer which does not fall under one or other alternative. Thus the spectre of chaos and confusion is effectively laid, and as to any slur or stigma on part-malt beer, if as some maintain it is as good as malt beer, why should the label be deemed any disadvantage? If it is better or more to the public taste the label will be a distinct advantage. A lady had given to her a barrel of small beer, and she asked the butler how it were best to keep it. "Well, ma'am," was his reply, "the best way to keep a barrel of small beer is to place a barrel of strong beer alongside of it." All we ask is to give the buyer a chance to judge for himself, and then to leave him to do as he likes. And this I may at once say is also our reason for the eighth clause of the 1445 Bill. That clause aims at giving a man this same chance of getting a glass of malt beer even where the tied house system prevails, where at present he is fain to take what is offered him or go may he a day's journey, to a less tied house locality. My hon. friend the Member for West Nottingham has an Amendment on the Paper as to tied houses. Of course, he knows best what In- is about, but I hope he will forgive me for saying it seems somewhat wide of the mark as raising an academic discussion, on a most important question I allow, but more suited in its form for Tuesday afternoons than for the Second Reading of such a Hill as this with an immediate object in view*. So then coming back to Clause 5, requiring registers to be kept by brewer and dealer of beer sent out and received, it sets up what is called in the apt language of Bentham, pre-appointed evidence based on the right inherent in Society to ward off wilful or accidental injury to itself by antecedent precautions, and this clause while no impediment to getting the article required will be a very considerable hindrance to improper sales of what is but a disguised imitation of the article required.
Such are the main features of this Bill. It is not protection, but is plainly in the interests of the consumer which is the main doctrine of Free Trade. It gives warning to the buyer, and then leaves him to do as he pleases. Except the notice in Clause 4, sub-section 2 to be posted up at the bar of the seller of part-malt beer, it imposes no obligation on the brewer or seller of part-malt beer which it does not impose on the brewer or seller of malt beer. It has been said why not leave the whole matter to the Food and Drug Acts which already make it punishable to sell to the prejudice of the purchaser "any article of food which is not of the nature, substance, and quality demanded by the purchaser." But in the ease of beer, this would mean an expensive, elaborate, and even questionable chemical analysis, whereas this Bill chiefly works by what may be termed mechanical plain ready means of prevention and detection; and to leave things as they are because of the liability to punishment under the Food and Drug Acts, is not more reasonable than to sleep with the front door unbolted because a burglar 1446 can be punished under the common law when he happens to be caught. Then again it may be argued that nothing should be done until the Royal Com mission has made its Report on the subject of arsenic in beer and other articles of food and drink. But for our purpose the reference to the Commission is at once too wide in its scope and too narrow in its object. It may, for ought I know, be very useful for a Royal Commission to go roving at large over the whole field of a reference De omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis; but it will settle nothing and discover nothing of actual preventive value as regards beer now that universal attention has been rivetted in so tragic a fashion on the special form of danger from which the public has suffered. I imagine that the coroner's inquests have rid us for some time to come of arsenic from pyrites; but when Hercules cut off the Hydra's head, two new ones grew up in its place. There are other baneful things besides arsenic, and our last state may be worse than the first, be the Report of the Commission what it will as to arsenic, if this Bill do not pass.
Sir, I am already too much indebted to the patience of the House, or I might have shown that this is a temperance Bill, for temperance prevails in the countries where only malt beer is drunk. I might have shown that this is a brewers' Bill, for if confidence in British beer be not restored Bavarian beer will take its place. I might have shown that this is an agriculturist Bill as increasing the demand for barley; but it is time to furl my sail and make an end. Now that we are brought face to face with the stern facts—after the deaths which have occurred from poisoned beer—after the widespread sickness and suffering from poisoned beer, after the public has appealed to us in daily petitions to this House for protection from this pestilence that walketh in darkness, I maintain that the present state of things ought not to be suffered to continue for an hour. And so my task is done. If I have in anywise shown this Bill to be worthy of support, J have done as I desired. If. as doubtless is the fact, I have in many ways come short of what is due to the House and the subject, I trust it will be considered the fault of the advocate and not imputed to the cause which he has advocated. I beg to move.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Purvis.)
§ *COLONEL MILWARD (Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon)
In rising to move the rejection of this Bill I desire first to say one or two words upon a personal matter. I wish to explain that I am in no way interested in brewing, neither have any commercial interest in the sugar industry. I have never been the holder of any brewery shares, and I have never as been a guest at a licensed victuallers' dinner. I can, therefore, claim to approach this subject from an entirely independent point of view.
I oppose this Bill for four reasons. First, because it is not a Hill to prevent arsenical poisoning in beer; secondly, it is contrary to the interests of British agriculturists; thirdly, it creates a law which the executive cannot administer; and, fourthly, it favours the foreign as against the British producer. With regard to arsenical poisoning, I did hope that this Bill would have given a strong lead to the House. Undoubtedly the great trouble which has arisen recently in the North has been due to the sugar which found its way into the beer. But, as a matter of fact, sugar adulteration has nothing whatever to do with this Hill. We use sugar in almost everything we eat and drink. We have it in our tea and our coffee, and even hams are cured with it, and therefore it is impossible to say that sugar is not a proper constituent of ordinary food. But the question is, have we a right to know what it is we are eating and drinking? As a matter of fact, we eat and drink a good many things of the constituents of which we know nothing. We drink, for instance, aerated waters, soda, lithia, and seltzer, and I do not suppose that many Members of this House can tell us the constituents of these waters. I do not see. indeed, what particular object there is in making known the exact constituents of beer, except it be to restore public confidence. We know that the poisoning in the North arose from sugar supplied by a particular firm, and was due to the sulphuric acid with which that sugar was treated. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Second 1448 Reading of this Bill said that for the last fifty years sugar bad been admitted to be a constituent of beer. Now it takes two forms. There is the invert sugar and the glucose sugar. The invert sugar is made from sugar cane treated with sulphuric acid; the glucose sugar is obtained from maize, sago, and tapioca, also treated with sulphuric acid, which, of course is afterwards got rid of. If there be arsenic in the sulphuric acid, it is possible that it passes into the invert or glucose sugar. and if impure sulphuric acid is used it is quite possible that the impurity passes into the sugar. I do not wish to go into the history of the firm implicated in this matter. I believe that Messrs. Bostock are now in liquidation. The business was originally founded by Mr. Bostock, and eventually became, under one of the most objectionable kinds of management—the kind so prevalent nowadays—a limited liability company, in which everything devolves upon the manager, whose duty it is to make the directors' fees, his own salary, and possibly a profit for the shareholders. If as has been suggested, there was gross carelessness in the manufacture of the sugar, and if that gross carelessness resulted in widespread disease and death, I cannot understand why the criminal law was not put into operation. If gross carelessness led to many deaths surely it was a subject which ought to he touched by the criminal law and I cannot understand the failure of the Government to take steps in the matter. This Bill, unfortunately, does not deal in any way with that question. If the public in our great towns look, as they are looking, for a pure beer Bill, a Bill which will secure that the beer supplied to them is free from arsenical poisoning, they will be disappointed with this measure, which does not in the slightest degree guarantee their safety. The same materials may still be used, call them by what name you like. There is to be the same invert sugar, which may be perfectly pure; there is to be the glucose, which ought to be pure; but there is not the slightest protection to the public in a single line of this Bill. I should like to read a few words which Dr. Reid, the sanitary officer for the county of Staffordshire, 1449 gave in his evidence before the Royal Commission now sitting, He said—As preventive measures he would recommend (1) that no glucose or invert sugar should be made with sulphuric acid unless it was made from sulphur and not from pyrites, and that the brewers should have a guarantee to that effect; (2) that the Inland Revenue should instruct Excise Officers to see that such guarantees were given, and to collect samples of brewing materials for analysis; and (3) that additional powers for local authorities to seize contaminated beers should be given.If the Bill had proceeded on these lines I could have understood it hut there is not a, single word in it which would strengthen the hands of local authorities. We must look elsewhere for the motives of this Bill. I should like to say that there are only eight makers of brewing substitutes known, and surely the Inland Revenue, which controls so many breweries, could exercise equal control over these eight firms of substitute makers. There ought to be no danger to the public when there are only so few places to which the health officers or officers of Inland Revenue would have to go in order to seek for contaminated materials. It does not strike me that the Local Government Hoard, with its army of inspectors, would find this a very difficult duty to undertake.
But, as I have said, we must look elsewhere for the motive which inspires this Bill. I feel sure that one is to raise the price of British barley. Personally, as an agricultural Member, I should not object to that if I were convinced that that would be the case. But I hold strongly opposite views. I fear that the Bill will injure the agriculturist, and in this way. It may raise the price of the highest kinds of barley, but it will lower the price of the second and medium classes which are grown throughout the country. Why was sugar introduced into beer at all, unless it was to enable, the brewer by using the second-class barleys in combination with it to produce a better, brighter, and lighter beer, which above all contained less alcohol? Sugar enables the brewer to use second class English barley, and thereby render it equal to first class English, Chilian, or Smyrna barley; and he must combine sugar with the second class English barley in order to produce a palatable beer. You may say that the English public might drink beer less sweet; but 1450 they have a right to say what they will drink, and as the public taste has been educated to drink the sweeter liquor brewers must, it they are to use second class English barley, combine sugar with it. This Bill casts a stigma or reflection on second class beer. It creates a "malt beer" and a "part-malt beer," and the effect of passing it will be to reflect on the "part-malt beer." The effect of this undoubtedly will be that either the brewers will make more "all-malt" beer or continue to make beer according to their present methods, If they, make all-malt beer, brewers will be driven to go abroad to buy first-class barley, because they cannot buy it in large quantities in England, and in that way they will depreciate the price of second-class barleys; for brewers of "part-malt beer" will have to keep down the prices, and will pay as low a price as possible for the barleys they use.
This is very important, and to show that this is no idle contention I am afraid I must read a few extracts. When the Bill of 1895 or 1896 was before the House there were two respected Members of this House—Mr. Money-Wigram and Mr. Usborne—who spoke with great weight upon it. Indeed, it was a speech of the former Gentleman to the Agricultural Committee upstairs which induced me to hold the views I do. I have not the advantage of being able to quote from that speech, but I have here the words of Mr. Usborne, delivered in this House on the"25th March, 1896, and I will ask the attention of hon. Members to them. Mr. Usborne said—Their second object was to force the barley grown by their constituents into the brewer's mash tun. Would keeping sugar out of the tun force the barley into it? Most certainly not. It would force it out, by-forcing in far more foreign barley than the amount of sugar withdrawn. What was it that the operative brewer wanted in his tun, so as to get a sweet wort that would give him a healthy and complete fermentation V Why, the sun! The, sun is the creator of all saccharine substances. He brewed himself, with slight variations for the time of year, as follows:—He used 80 per cent, of Essex barley, 10 per cent, of foreign (Smyrna), and 10 per cent of sugar. If this Kill became law he should certainly be forced, in order to get enough sun into the mash tun, to use 40 per cent, of foreign barley and 60 per cent of English.There are a few more quotations with which I have, to trouble the House, and 1451 they embody the views on the Bill of leading agriculturists, which were given expression to at the Central Chamber of Agriculture in February last—Mr. Sutton Nelthorpe, of the Lincolushire Chamber, said that although Lincolnshire was a county where a great deal of barley was grown, they felt it was a very debatable question whether the proposals would not injure the sale of second-class barley in Lincolnshire, and therefore do injury to the farmers. The Lancashire and Cheshire and the Hampshire (Mr. Jas. Stratton) representatives agreed.Mr. Home (Shropshire) said in his county sugar was necessary.Mr. Wilson (Stockton-on-Tees) said in the north of England barley grown on certain lands would be put out of use if the use of sugar was abolished altogether.In addition to these opinions I thought it well to arm myself with opinions of the brewers, and so I put to several of them this specific question: Whether more or less Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire barley would be used if this Bill were passed, and what would be the effect upon the price? Mr. Henry Mitchell, of Mitchells and Butters, Smethwick, near Birmingham, replied—We can produce fine beers entirely from the barleys produced in the counties you mention, combined with 20 per cent, of finest invert sugar used in the brewing. For brewing entirely with malt we should have to select 70 per cent, of light, ripe foreign barley in combination with 30 per cent, of best eastern counties barley. The beers from this all-malt brewing would not equal in any respect the beers produced from the midland counties' barley, with the mixture of 20 per cent, of best invert sugar.My next authority is a gentleman whose name is universally respected—I mean Sir John Holder, Bart., Chairman of Holders Brewery, Limited, Birmingham. He states—I may say that if we had to brew an all-malt beer we should be compelled to use almost entirely malt made from foreign barley. I cannot help thinking that the price of English medium and lower grade barley would decline in value.Mr. Morton Lucas, High Sheriff of Warwickshire, Chairman of Lucas and Co., Limited, Leamington, says—Instead of buying practically all the barley we malt direct from the grower in Warickshire, we should only buy one-fifth of the quantity, the remaining four-fifths being absolutely useless unless supplemented by a certain percentage of adjuncts. Our price for this season's barley has ranged from 29s. to 35s. per quarter. For an all-malt beer everything 1452 below 32s. would be absolutely displaced by foreign barley. The fact that there would be no demand for the cheaper soils of barley for brewing purposes could not do less than seriously depress the price of these qualities.I think I need not trouble the House any further with these opinions. The brewers have hitherto been the friends of the farmers, I have brought forward the evidence of those who attended the Chamber of Agriculture, and also the evidence of those who buy the barley. It is for these reasons, and because I think we cannot afford to play with British agriculture in the hope of something good coming, that I am bound to say I cannot support the Bill. There are two more reasons which in my mind are absolutely fatal to the measure. The first is that no executive could administer the provisions of the Bill. I do not know whether hon. Members are aware of the fact that it is impossible to detect by analysis the difference between the beers. To brew beer you must have sugar. Whether you get the sugar from barley, or from cane sugar, or maize, or sago, it is sugar still, and the result is exactly the same. I think perhaps I ought to quote some authority in support of this. I will quote the Beer Materials Committee Report (page 7)—We are satisfied that in the present state of scientific knowledge it is not possible to determine by chemical analysis with sufficient certainty to obtain a conviction whether malt adjuncts have or have not been used, except, perhaps, in eases where excessive proportions of such adjuncts have been employed.If that be so I should like to ask the House to consider how the executive is to deal with this matter. What is So prevent a brewer putting half-malt beer into all-malt beer, if he desires to do so? There is no analysis to detect it. What is to prevent a publican from keeping both kinds of beer, and siphoning from one barrel into the other? I cannot believe for one moment that this House will pass a law which the executive is unable to put into operation. it would become a dead letter, and we should be stultified, and render ourselves foolish in the eyes of the country. Directly it is known outside that there is no possibility of detecting by analysis the difference between the beers—that neither by sight, colour, taste, nor chemical analysis can we find 1453 out which beer it is—is it not perfectly certain that there will be continual and gross fraud in connection with the mixing of the two beers? The measure will be grossly unfair to the British producer as against the foreign producer. It is proposed that the House should put British producers under certain restrictions in regard to the beer they brew. We are to say that this beer should be labelled superior, and that beer inferior, that this should be labelled malt beer, and the other part-malt beer, by which, of course, it is intended to throw a reflection on the part-malt beer. You would allow the foreign producers, the brewers of Pilsener, Munich, and other beers to come in without any restrictions at all. There is no such dislike for foreign articles in this country that consumers would prefer home-manufactured beer, On the contrary, many people know that the foreign article is perfectly good and wholesome, and I am astonished when the foreign products arc admitted without any restriction that you are going to restrict in every possible way British brewers. I should have thought that we had enough foreign competition in this country already. When I see great markets like those of Germany and Austria shut to us by hostile tariffs, and when I see articles manufactured there flooding our country year by year. I think that we have quite enough of foreign competition already. My right hon. friend the Member for Sleaford has been constantly seeking to protect British agriculture. I am beginning to think that the old free trade doctrines are a little worn out. That we should in broad daylight, at the beginning of the twentieth century. pass another enactment which is to free foreigners from restrictions we put on our own producers, seems to me an extraordinary thing. It you cannot detect the ingredients of foreign beer, and if you cannot go into the brewer's place and see what be is making the beer from, the Act is grossly unfair to the British brewer. You do not know what the foreign beer which comes into this country is made from, and you cannot restrict the foreigner.
I do not think that? should sit down without, at all events, suggesting some alternative policy. Having regard to the feeling of the public at the present moment 1454 I would suggest that the Government should take a firm stand, and see that the ingredients used in. making beer are of I quality to prevent such a terrible calamity as occurred in the north of England ever taking place in this country again. I would also suggest another practical remedy. I would suggest that the price of sugar should be its natural price, and not its bounty-fed price. The question is really one between the price of barley and the price of sugar, and sugar at its present price must win. Sugar is unnaturally cheap in this country. It is far below its natural price. Let the Government take their courage in their hands and let them agree with other nations to place sugar at its natural price, and I venture to say that the quantity of first-class and second-class barley used in brewing will increase in that way. The brewer would then no longer have the incentive he now has to use sugar. He would have every encouragement to use a, larger proportion of British barley in the manufacture of beer.
To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day six months.'"—(Colonel Milward)
§ Question proposed, ''That the word 'now' stand part of the Question.'
§ MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham)
said he felt in a position of somewhat unusual difficulty and embarrassment, because he was unable to find out the object of the promoters of the Bill, and those doubts bad not been removed by the speeches of the mover and seconder of the Bill. The Bill, so far as be could make out, did not differ in the smallest degree from that which had previously been before the Mouse. There were on the back of the Bill a number of names that must carry weight in the House,, but he was bound to ask himself what was the object of the Bill and of its promoters. He thought at first, when he heard notice being given of a Bill of this character, that it was possibly for the promotion of what was known as pure beer, because he remembered there was not very long ago a movement in favour of pure beer. Pure beer was, no doubt, 1455 a very excellent beverage, and appealed very strongly to those who consumed it. No doubt pure beer was an excellent thing to cry when they went down to the country. While the pure beer movement was going on there seemed to be dawning in England a kind of earthly paradise, having a pure and wholesome liquid which the wearied labourer might drink to his fill without fear either of the doctor or the policeman. But when they came to look at the Bill they found nothing about pure beer in it. They saw nothing to compel or encourage the manufacture of pure beer. One of the numerous arguments in favour of pure beer was that it was going to promote temperance largely, but there was not a single provision in the Bill which would secure the purity of beer, and as far as he could understand it, the Bill would have the effect of harassing the brewers and the retailers of beer by practically compelling them to manufacture or retail two articles, and it would enrich those who had to make labels, the designers of stamps, and the printers of letters one and a quarter inches square, which would have to be used in every room throughout the United Kingdom in which beer was served. It would in some degree penalise the use, so far as possible, of beer not brewed from barley malt. Perhaps that was the explanation of it all. Perhaps in some nebulous way the aim of the Bill was indirectly to raise the price of barley. Last year he attended a farmers' dinner, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford, who was present, delivered a speech, in which he told the farmers that ruin was staring them in the face, and that they would very shortly be in the workhouse. He subsequently soothed their feelings and comforted them with the statement that there was still a bit of blue in the sky. It almost seemed to him that the right hon. Gentleman saw in the lamentable occurrence in the north of England what he regarded as something like the interposition of Providence to raise the price of barley and bring hope; to the minds of the British barley grower.
But this Bill would do nothing to raise the price of barley in this country, be- 1456 cause it did not prohibit the use of foreign barley or compel the use of British barley, and the brewer, like all other human beings, would get what suited him best. Mr. Thomas Usborne, speaking in the House on a similar Bill some years ago, said that he used in brewing his beer 80 per cent. of Essex barley, 10 per cent. of foreign barley, and 10 per cent. of sugar, and he observed that if the Bill then under consideration had been passed he would have been compelled to use 40 per cent. of foreign barley and 60 per cent. of English barley. That statement from a practical brewer, who understood and appreciated the subject of which he was talking, showed that this measure would not benefit the British agriculturist or send up the price of barley grown in Great Britain. After all, the value of barley was a matter of climate and a matter of sunshine. If this Bill could compel the sun to shine at the right time on the British Empire it would do a great deal more for agriculture than the provisions it contained as to the brewing of beer. In. order to benefit the farmers of East Anglia they must either prohibit the use of foreign barley altogether or put so strong a duty on foreign barley as to compel the brewer to use home-grown barley. The only effect of the Bill would be to compel the manufacturer to brew both malt and half-malt beer, and the natural result would be that care would be taken to make the half-malt beer the more palatable of the two. The brewer would take great care that it was the sort of article which would be most in demand at the places where it was sold. If it was the cheaper form to manufacture they might depend upon it that he would take care to sell the largest amount of the part-malt kind. What a, fatuous kind of legislation was that to compel two articles to be put in constant comparison and competition day by day, while there was nothing to ensure that what they held to be the least valuable was not the better of the two ! He thought that point was important.
The real fact was, and he took it that the promoters of the Bill knew it pretty well, that there was practically no inquiry and no demand for so-called 1457 pure beer. The Report of the Departmental Committee on Beer Materials contained the following—It may be pointed out that under the present law, if there was a large and genuine demand for all-malt beer, it would probably seldom be difficult for consumers to obtain it under guarantee.Was it conceivable, if it was to the advantage of a brewer to advertise, and hold himself out as a producer of all-malt beer and nothing else, that he would not rush in and occupy the field, having before him such a large prospect of advantage and gain? That was worthy of consideration. It there was a real and growing demand on the part of the outside public for all-malt beer, why did not some brewer come into the market and fill up that demand at once The extraordinary departure which this Bill took, was that it did not matter whether they produced the required article or not, but they must own that they had used certain materials. The fact was that no analogy could be drawn between malt beer and half-malt beer, in the same way as between butter and margarine. Butter and margarine were two different products. Malt beer was admittedly the same product as half-malt beer, only they were made from different materials. When the same result might be reached by two different ways, and when they limited the choice of the producer to particular kinds of materials, he thought they were going a long way in the direction of legislation which interfered with the manufacturing habits and customs of the community, and in a direction which, to his mind, was both dangerous and unnecessary.
He had alluded to the pure beer cry. That cry had absolutely died out until it was revived by the lamentable occurrences which took place in Manchester and the North of England last year. He did not in the least minimise the seriousness or the gravity of that attack, hut he wanted to point out to the House in the first place, that the whole of that illness was traced to its source, namely, the sugar supplied by a particular firm. Dr. Buchanan in his report regarding the epidemic referred to the information obtained as to the use of brewing sugar in these words—This information, wherever obtained, was invariably to the effect that brewing sugar 1458 had, at all events up to the end of November, been used at the brewery. In all but two eases the whole or part of the sugar used was said to have been obtained from Messrs. Bostock and Co. In two instances (the brewery in stone, and another brewery in Preston) it had been obtained from a sugar dealer who, I have been informed, was supplied by Messrs. Bostock and Co., as well as by other brewing sugar manufacturers.If hon. Members wished to challenge that statement, they would have an opportunity of tracing the epidemic to another source. The epidemic had been traced to that particular source, and he went further and said that the liability of those who supplied that sulphuric acid in the first instance was undoubted, unquestioned, and unquestionable. There was no doubt in his mind but that in addition to a civil liability there was a liability to which the criminal law could be applied in respect of carelessness and want of due precautions on the part of those who supplied an article which they knew was going to be used in the manufacture of beer. There had been one or two prosecutions already in respect of that very beer, under the provisions of the Food and Drugs Act, 1875. The law as it stood at present was quite sufficient to deal with an occurrence of the lamentable character which had taken place in Manchester and its neighbourhood. It could be dealt with by means of a civil liability, or a criminal liability, or a prosecution under the Food and Drugs Act. There was another point—such a thing had never happened before. Although sugar had been in considerable use since 1878, and had been used more or less since 1847 in the manufacture of beer, during twenty-two years there had been no fatal result following its use. The result of the poisoning at Manchester was that a wave of analyses had swept over the whole country. The Local Government Board very properly sent out a circular, calling the attention of the county councils to their responsibilities under the Act. In his own county out of forty-four samples that were taken, forty-two were quite clear from arsenic, and the other two contained it in only an infinitesimal quantity. The London County Council had taken 168 samples and not a trace of arsenic had been found in any of them. The reports of analysts had on more than one occasion shown that 1459 arsenical poisoning could exist in beer browed from malt and bops only, although the danger of contamination might be a very hunt one. A great authority bad said that if the materials were pure, the product would be pure—no matter what the materials might be.
There was only one other argument be should like to mention the argument that the consumer did not get what he asked for, and that he was entitled to get what be asked for. On that point, the Report of the Beer Materials Committee put the case of this Bill utterly and entirely out of court. The Report said—If the liquor produced from malt only were clearly distinguishable from, and definitely superior to, the liquor brewed with a moderate proportion of malt adjuncts, it would be with in the competence of Parliament, and might be in the public interest to assign separate distinctive names to these liquors. But, in our opinion, this is not at present the case.What the customer asked for was beer, and he got beer. To sum up what he had said on these points, the hon. Member remarked that in the first instance the demand for legislation was founded upon a single instance, the Manchester scare, which was due to human fallibility and carelessness which no legislation could prevent, and for which the existing law was sufficient to provide a. remedy. Its object was to create an increased demand for British barley, and to raise its price. It was more than problematical whether the present Bill would have that effect. The effect would be absolutely nil, because no analyst could tell the ingredients used if the product was satisfactory. For these reasons he could only regard the measure as the outcome of that muddled benevolence which often attended the gathering together of a new Parliament. His interest as a. manufacturer was of the very smallest character, and its capital value was less than £500, but his interest as a large and thankful consumer of beer was much greater, He asked that it should be a wholesome, sound, and good article, because he drank a good deal of it, and because he did not think the Bill would do anything to improve his drink he seconded the motion for its rejection.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W.R., Pudsey)
I entirely asso- 1460 ciate myself with the objection taken to this measure by the hon. and gallant Member, and I shall support him if he goes to a division, though I am afraid the arguments I shall endeavour to place before the House will hardly be arguments to which he will give agreement and assent. In the first instance, it seems to be almost sacrilege to break into what is in- has the appearance of a little rift or family jar in the ranks of our opponents. The two constituent factors of the Government party—landlords and brewers—are at issue on this point. In my humble judgment the Bill goes too far. I have read many Bills introduced into the House, but I do not think I have ever read one in which the phraseology and the terminology were so unfortunate as in this Bill. I believe the effect of that mistake will be that the trainers and promoters of the Bill will find in the division lobby that they have over-reached themselves, and that they have alienated a good deal of support which they would otherwise have enjoyed. The only justification for a measure of this character is the declaration that the law should be so altered as to make it certain that any purchaser desiring to buy what is called pure beer, or what I prefer to call malt and hops beer, should be able to do so without any chance of any other manufactured article being palmed off upon him. I believe that is a reasonable object. I believe the purchaser has the fullest right to be safeguarded, and if he wants malt and hops beer be should be able to buy it, even though a better beer were to be offered him than the one he desired to purchase. If the Bill had been so framed, and the character of this measure had been such as I have described, I myself would gladly have supported it. In other words, if instead of the words "malt beer" had been substituted the word "beer," and if the words "part-malt beer" bad been deleted and the word "ale" put in their place I should have voted for it, I hope my argument will not be taken as offensive by any hon. Member, but I venture to suggest that a great many of the arguments brought forward by supporters of this measure are in every respect undiluted humbug and nonsense.
Some of the hon. Members whose names are on the back of the Bill should imitate 1461 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford, and be a little more frank and candid and straightforward in avowing the object they have in view in the introduction of this measure. Nobody, whether in this House or elsewhere, is deceived. This measure is not introduced on behalf of the consumer or the purchaser. It is an agricultural and landlords' Bill in every respect. Does anybody imagine for one moment with regard to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford that his bowels of compassion yearn for the unfortunate purchaser of beer, or that his withers are wrung on behalf of the man who wants pure malt beer and gets something with another compound in it? The frank letter which the right hon. Gentleman wrote some time ago would be quite sufficient to dissipate that idea. His object, as he informed the public, is to speed the plough, and this speeding of the plough is to take the form of an increased demand by legislation for English barley, and this Bill is nothing short of an attempt on the part of many Members to increase the value, price, and consumption of barley. The measure is hung upon this one slender fact, that a single firm, once in the lifetime of any hon. Member of this House, has produced glucose manufactured from sulphuric acid that was culpably or criminally defective—an incident that we may confidently predict will never occur again in our lifetime. Glucose and manufactured sugars are used not only in the manufacture of beer, but also very largely in the making of confectionery. Is the House going to enact that no child should buy anything but barley sugar?
My objection to the Bill is that it creates a standard. Even the wording and phraseology is puerile and juvenile in the extreme. It might be borrowed from the football field. "Malt beer" and "part-malt beer" suggest a "full back" and a "three-quarter back" arrangement. The Bill divides beer into two classes, and measures one by the other. It casts a reflection upon one kind of beer, and suggests that the particular quality of beer browed, from materials in the production of which hon. Members opposite have great interest has a purer character and is a more wholesome article 1462 of drink and food than all the others put together. I was for some years connected with a brewery, and I can honestly say that I have never seen glucose or maize sugar or any other of these malt substitutes used in my life. But beer brewed from a certain admixture of sugar is a very much better liquor, more potable and palatable in every respect than one brewed from malt and hops alone. Even the arguments of the hon. Member who last addressed the House seem to me to prove that, because brewers are not altogether fools, if they found that there was a demand for malt liquor, and they were able to make a profit upon it, they would undoubtedly manufacture it. Pure beer under this Bill is nothing more nor less than poor beer. Take the beer consumed in the North of England. They drink pure beer there. It is what they describe as mild ale, and that cannot be satisfactorily manufactured without an admixture of sugar. You could not get the ordinary working man in the North of England to drink malt beer without this sugar; it would not be to his taste or palate. This Bill is so worded as to stimulate the consumption of one class of beer and to handicap another. This is, in a measure, protection. I venture to make the following propositions:—That all beers are brewed from sugar solutions; that those sugar solutions can be obtained either from the sugar of barley or malt, or from the starch of rice or maize in the ordinary process of fermentation; that rice and maize are equally as good articles of food as barley or malt (as hundreds of millions of our fellow-creatures exist upon rice, and we are all aware that the maize crop in America is perhaps the most valuable that America produces); that all beers are chemically pure whatever they may be produced from in these different classes; that they are equally good articles of food; and that, as has been argued already, it is absolutely impossible to tell by analysis what their composition is so long as they are chemically pure. To talk of beer that is brewed from the starch of rice or maize, as impure is an entire misuse of the word.
I was a member of the Committee that sat for several years to deal with the question of the adulteration of food products. We had before that Committee the chief Analyst of Somerset House, and he in- 1463 formed us that there had been 17,604 analyses of beer during ten years, that 3,720 of those had been found to be adulterated, almost in every ease in public-houses, and that in every case the adulterant was either water or sugar or water and sugar mixed. He was asked this question—You did not find as a rule any other noxious compounds?His answer was—We did not find any noxious compounds in one of the samples.That is to say, that for ten years the analyst of Somerset House had been dealing by analyses with beers, that between 17,000 and 18,000 samples had been examined, but not one single sample of beer had been found which could be described as adulterated by any noxious compound. That gentleman appeared before the Committee again two years later, when this evidence was given—Q. Is any analysis made of beer? A. Very frequently. Q. For what cause? A. We have not had, as I gave in my evidence before, any experience of any deleterious ingredients being found in beer for many years.I think that dissipates the contention that beer is, or has ever been adulterated. In the Report of that Committee these words may be found—According to the Return afforded to the Local Government Board, excess of sulphur appears to be the only form in which beer is adulterated.Therefore, I do not think that even the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford or the hon. Baronet the Member for Sudbury will endeavour to go beyond the chief authority upon this subject. Brewers say, and I think with some ground of justification, that as long as they produce an article that is chemically pure, that is wholesome as an article of food, they ought not to be tied down in any way as to what they produce.
I want to make a suggestion to the supporters of this Bill. We are living in days of statutory restrictions, statutory legislation, statutory parliaments, and other matters. For the first time we are asked to create a statutory liquor. I want the supporters of this new statutory liquor to endeavour to be original, to strain their powers of invention a little further in order to discover some descrip- 1464 tion that may be applicable to this liquor alone. Words are coined for telegraphic purposes, often by a process of condensation, thus: "Grand Hotel" becomes "Granotel." In order to name this new statutory liquor, why not drop the "h" in malt and hops and call it "maltops"? Or why not immortalise the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford or that of the hon. Baronet the Member for Sudbury by calling it either "Quilter" or "Chaplin"? We might then look forward to people calling across the counter for "a pint of Quilter drawn mild," or "a quart of Chaplin with a good head on it."
I believe that this Bill would have passed through the House with much less friction if hon. Members who had a hand in its drafting had been more careful in their phraseology, and had adopted words similar to "beer" and "ale." neither of which would cast any reflection upon the other. For myself, as I do not think it is a Bill conceived in the interests of the consumer and the purchaser, I shall vote against it.
§ *SIR CUTHBERT QUILTER (Suffolk, Sudbury)
In rising to support this Bill I cannot forget the many occasions upon which the kindness and forbearance of the House have been extended to me during the last fourteen or fifteen years when this matter has been before us. I also desire on behalf of myself and other friends of pure beer, to thank the hon. Member for Peterborough for having afforded us this opportunity of a full and free discussion of our measure, and for the careful and interesting manner in which he introduced the Bill to the House. I naturally should have liked to reply to the two or three able speeches to which we have listened in opposition to the Bill, but I will only say that except on one or two minor points of detail the criticism seems to have been directed against some other Bill or a measure it was expected we should bring in, or that somebody was supposed to have brought in. The Bill before us, if it is carefully looked into, will be seen to aim at hardly any of the objects which have been imputed to it. It is a simple Bill; it is open, I believe, to the charge of being a mild Bill; but when you think of the magnitude of 1465 the interests involved, and the responsibilities of the Government in regard to recent occurrences, I think it will be seen that this is a Bill brought forward in the interests of the consumer, and in furtherance of that policy of car-marking national articles of food which has already received the sanction of this House, and which, I believe, will this afternoon be further affirmed.
Although the Bill is not my Bill, I have been intimately associated with the hon. Member for Peterborough in its preparation, and it is one that I entirely support, for I believe it is calculated to go a very long way towards achieving the objects for which J and others have laboured for so many years. On previous occasions I have ventured to give reasons why some legislation of this kind was required, and I think I may claim, with all deference and modesty, that whilst every ground I have advanced in the past holds good to-day, the need of sonic additional protection to the consumer of beer has been emphasised in such a tragic manner as to place the necessity almost outside the limits of argument. But there is one statement with which I think I am hound to deal. It has been urged in the public press, as well as in this House, that the advocates of pure beer have sought to make capital out of this unfortunate epidemic. I contend that previous to the arsenic scare the claim for a statutory definition of beer had ample merits, but no one can contend that recent events have not afforded additional grounds for intervention.
Under other circumstances I should like to have referred to the ancient history of beer, but to-day I refrain from entering at length upon that interesting subject. I will merely go back to the time of the Egyptians, and mention that they brewed a beverage from barley, called zythus, which, according to Herodotus, was not much inferior to wine. I might also trace the history of ale and beer in our own country from the fifth century, when it is recorded that an Irish king was always to have a brave army and an inebriating ale-house, and that the Irish chief was always to have two casks in his house, one of ale and another of milk. I was going to refer to the state of the 1466 West Indian planters, but that has been well dealt with by the proposer of the measure. I should, however, like to point out once more the extraordinary increase of the use of sugar in proportion to malt that has taken place since 1880. In 1870 the quantity of sugar used in brewing was 295,000 cwts.; in 1899 the quantity had increased to 2,943,752 cwts., or ten times the amount. To illustrate what the free mash tun has led to. I hold in my hand a Patent, No. 12241, which was taken out in 1899, for an improved process of converting wood, wood shavings, wood fibre and sawdust, as well as other materials, into glucose and alcohol. I think, Sir. you will agree with me that if we are to consume glucose at all we should certainly prefer it to be derived from some other source than sawdust. J am assured that this process has been employed in Germany for the past ten years—tor export only. I imagine. Whether the patent lights have been exercised in this country I am unable to say, hut, at any rate, I think it shows conclusively the necessity for enabling the public to obtain beer which they know has not been derived from any such source.
Referring to the legislation of 1880. I must confess that the more I study the circumstances connected with it the less I like it. It seems to me that the interests of the masses of our people—the beer drinkers—were sacrificed to the brewers and the revenue. The brewers were to he given perfect freedom and receive no "harsh treatment." The adulteration of the national beverage was alluded to as "an extension of the liberty of trade." the breaking of letters which ought never to have been imposed, 'the restraint on the revenue officials who had hitherto been the guardians of the health of the people was to be relaxed, and the free mash tun was to become, if the brewers chose to make it so, a "free poison tun." I need not go on with that, because we all know what it led to. It has been stated over and over again that the taxation to be levied upon the brewing interest would be met by a corresponding deterioration in the materials used in brewing, but who is responsible for the protection of the consumer? Private Members are not 1467 responsible, I have every reason to believe that His Majesty's Government, when the present Commission have reported, will take such steps, as they are advised, for the protection of the health of the people, and for stimulating the activity of the Inland Revenue, which seems to have slumbered for so many years. But that is not our business, nor is it the object of this Bill. In December last the Secretary to the Treasury said that although the power to prevent the use of anything noxious or detrimental was conferred upon the Treasury, yet the duty of providing better securities for the wholesomeness of beer was placed by law on the local authorities, subject, if necessary, to the Local Government Board or the Board of Agriculture. Therefore, as I have before asked, where, between all these various authorities, does the responsibility really rest? Had this responsibility been more clearly defined I venture to say that the conclusion of the Minority Report of the Beer Materials Committee would not have been ignored as they were. In the course of that inquiry strong evidence was forthcoming as to the dangers which the present system involved.
The question of protection against fraud is a very important matter, and we have endeavoured to deal with it. The Bill now before the House does not even go so far as to prevent the use of anything except hop substitutes, although it will enable the purchaser to distinguish between the two classes of beer; that is, between that which contains substitutes for barley malt and that which does not. Apart from any considerations of public health, it seems to me that the Bill is only a logical sequence of all the recent legislation which has had for its object the protection of the public from what may be called "civil fraud." Barley malt is the essential characteristic of true beer, and in proportion as barley malt is displaced by inferior materials the purchaser is prejudiced. Surely when a man asks for beer he does not expect to receive a. beverage which may be composed partly of alcohol derived from sawdust and arsenical glucose. We are constantly told that in order to brew a beer to suit the public taste resort must be had to sugar and other substitutes. 1468 We are prepared to let the public choose for themselves. The two classes of liquor which are defined in the Bill will stand on their own merits and fight their own battles for popular favour. We are told that people for the most part prefer beer made from chemicals, bright and sparkling. If that is so, they should welcome this Bill, because when they are thirsting for a glass of that chemical beer, which is so much the fashion, there will be no chance of their swallowing any of that thick heavy muddy stuff called "malt beer," which but for this Bill might be thrust upon them. De gustibus non est disputandum. But each person ought to be able to get what kind he likes, whether chemical or otherwise. I have found it very difficult to reconcile the zeal with which advocates of glucose and substitutes defend their concoctions as superior to old fashioned malt and hops with their anxiety to be allowed to trade under the title of a drink which they assert to be inferior. The principle of warranty is one which it is difficult to attack, and it is this principle which furnishes one of the grounds upon which I ask the House to pass the Bill. It is the principle which underlies all legislation with respect not only to the adulteration of food, but to trade marks, the hall marking of precious metals, and like public safeguards. It is a principle which is already applied by law to beer in the greatest beer-drinking country in the world, and in most other countries force of public opinion is such as to render the employment of substitutes practically non-existent. In America considerable agitation is proceeding upon the lines of the much-derided Pure Beer Bill. But then our American cousins do not know what is to their interest! They are just the sort of people to take their cue from the poor down-trodden agriculturists in the east of England. They have found, as we have found, that there is in the drink of the people a possibility of ingredients from extraordinary sources, and with the proverbial promptitude and quickness of their race a Pure Beer Bill quite as drastic as anything I have ever had the honour of introducing to this House is to be brought forward during the present session, and will probably be passed into law. With regard to the feeling in this country on the question, I 1469 may say that I myself have received 350 resolutions from boards of guardians, councils, and other bodies, unanimously urging me to persevere with this Bill. You cannot afford to ignore or despise those expressions of opinion.
§ *SIR CUTHBERT QUILTER
No, not all; but a very large number have been received every day since the Bill was completed. They have been in support of the principle that I have always advocated, and which we have endeavoured to embody in this Bill.
§ *SIR CUTHBERT QUILTER
Those that I have received were for my Bill; I suppose they have trusted me to introduce—
§ *SIR CUTHBERT QUILTER
As pure a beer Bill as possible. Besides those that I have received, I am aware that a great many other resolutions have been passed by public bodies of all kinds, amounting to between 450 and 500. It is, therefore, impossible for any agriculturist or town Member to say that he is not aware of the very strong feeling which exists in the constituencies on this subject. I have heard of instances in which the question has exercised an important influence on elections. One of the most remarkable cases is that of the hon. Member for Battersea. I can hardly imagine what the House would have been without the hon. Member for Battersea, but without him we should have had to be, but for the Pure Beer Bill. It so happened that the hon. Member was engaged in a very severe contest, his opponent being none other than one of the largest, if not the largest, manufacturer of brewing sugars in the country. But when our hon. friend was sore beset and feared defeat he raised the oriflamme of purity, and emerged the victor from the fight.
1470 May I now deal very briefly with some of the provisions of the Bill? It will be noticed that it differs from the Bill of 1896, in that it does not appropriate the use of the word "beer" to beer made from malt and hops only, but we distinguish between beer so brewed and that in which substitutes are employed, by calling the one "malt beer" and the other "part-malt beer." The reason of that is obvious. I should have liked to retain the old title, but there is a great deal of force in the argument that if you say one thing is pure you thereby convey the imputation that others are impure. Hon. Members have tried to make out that we are making such an imputation in the words "part-malt beer." but I think that is an accusation which cannot be much relied upon. We have endeavoured to deal as gently as possible with the susceptibilities of the brewer, but it would have been very different if we had had the Pure Beer Bill. I understand one hon. Member to say-that he would much prefer to vote for the Pure Beer Bill. All I can say is that if we had known there would be sufficient support for the Pure Beer Bill I should naturally have preferred to ride the horse I have always ridden. We have been most anxious not to hurt the susceptibilities of the brewers, and, I think, we have pretty well succeeded, because the champions of the brewers here to-day have not really tackled the merits of this Bill. They have done their part very cleverly and nicely, but I think I recognise underlying their arguments some of the old friends. The old horses have been trotted out again about foreign barley, the interference with trade, and various other things. Whatever may be said about the names on the back of the Bill. I contend that the measure, as it is drawn, is a consumers' Bill, and I challenge anybody to say it is not to the benefit of the consumer.
Under Section 1, if a purchaser asks for malt beer he will know what he is getting. If he does not ask for malt beer he will know he is getting something else, which may or may not contain deleterious ingredients. We shall, no doubt, be told that malt beer cannot be regarded as free from, deleterious ingredients. A word ought to be said upon that, but I think I may leave 1471 it to my right hon. friend. I have heard it remarked by a noble Lord at the head of a great brewing firm, that you would have to drink a thousand barrels of beer made from barley malt before you drank enough arsenic to do any harm. The arsenic is not in the malt but on it, and no doubt a process of screening will remove it. Section 2 I will leave to the able representatives of the hop interests to deal with. Sections 3 and 4 speak for themselves. Section 8 is designed to meet the case of a district in which the houses might be tied to a brewer who refused to supply malt beer. That such cases exist the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth can testify, as in the recesses of the New Forest I have heard that such houses are to be found. There would be no hardship in requiring that malt, as well as part-malt beer should be kept, because there are 10,000 brewers in the country, of whom 5,000 brow all-malt beer, so that there would be no difficulty in the part-malt brewers obtaining a supply of all-malt beer for their tied houses. It has been said that this Bill was unfair to the English brewers as against the foreigner. That is not so at all. The Bill deals in a very fair manner with the question, and emphasises the fact that henceforth nothing is to prevent or affect the application to beer of the Food and Drugs Act, and that is really an important question. In connection with that legislation I should like to reiterate what I have before urged as to the necessity of appointing some Court of Reference composed of scientific and business men whose duty it would be to fix standards of purity for all articles of food and drink.
I will not refer to-day to Bavaria, or Austria, or Hungary, or Sweden, but there is one part of this kingdom which I am proud to say sets a bright example in respect of the purity of beer. Ireland sends us some of our greatest soldiers, our most eloquent orators, and it also sends us, with, I think, one exception, the products of all its breweries made entirely of barley malt and hops. We, the advocates of pure beer in this country, are grateful to them. I hope that we may look for their support to-day, and, I think I can promise them that if they are minded to take in hand that which may, perhaps, be called their national 1472 drink, we shall fully sympathise with them, and lend them all the help in empower. Just a word about temperance I have expressed before, and I express again the opinion that this Bill, if passed, will be undoubtedly in the interests of true temperance. I believe that wiser counsels are prevailing in the councils of the leaders of the temperance party, and if that is so, they will have a great addition to their forces from all parties in this House. We shall have, I hope, plenty of criticism, but the brewers' interests evidently will be well looked after.
I want to say a word or two about the adequacy of analysis, which is the real difficulty to be met. I would ask the House to remember that our machinery will be adequate in ordinary cases, and that the analytical knowledge at present available is quite sufficient to supplement that machinery. If time had permitted I should like to have given a few words from the evidence of Mr. Clare Sewell Read, one of the most eminent authorities, but anyone can read that for themselves in the Beer Commission Report. The knowledge of our analysts by this arrangement will be largely extended Under this Bill as it is drawn analysis is only required for the purpose of comparative, examination, which is a very different thing from analysis for the purpose of ascertaining the precise ingredients employed. I believe only occasional analyses would be found necessary, and with the additional machinery provided by this Bill the old methods would be found quite adequate. I do not believe that the brewers will be likely to object to the provisions of the Bill, and I have the assurance of several brewers of good standing to this effect. I will not trouble the House with the reasons given against the Bill in the circular, which has been sent to Members of this House, and the only allusion I will make to that matter is that it is very remarkable that the Country Brewers Association, who are supposed to have issued that circular, on this occasion seem to have withdrawn a little from the front, and put their London confreres in the front of the battle. Can that be due to the fact that one of the consulting advisers of the Country Brewers Association was alsothescientific adviser to Messrs. Bostock 1473 and Co.? That may be so or it may not, but Members of this House are quite capable of judging what their statements are worth. I must refer to the very large number of petitions in favour of this Bill. I am aware that the House does not attach much importance to petitions, because as a rule they are got up by wealthy and powerful organisations. But that is not so in the present case, for the feature of these petitions is that they have come almost entirely from the working classes, and among a bundle of them received this morning were petitions from nineteen counties, and intended to be handed to Lord Salisbury by a deputation. One was very interesting, because it came from a historic village in Oxfordshire. It came from Chalgrove, sacred to us all as being the place where that great Parliamentarian Hampden met his death. Every adult in that village signed the petition in favour of this Bill thus showing that the same independent spirit still lives in Oxfordshire. Two working men from the Stowmarket Division of my county have written to me to say that in a few days they had succeeded in getting the signatures of two or three thousand of their fellow workmen in favour of this Bill. I think that pretty clearly shows that whether the working classes in the towns or in the country are right or wrong, they are strongly in favour of some legislation of this kind, and it is not too much to hope that this House will listen to the prayers of these men. I ask the House to think of the health and strength of those men from whom our Army and Navy are recruited, and if they will adopt this measure they will strike another blow for what should be the inalienable right of Englishmen—namely, the right to be supplied with what they ask for, and that they may continue to have their national drink made as of yore, not from Spanish pyrites or German sawdust, but from the produce of their own country.
§ *COLONEL BROOKFIELD (Sussex, Rye)
Before making any other observations, I should like to express my regret that my hon. friend the Member for the North-West Division of the county which I represent made a speech so extremely hostile to this Bill. I am much surprised 1474 at one of the grounds upon which he did so, for he said that there was no demand for this measure. If that is the case 1 can only say that the habits and customs of the inhabitants of the northwestern part of Sussex compared with those in the east must be very different, and I venture to say that they must belong to a different order of intelligence also. My hon. friend has said that this is a new subject, but it is really a very old one. as all hon. Members who have been in the House as long as I have will be ready to confirm. This question has arisen quite spontaneously, and it came originally entirely from the general consumer, in whose interest the Bill is proposed. It would not be difficult to criticise the drafting of this Bill, but I would ask hon. Members to recollect that apparent inconsistencies and incongruities in a measure of this kind always represent some compromise, or attempt at compromise, with the various hostile interests. Personally I wish the Bill had been more uncompromising. My interest in the Bill is mainly confined to what the House, perhaps, regards as a side issue, but which is one of great importance to those I represent. Clause 2 provides "that it shall not be lawful to use in the brewing of beer for sale any article being a substitute for hops." The two questions which arise are whether substitutes of this kind are used and whether their use is injurious and ought to be prohibited. Perhaps I may remind hon. Members, if I am not detaining them with technical matter, what the function of the hop is. The hop as used by the general consumer is used as a bittering agent, and gives a peculiar aroma to the beer. It is also used to clarify, and it is important in connection with this question of substitutes to remember that a great use is made of the hop as a preservative, and it is as a preservative that it perhaps performs its most useful function. I will take the case of substitutes in a few words. I do not believe that they are used to any enormous extent. They are certainly not used by the most respectable firms of brewers.
The use of substitutes undoubtedly came in during what is known as the "hop famine" year, in 1882. when there was a great scarcity of legitimate 1475 material. We have nothing but circumstantial evidence upon this point, but the figures are extremely significant, and I must ask the House to hear them. In the year 1882 certain compounds, or drugs, or chemicals went up enormously in price, and I think no candid man will deny the cause of it. Colombo root rose from 22s. to 95s.; chamomile, from 40s. to 120s.; quassia, from £5 to £40 a ton; and guinea grain, from 32s. to 60s. There was really no attempt made to explain this extraordinary rise in price in any other way than by the fact that hops had suddenly become very dear. There were many other evidences with which I could trouble the House of the existence of these substitutes, and in the inquiry before the Beer Materials Committee in 1897 a list of them, which originally appeared in the Mark Lane Express, was handed in in evidence, and will be found in the appendix of their proceedings. There is conclusive circumstantial evidence to be derived from the fact that advertisements for these compounds appeared in all the brewers' journals, and it is fair to assume that they were sold, and sold in order to be used. One hon. Member said there were only eight vendors of substitutes—I think he meant malt substitutes—but I hold in my hand, curiously enough, a list of eight vendors of hop substitutes. One firm especially advertises in the County Brewers' Gazette as follows—Don't use any other preservative. Kallissaline is, without doubt, the best preservative for stock and running ales.Whatever "kallissaline" may be, it is certainly not hops. Another advertiser calls attention to a "Hop Supplement," and goes straight to the point by saying—The hop supplement (called 'H. S.'), to save one-third of the hops, and supplement the hops used, with valuable keeping properties," etc.I do not think that it can really be contended that these substitutes do not exist; but, at the same time, I think it Is only the very low class brewer that uses them; and that in my opinion is all the more reason why the House should not hesitate for a moment to put a stop to their employment. I could give stronger reasons than those I have already adduced as to the evidence 1476 of their actual use, and also the harm which they cause. Mr. Chapman is a great authority in the brewing world; he is an analytical chemist and expert, and he says this, to which I particularly call the attention of those who say that no substitutes are used:—The various sulphites and salicylic acid are alone used to any extent, and in far too many breweries these substances are regarded as regular brewing materials to be used on all occasions.He also describes salicylic acid as the brewer's preservative par excellence. I am not a chemist myself, neither am I an expert in these matters, but I think most hon. Members of this House, and certainly the general consumer, would have a prejudice against the indiscriminate use of salicylic acid when they are drinking it in their refreshment in a liquid form. I have been unable to consult any more erudite authority than the Encyclopedia Britannica to see the effect of salicylic acid, and that authority says—The addition of salicylic acid to articles of food must be considered dangerous. When taken for some time it produces deafness, giddiness, and noises in the ears, lowering the temperature, reducing the pulse and rapidity of respiration, causing death by the paralysis of the respiratory organs.We have seen these symptoms in the consumers of beer before now, though we may not have attributed them to salicylic acid. I say we ought to prohibit such dangerous materials entirely from being used as adjuncts to beer. Another compound used to a considerable extent is bisulphite of lime. This is prepared by burning sulphur or sulphur compounds, such as iron pyrites. Sulphurous acid is formed and this case is passed into water containing caustic lime, and the bisulphite results. It is probable, therefore, that some of the arsenic found in beer is due not only to the glucose, but to the use of bisulphite of lime in an impure state as an antiseptic. And upon this point I take as my authority Hooper's "Text Book on Brewing," which speaks of large doses of bisulphite being added in many cases, and mentions that it is often done so ignorantly that even the large quantities used fail to produce the desired effect. That is entirely from the brewer's point of view, but the con- 1477 sumer has a still greater interest in not being made the subject of experiments of this kind. One more quotation on this subject of bisulphite of lime:—The strong point in favour of bisulphite of lime as a preservative is that when first added to beer its loosely combined sulphurous acid will exert a paralysing effect on the disease organisms present, and that after a time it will by oxidation become converted into innocuous sulphate of lime, and so will have no lasting influence on the flavour. In the majority of eases this is so, but unfortunately some bacteria have the power of producing the malodorous sulphuretted hydrogen from this compound, and the remedy then becomes almost worse than the disease.It, in fact, becomes poisonous, and surely there can be no harm in promoting a Bill to prevent the use of poisonous materials. My hon. friend said, and I quite agree, that the Manchester epidemic has brought this matter within the sphere of practical politics. But year after year Bills have been brought in dealing with the same subject. I could never quite understand why the Food and Drugs Act could not have been made to comprehend the legislation we are now asking for. None of the hon. Members speaking for or against the measure have so far dealt with the subject from that standpoint, though I think it is a strong one, and in perfect harmony with public opinion. I sincerely hope that the Bill will be read a second time. Its main objects everyone, will agree, are reasonable, and ought to be supported by the House.
*MR. ARMINE WODE HOUSE (Essex. Saffron Walden)
said that a good many of the speeches which had been delivered confused the issues upon which the Bill had been presented to the House. The simple position of the matter was that in 1896 the hon. Member for the Sudbury Division of Suffolk introduced a Bill upon the subject of pure beer, which was withdrawn upon an assurance being given by the Government that they would appoint a, Departmental Committee to inquire into the matter. That Departmental Committee had been described as one of the best which had ever been appointed, but that depended upon the way one looked at it. The Government liked a Committee whose inquiries resulted in a recommendation that nothing should be done, that there 1478 was no danger, and that in this, the best of all worlds, everything was for the best. But there was one member of the Committee—Mr. Clare Sewell Bead—who proved himself to be a Balaam among the prophets. He dissented from the comfortable conclusions arrived at by the members of the Committee who signed the Majority Report, and his prophecies, spoken with the fearless perception of a seer, had turned out true. No one could deny that the sad story of loss of life in Lancashire had proved to the hilt that arsenic could appear in beer brewed from glucose. [An HON. MEMBER: And in beer brewed from malt.] He did not think that that had been conclusively proved, but there was no doubt that it had been found in beer brewed from glucose. That fact alone was sufficient reason for the Bill which was now before the House for Second Reading.
A great many arguments had been used in opposition to the Bill. There was the argument of Protection. He denied emphatically that there was anything in the Bill contrary to the strictest Free Trade principles. Then it was said it was in the interests of the barley growers. Was it for hon. Gentlemen on the Government side of the House, who specially desired to be considered the friends of the distressed agriculturist, to use that argument'? If this Bill was right in principle, and not contrary to the principles of Free Trade, and was only doing what had been done in the analogous case of butter and margarine, it was surely no reason for rejecting it because its effect might possibly benefit the farmer. Then it was said that the public liked light, bright beers, which could not be brewed from malt, but only from these chemical substitutes. He had lunched with two brewer friends a few days previously, and in regard to that argument, he was anxious to see what beer they preferred; and he noticed on that occasion they ordered "Bass." Messrs. Bass did not brew with substitutes, and his brewer friends showed on that occasion which beer they preferred to drink. Anybody who liked light, bright beer, would have a far better chance of seeing that they got it under this Bill, 1479 and the brewers would have a greater demand for it. The object of the Bill was simply to enable the consumer to get the beer to drink which was brewed as he wished. Hon. Gentlemen knew perfectly well that under the present tied-house system the consumer had to take what was provided, especially in rural villages, and he especially commended the provision which gave power to licensing magistrates to insist upon malt beer being obtainable. This Bill could be no injury to the brewers, unless their desire was—and he did not for one moment say it was—to impose a particular class of beer upon their customers. The temperance party could not object to it. unless they desired—which he did not believe for a moment—that the fear of drinking arsenicated beer should deter the public from taking beer at all; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not object to it, because as he (Mr. Wodehouse) was informed, beer brewed of malt and hops had a higher gravity of alcohol, and was, therefore, better for revenue purposes. Legislation to define beer, to restore the liberty of the consumer to get the article he desired, was demanded by all sections of the community, and he earnestly hoped that the House would pass the Second Reading of the Bill, and that the Government would nerve themselves to the effort of giving it some support. If they did not, he could assure them they would bear of the subject again. The Bill could do no harm, and, as he maintained, must prove a valuable reform; and what was most important of all, it was urgently called for for the protection of the health of the people.
§ *SIR MICHAEL FOSTER (London University)
said the main object of the Bill in the first place was to encourage the brewing of good sound beer, and in the second to assist the barley growers. He sympathised with the object which the promoters of the Bill had in view, yet, when he examined it in the cold light of reason, he could not but think that those who were pressing the Bill were going far to defeat their own object. As a moderate drinker of beer he was in favour of a good sound article, and, also, living among barley growers, he was 1480 desirous of encouraging his friends and neighbours in the growth of that grain. Still, when he looked at the Bill from the technical, from the scientific point of view he could not support it. In the debate-on the Address one hon. Member asked for a definition of beer, but it was not given. What was beer? Beer was a fluid which, besides water, contained a certain quantity of alcohol and a small quantity also, not more than from 5 to 7 per cent., of a mixture of other substances, some of which were well known, some but little known, and some not known at all. It was these substances which he might speak of as "satellites" to the alcohol, which imparted to beer its distinctive characters. It was through those substances that beer was beer, and thus differed from any other alcoholic drink, such as whisky. The alcohol in whisky was the same as that in beer, and it was the character derived from those substances which was improved by the use of glucose or invert sugar; and, in the interest of scientific brewing, it was very undesirable to interfere with its use. The alcohol, from whatever substance it was derived, was still the same alcohol; it was the presence of these substances in their due proportion and in proper quantities which mainly determined the effect of the beer; whether, for instance, a man was wholly better for having drunk the beer, or whether, feeling better for a little while, he felt later on much worse. Certain of the above substances to which chemists gave long scientific names were, with the exception of one or two, created in the beer, came from malted barley, and could not be got from anything else. Barley was absolutely essential for making beer. Alcohol might be obtained from a variety of substances, and what was very curious was. that however formed it was the same alcohol as that formed from barley by brewing; and one effect of the introduction of glucose or invert sugar was to give an additional amount of alcohol to the beer. The complex changes which took place in brewing, and especially in the fermenting vat, were governed by the relation of the quantity of sugar to the quantity of other substances. A certain relation was necessary to bring about the desired result, namely, a certain 1481 quantity of alcohol, accompanied by an adequate quantity and number of these satellites. The object of the scientific brewer—and he used the term in spite of the reference to "pseudo-science" by an hon. Member who had addressed the House—in adding sugar to the natural products of the malt was not simply to save so much of the starch of the barley, but because the barley alone contained an insufficient quantity of starch to bring about the desired changes.
He often had to travel by rail; and in order to increase his information he travelled, whenever possible, third class. He obtained in this way a great deal of knowledge which be should lose by travelling first-class. At the time of the arsenic-poisoning epidemic he remembered that his fellow-travellers were much agitated about "this 'ere glucose," which they thought was an altogether foreign thing, something altogether strange; and they were strongly impressed when they were told that it might be made from cotton waste. It was true that it might be so made; but. dirty as this substance might be at the beginning, it could be reduced to perfectly pure glucose absolutely identical with that produced by the vital activity of the barley and malt itself. It was simply adding a little more of what the barley produced itself, and the scientific brewer was using glucose simply because the barley alone was insufficient to produce the beer desired by the consumer. It was not merely substituting something for barley that was cheaper than barley. When the practice was introduced invert sugar was not cheaper than barley. The invert sugar was used simply by the brewer for the proper scientific carrying out of his operations. He appealed to the House to consider that if they prevented this scientific brewer, who had to deal with the common barley of England, from treating it in a scientific manner they would be hindering a development of the country. It was possible to get glucose absolutely free from impurity. That was one of the advantages of science. There were, no doubt, many disadvantages of science, but one of the advantages was that it enabled one to know when glucose was pure. The Manchester incident had no essential connection with the manu- 1482 facture of beer; but it had distinct reference to the fact that our laws were not adequate to deal with the increasing dangers of modern civilisation. Every scientific advance brought with it evil as well as good. That had been the case ever since the Fall. Every scientific improvement brought with it a scientific danger. There was one danger attending the riding and driving of horses; there were other dangers of quite a different kind in meddling with electricity. All the world over chemical manufactures and substances were being thrown upon us; and our Food and Drugs Act needed to be amended to afford us the proper protection. This Manchester incident, which had been spoken of as an accident, ought to have been foreseen. If there had been an adequate watch kept over the materials which we took as food, it might have been foreseen that the consumption of sulphur in the South African War might lead the manufacturers of sulphuric acid to resort to pyrites. In that way the public should be protected, and not by a measure of this kind. Brewing had become a scientific occupation. Every year it was improving. Every year there was a tendency to produce for the consumer a better and more wholesome article at a lower price; and. as a scientific man, he desired to say that this measure was directly retrograde, was opposed to scientific methods, and would have an injurious effect upon scientific brewing.
§ *SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I congratulate the House upon a novel feature in its debates. We have had the advantage of obtaining information—as does not always happen—from the man who knows most about the subject of any one in the House. He has told us much that is interesting. He has given the House warning that it should not act without consideration in this matter. He has told us, what was not known before, that the Manchester arsenic epidemic was an indirect consequence of the South African War. All the sulphur of the world has been consumed there, and we have nothing more to hope for until there are further eruptions of Vesuvius. But there is another feature of the debate which I deplore. I have always looked 1483 forward to this occasion—the discussion of a Pure Beer Bill—as to one of the most cheerful incidents of the Parliamentary session. The Bill used to he introduced by my hon. friend the Member for Sudbury with that genial joviality which adds ornament to his eloquence. But there was a tone of depression to-day about my hon. friend's speech. I observe that instead of the former independence of his attitude, indicated by his place below the gangway, he now speaks from above the gangway. He has changed places with the right hon. Member for Sleaford. But there is a still more fatal change than the change in the hon. Member for Sudbury, there is a remarkable change in the title of the Bill. It used to be a "Pure Beer Bill." But the adjective has disappeared. It is now only a "Beer Bill," and the purity has evaporated. There is no profession that this Bill is a Bill for securing what the community at large desires—the purity of its beer. The hon. Member and the distinguished scientist who has just addressed the House with so much authority and ability has studied the question in those great schools of beer in which we all graduated—I mean in the Universities, which may excel more or less in their classics and mathematics, but above all excel in the quality of their beer. I speak as a member of a college which prided itself, above all things, on its Audit Ale, whose consequences were most cheerful at the moment, though it sometimes happens that they were not quite so pleasant later on.
But I wish to call attention to the character and title of this Bill. A Pure Beer Bill—that is what the country has asked for; and that is what this Bill is not. It has no pretence to be a Pure Beer Bill. Any one hereafter may sell a beer that is not pure just as he did before, so long as he does not label it as "malt beer." As for my hon. friend the Member for Sudbury, I can no longer salute him as the true Simon Pure. He is an altered man. We were accustomed to a charming literary discourse upon the origin and history of beer, but in his depression to-day my hon. friend did not go further back than Egypt, and he quoted the opinion of Herodotus, whom I was surprised to hear him call the most truthful of historians. In that respect my hon 1484 friend differed from the poet Juvenal, who described Herodotus as the most audacious of liars. But my hon. friend, appeals to us to day in a name which he knew would be venerated on this side of the House—the name of Hampden. But why did he not appeal in the name of Cromwell, who is supposed to have been connected with the brewing trade? I am inclined to think that it was principally on that account that his-monument was ever allowed to be erected even outside the Houses of Parliament. My hon. friend referred to the hon. Member for Battersea, and he said that he had won his battle upon a basis upon which we shall all rejoice—upon the basis of purity. He said that he had hoisted the oriflamme of purity. Yes, but what has become of the oriflamme of purity? The hon. Member for Sudbury no longer flies the oriflamme of purity; he is no longer a "pure beer" man; he is simply a "beer" man. What is it that has led to this unfortunate deterioration and degradation in the character of the hon. Member for Sudbury? It is that which happens very often to many men—he has got into bad company. He has gone into partnership with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford. I can understand this coalition; it is like a famous coalition of old: but, if I may borrow an image from Mr. Pitt. I would say that I do know a just and lawful impediment, and before this ill-omened alliance is consummated, "In the name of pure beer I forbid the banns." No, Sir, I can well understand the basis of that alliance. My hon. friend is a simple-minded and innocent man. His purity was undoubted until he met the seducer, the Member for Sleaford. The Member for Sleaford came to him and, said, "Purity is all nonsense: what we want is higher-priced barley." So that the purity of the hon. Member for Sudbury unfortunately succumbs; he strikes "pure" out of the title of the Bill, and the purity of his style to-day is not what it was before. The object is accomplished, and we understand now, perfectly well, what this Bill is and what is the result of the coalition. We understand also the enthusiasm for this Bill, which has got rid of purity, in quarters where it was; not supported so eagerly before.
1485 As to the first feature of the Bill. The question is, assuming that the object is to promote the consumption of malt and so to advance the price of barley, whether, when we are going to commit a crime, it is not worth considering whether it will be profitable. When I studied this question on a former occasion I confess I doubted whether the landed interest are going to get as much out of this Bill as they expect. What they expect, of course, is to have an increased consumption of barley. I dare say there will be an increased consumption of barley, but it is not so certain that it will be an increased consumption of their own barley. That is a different question. I am sorry to say, with great respect for the agricultural interest, that they have weaknesses which have existed ever since the time of Virgil, who said, "How happy are the landed interest if they only knew their own advantages"; but in that respect they have always been somewhat defective. At the time when I entered Parliament I remember that the one thing they desired was to do away with the malt tax. They succeeded. Now the greatest mischief that ever happened, according to them, was the repeal of the malt tax. I am afraid there may possibly happen to them, with reference to this attempt to increase the price of barley, what happened in the case of the malt tax. No doubt there is a portion of this kingdom, which I regard with special interest and affection, because it is the most Liberal county of England, which will derive benefit—I mean the county of Norfolk, and I am sure that the House will have heard with great pleasure and satisfaction the speech of my hon. friend the Member for Saffron Walden, who represents a great Norfolk family. They represent the class of high-priced barley; but the majority of barley interests in this country are second and third class barleys, and the question is when this Bill is passed what will be the price of these barleys, and how far it will affect those barleys above 30s. and the lower class of barleys above '20s. [Cries of "26s."] I am speaking of inferior barleys which are used in brewing, but these are matters upon which I do not profess to descend into particulars. But I recommend to their consideration what you have been told by persons who are well acquainted 1486 with the question, that if the brewer is to be contined to barley alone he may take foreign barley rather than second-rate English barley. The Bill will not accomplish what they desire.
It is said that this Bill is going to give to every man the opportunity of having the beer he wishes. That is one argument held forth in favour of this Bill. That is a very good thing if it accomplishes the aim, but it does not accomplish it at all. What prevents people from getting the beer they choose, to ask for is a totally different thing. It is the tied-house system. A whole district is engrossed by one brewer. He gives any sum of money to get hold of these public-houses, and having got hold. of them he does not serve the public with the beer they ask for or wish for, but the beer which it suits him to brew. He insists not only upon giving them the beer he chooses, but he insists on the publican in many cases taking other materials—tea, coffee, mineral waters, tobacco, and spirits from him, and at much higher prices than they are served, to any one else. The tied public-house is served at a much higher price with the beer than is charged to a free house in the neighbourhood. I have seen it stated, that the difference in the charge for beet to the tied public-house is 16 or 20 per cent. That is a thing which the hon. Member for Sudbury was good enough to say in the eighth clause he had taken into special consideration for my particular behoof, but I find, that I cannot insist upon having any beer I like under this clause. I can only insist on having malt beer, though it may be that I desire some other kind of beer. My experience is that these strong malt beers are not the most popular form of beer to-day. The old strong malt beer which in our youth we were so proud to drink disappears in more advanced years in favour of lighter beer. In my own household I do not drink; beer myself, but I find that the beer I which all my friends desire to drink is the beer called Pilsener, and I am told that there is a great consumption of it in this House. This led me to inquire what Pilsener was, and going to the fountain head of knowledge in the person of my hon. friend the Member for Sudbury I asked whether beer drinkers 1487 Blight be able to order Pilsener at any I public-house. He said, "No, Pilsener is brewed from rice." But if the public is going to drink beer brewed from rice what is the value of Clause 8?
§ *SIR CUTHBERT QUILTER
I want the right hon. Gentleman to consult the evidence of Mr.—[Cries of "Order."]
§ *SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Oh, no; I want him to consult the Sleaford interest. If it will only allow you to order malt beer, and if people want beer brewed from rice, I should like to know whether his partner, the Member for Sleaford, will agree in Clause 8 that the word "malt" shall be added to the word "rice." That would be a test as to whether the object of this Bill is to let everyone have what they want, or whether it is only to force upon them a beer made of a particular commodity which answers the purpose of the Member for Sleaford. I am afraid that in many Bills in this House there is a great deal of—what shall I say, glucose?—but of hypocrisy in this Bill being called a Bill for improving the quality of beer, while as a Bill for allowing people to have any beer they like there is no attempt at anything of the kind. Really, what is this Bill going to do? Supposing the brewer wants to supply to his customer the old beer to which he has been accustomed. He will brew it, I suppose, all the same. Under the Bill you make no restrictions as to whether he is to use glucose or sugar, or anything else. He is to do that as before; but you say, under Clause 8, that he must also offer a thing which is labelled as malt beer, and he will have it, I suppose, upon sale, but he will have it on sale on whatever terms he likes. He may say to his customer: "Oh, here is malt beer. That is 4d. a quart. But here is the old beer you are used to. and which you like. You can have that at 3d."What comes, then, of the operation of this Bill It is just like in a public-house, calling for an ordinary glass of brandy, and compelling a man to drink liqueur brandy. I am told that beers which are brewed with sugar are brighter beers than beers brewed exclusively from malt, and they suit the public taste. If (these things are true, then the operation of this Bill will come to little or nothing 1488 at all. If that be so, then the worst or the best of this Bill is that it will have no effect at all. If this were a Bill for effecting in a useful and practical manner the purity of the beer my hon. friend the Member for Sudbury knows well, I would embrace him and the Bill at once. I said to him, "You may rely upon my support for a Bill for pure beer." To my disappointment, he comes and presents a Bill which is not a Bill for pure beer at all, but leaves out the only quality I particularly care about. I cannot see that this Bill will be of any particular value, and it is a great disappointment to me that my hon. friend the Member for Sudbury should have abandoned the character he so much adorned, and should have struck that flag under which for so many years he "braved the battle and the breeze."
§ MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
After the speech of the hon. Member for London University and the highly amusing speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire, I must say I feel some little trepidation in addressing the House. The right hon. Gentleman said that my hon. friend the Member for Sudbury had been seduced into bad company by the Member for Sleaford for some dark design which had not been made clear. The right hon. Gentleman, doubtless, would be very glad indeed if he could "seduce" my hon. friend back again to his own side of the House. It will be a long time, however, before he can induce my hon. friend to take any course of that kind.
§ MR. CHAPLIN
That can hardly be the case when the right hon. Gentleman is concerned. I. acknowledge that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was the most excellent piece of fooling which we have heard for some time. The right hon. Gentleman was in his very best vein, and in that character he was the more grateful to me, because it showed that the right hon. Gentleman had nothing in earnest to say against the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman, as I understand, took some exception 1489 to Clause 8 of the Bill as being part of the nefarious scheme of the Member for Sleaford. As a matter of fact, I had no more to do with Clause 8 than the right hon. Gentleman himself. Then he gave us some information with regard to Pilsener beer, which he said was brewed from rice.
§ MR. CHAPLIN
So far from Pilsener being made of rice, I am informed that exactly the opposite is the case. It came originally from Germany and Austria, more particularly, where they are forbidden to use substitutes for malt on all occasions. ["No."] The beer is as pure as could be desired, and that is the reason why Pilsener beer has become so popular. It is not true that my motive in supporting this Bill is to increase the price of barley in this country; but, still, as an incident arising from the endeavour to prevent this, one hon. Member criticised the phraseology of the Bill. I am not concerned with the phraseology of the Bill, but it is certainly new to me in this House to hear an hon. Gentleman say he would not vote for a principle in which he believed. It has been said that this is nothing but a landlords' Bill, the motive of which is simply to artificially raise the price of English barley. I do not know whether it is a landlords' Bill or not, but I do know that I have received information that some forty or fifty of the largest trade unions of this country have passed resolutions warmly supporting it. It has been stated that my first object in taking up this question has been to increase the price of barley. That is not true. My first object was to prevent a recurrence of the poisoning of hundreds and thousands of people in all parts of the country. At the same time I have always hoped and believed, and I believe still, that, as an incident arising out of the proposals to try and prevent this poisoning in the future, it is possible that we shall be able to do something to keep the plough going in many parts of the country, and thereby to arrest the rural depression which 1490 I every one laments, and which no one professes to lament more than the hon. Member for Stockport; and to provide more employment and better wages for a large part of the agricultural population, and so induce them to remain in the countryside. I am not ashamed of those views. I have voiced them before, and shall do so again without asking the consent of those who differ from me and who take a different view as to agricultural labouring classes of the country.
But to go back to the Bill and some of its critics. The right hon. Gentleman says that the best of this Bill is that it will come to nothing. Let us see. I do not think it will be much trouble to study the Bill, and I think, in spite of all that has been said, it does give and will give to the whole of the country actual pure beer, such as has always been advocated by my hon. friend the Member for Sudbury whenever it is wanted. The object of the Bill is perfectly simple; it draws a distinction between beer brewed from malt on the one hand, and beer brewed from malt substitutes on the other, and it provides that whenever beer of either description is sold, the bottle or vessel containing it, or where it is on draught, the engine or tap from which it is drawn, is to be labelled or marked so as to show to the person asking for it what kind of beer he is going to get, the object being to enable the customer to know what kind of beer it is, and in this way to give him an opportunity to protect himself and to prevent the possibility of his being poisoned in the future by beer like that supplied in Manchester, which we know was brewed from substitutes for malt in which the poison which has done so much harm was contained. And when contending that this Bill is insufficient for the purpose, and does nothing to prevent brewers using malt substitutes which may contain poison, hon. Members ought to remember that it was never professed that this was intended to be a complete measure. On the contrary, it was stated quite openly during the debate on the Address that although there were a great variety of ways in which this question could be effectively dealt 1491 with once and for all, that was a subject for legislation by the Government rather than by private Members, but that if the Government were unwilling to act pending the Report of the Royal Commission which they appointed, the least that ought to be done pending that Report was to give the people an opportunity of protecting themselves by a small measure requiring a declaration as to the materials of which the beer was composed. That is what is practically done by the Bill before the House, and is a complete fulfilment of our statements on the occasion of the debate on the Address; and for the purpose of giving effect to this Bill, machinery for detecting or tracing any false declaration has been provided until such time, and I hope that time will not be long postponed, when science will come to our aid and do what it is not at present able to do, to detect any false declaration and prevent such mischief as arose a short time ago at Manchester and elsewhere. It seems to me therefore that this Bill in that regard is a reasonable proposal.
Now I come to some other objections that have arisen. It has been stated that it would cast a slur upon the other kind of beer that was sold—that is the first charge that is brought against it. But how does it cast a slur? Both kinds of beer are treated in the same way, both have to make the required declaration, and if it be true, as alleged, that the beer manufactured from malt substitutes is so much better than the old-fashioned malt beer, the brewers of these beers ought to feel greatly obliged to us for giving them such a great advertisement, and enabling them to publish to all the world the fact that their beer is not brewed from malt alone.
The next charge is that there really was no reason for introducing this Bill, that the Manchester epidemic was an accident due to beer browed from one form of substitute alone. To that I take exception, and I quote the evidence given by the county analyst of the county of Lancashire. He says that besides the firm of manufacturers in question, sugar from two other firms had been found to contain arsenic. The hon. Member with whose temperate speech this debate began told us that there were 1492 eight manufacturers of substitutes altogether. Well, three out of eight is a very dangerous percentage, and that makes the passing of this Bill all the more necessary.
Then it is said that if the Bill were passed it could not be administered. Why not? This Bill confers on the local authorities all the powers at present possessed by the officers of the Inland Revenue—enormously wide powers, under which they could do almost anything—and if this Bill is not administered properly it will be the fault of the local authorities, and not for the want of powers placed in their hands under the Bill. The only difference is this, that where these powers are used, and used with perfect success, in the interest of the revenue, we think it is not unreasonable to say that they should be used with equal success in the interests of public health. It has been said that all this Bill will do will be to harass the brewers and the publicans. No power is given to harass anybody, but if it is permissible-to harass people for the purpose of revenue, surely it is just and permissible to harass them in the interests of public health.
My hon. friend said that arsenical poisoning might result from beer brewed: from malt. I know that argument perfectly well, and a very ingenious red-herring it is to draw across the path, but where is the proof of it? I ask the hon. Gentleman now to give us a proof—to tell us the proportions in which arsenic has been found in beer brewed from malt. Nobody has been able to show that there is more than a mere trace of anything in beer brewed from malt alone that is prejudicial to health. We take our stand on the experience of hundreds of years, we say that malt is the same now as it was generations ago, and it is absolutely ridiculous to pretend that any danger can arise from beer containing only one 250th part of a grain of arsenic. It does not become dangerous until you have one sixteenth of a grain at least. If hon. Members refer to The Times of yesterday they will find in the report of the proceedings of the Royal Commission on Arsenic Poisoning that an eminent witness, a consulting chemist, said that beer made from malt was "absolutely safe," thus repeating the statement that 1493 was made this afternoon by my hon. friend below me.
Another charge that is made against the Bill is that it gives a preference to foreign beer over English beer. Now, I have always pointed out with regard to foreign beer that foreign beer is made under laws and conditions which prevent the use of malt or other substitutes altogether. I do not know if any foreign brewer has taken to using substitutes, but if any one of these brewers was found to be doing so, in the countries to which I have referred, in all human probability he would be lynched.
Then comes the objection raised by the right hon. Gentleman, and supported by the opponents of the Bill, that it will be injurious to the growers of inferior English barley, and I thought at first that possibly there might be something in that objection: but, so far as I am concerned. I am perfectly easy upon that point. If, as they say, these light, bright, sparkling beers which the public like cannot be made without the use of sugar, how is it that according to the Inland Revenue Returns more than half the brewersin this country brew their beer without sugar, from malt alone, and produce the same class of beer?
§ MR. CHAPLIN
So arc all good beers. The right hon. Member does not suppose, surely, that a brewer who brews with barley malt successfully is going out of his way to buy bad barley. The right hon. Gentleman says it will tend to the use of foreign barley, and then he twits us with the mistake we made with regard to the malt tax, but it was not the repeal of the malt tax, but the introduction of the free mash tun which did the harm, which was forced upon us, thanks to Mr. Gladstone. It will perhaps induce a great increase in the use of foreign barley, but it will leave in its place the sugar which is now being used. Properly treated, I am prepared to say that the barleys of England can hold their own with all the barley in the world, and if all that is said as to the use of foreign barley is true it must tend to raise the price of foreign barley, and as a conse- 1494 quence the value of the barley of this country, although that is not the chief object as I have said before in this Bill. The hon. Gentleman the Member for London University told us in the peroration of his speech that this was a retrograde measure, and he explained to us how it was that the brewer would have to use foreign barley, and he said it was because he required more sugar than English barley produces. That may be so, and it may be the origin of sugar being used, but that is not the reason why 50 per cent., and sometimes 75 per cent, of sugar is used for this purpose—30,40,50, 60 and 70 per cent, is customarily used. It is used in these enormous quantities because it is infinitely more profitable. Then I am told that the Manchester epidemic was an accident which will never occur again, that the greatest precautions are being taken to prevent it, and that we maybe perfectly safe in the future. Unfortunately I have heard things like that very often. That was very much what the previous Committee reported, and it is probably owing to that Report that sufficient care was not taken, which, if it had been taken might have prevented the loss of so many hundreds of lives, and prevented the grave and serious illnesses of which people are actually dying at the present time. I had one instance sent up to me two days ago. In a matter so serious to the public health we have no right to trust to the chapter of accidents. I frankly acknowledge that this Bill may not be all that is desired by some of the most ardent supporters of the movement, but at least it will give to the public the opportunity of protecting themselves by requiring a declaration to be made as to the materials of which beer is composed. This is no new principle in our legislation, it is done for other things for a less reason—namely, to prevent fraud. In my humble judgment, protection to life and health is even more important than protection from fraud, I can conceive of absolutely no objection to the Bill unless it be that it will enable a certain section of the brewing interest in this country to make even larger profits than they are making at present. But it does seem to me that the profits to be made in any industry are not to be weighed in the balance for a moment against the health and lives of the people, and I earnestly 1495 call on the House to vote for the Second Reading.
§ *MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
I will not detain the House for more than a few minutes while I explain the reasons why I mean to vote for the Second Reading of this Bill. It seems to me that the principle, machinery, and clauses of the Bill are three separate matters. There is a great deal to be said in criticism of the machinery, and I doubt very much whether the supporters of the Bill will ever be able to bring into practical use their phrases "malt beer" and "part-malt beer." Can anyone imagine an ordinary working man going into a public-house for what is now known as a pot of half-and half, and saying, in the phraseology of the Bill, "If you please, I want a quart of malt beer and part-malt beer, and a dash of part-malt porter and a dash of part-malt stout." By the time he got through that sentence the barman would, no doubt, be dissolved in laughter, and the poor man would never be served. Clause 8, dealing with the power of licensing justices to require malt beer to be sold, is a very dangerous principle to establish in connection with our licensing system. Whereas hitherto the province of the justices has been clearly defined, you propose by Clause 8 to allow them to impose other conditions on holders of licences which were never thought of before.
But the main question for the purposes of to-day's discussion is as to whether the principle of the Bill is to be supported or not. There is a great difference of opinion on both sides of the House as to what the principle is, but I venture to submit that the principle is that a man shall get what he wants. It is not the brewing of English barley as against foreign barley, not the prevention of arsenical poisoning, but that if a man wants to buy beer made of malt and hops, he should be able to buy it. I quite agree that the agitation in favour of pure beer has not "caught on" with the public, and that the agitation created by the arsenical poisoning has brought the attention of the public at large to the fact that all beer is not brewed from malt and hops, as they supposed. As a conse- 1496 quence there has grown up an agitation, which has undoubtedly considerable strength in the country, for a Bill to enable a consumer who wants a malt and hops beer to get a malt and hops beer. What are the arguments against the principle of the Bill '? The hon. Member who moved its rejection dealt with it under four divisions. First of all he said-it would not prevent arsenical poisoning. I do not think that anybody expects that it will. What it will do is that it will enable any man to avoid buying beer which contains arsenic. Then the hon. Member said that it would not conduce to the benefit of agriculture. That, I venture to say, is not an argument for or against the Bill. It may benefit agriculture. That opinion is held by many hon. Members of this House. I doubt it myself very much, for it seems to have been admitted by experts that if there is to be a benefit to anybody at all, it will benefit the people who grow the best kinds of barley; but these already find a ready market and fetch a high price, and the second classes of barley would not be helped at all—at least, I doubt whether they would. The third argument was that the Bill could not be administered. That was one of the strongest arguments against the Bill, and would be destructive to it if it could be proved. But the hon. Member's position is this. He says it cannot be proved by chemical analysis whether the beer is made from malt and hops only, or from substitutes. But the methods adopted by the Excise at the present time would afford a very large protection, and would enable a man to get what he wants. Again, the hon. Member says that you cannot exactly define beer, and that you cannot by chemical analysis distinguish beer made from malt and hops and beer made from substitutes. There is another very common case—you cannot define milk; but there is, I believe, a standard which is adopted by Somerset House as to what is milk; although it is not a standard which is considered complete or satisfactory, yet you can very often get something which is called milk in practice, but which does not satisfy all the requirements of Somerset House. The last argument is that the Bill would help foreign barley against English barley. Again, that may be the case.
§ *MR. CORRIE GRANT
I beg the hon. Member's pardon for my mistake. It is said that the Bill will keep foreign brewers. But, from the point of view of the consumer, I submit that that is not a reason for rejecting the Bill. The point of view of the consumer is that if he wants to drink Pilsener beer, or Bavarian beer, or the heavy Munich beer he knows what he is getting, and what he is paying for; but if he wants to drink English beer made from barley, hops, yeast, and water, let him have the opportunity of getting it. The strongest argument in favour of the Bill was actually used by the hon. Member who seconded its rejection. He mentioned the case of margarine and butter. I do not know whether the hon. Member has referred to former debates in the House on the question of making and selling margarine and butter. One of the strongest arguments used against the Margarine Act was that it would have the effect of depriving the poor consumer of the opportunity of getting what he was willing to pay for as butter, but not as margarine. The Bill passed, but the consumption of margarine has not ceased; in fact, the price of the best margarine is higher than that of the worst butter. Under that Act the trader has to disclose to the consumer what he is buying, but that has not injured the trade in margarine. And the same will happen with beer. A man who can sell beer brewed from substitutes for malt and hops will continue to brew it, and the consumer will be able to obtain what he wants. On these grounds I support the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir MICHAEL HICKS) BEACH, Bristol, W.
It will not be necessary for me to detain the House at any length so near the close of the sitting, but I feel it is necessary to make a few observations in regard to this Bill. I admit that from the point of view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer this Bill is a distinct improvement upon other Bills which have preceded it from the hon. Member for Sudbury. There is no attempt in this Bill to confine the word 1498 beer to the liquid brewed wholly from malt and hops under penalty, and there is no attempt to describe beer brewed from other materials as adulterated. Therefore there is nothing to interfere directly or indirectly with the revenue or with the freedom of the mash tun, which some regard as such a prized privilege in the brewing of beer. But. in spite of that, there are difficulties in the Bill, which, holding the office I do, I feel it is my duty to put before the attention of the House of Commons. Nobody has suggested that this Bill will, in itself, put an end to the possibility of unwholesome and even of poisonous materials being used in the manufacture of beer, and it is perfectly obvious that if that can be done it must be attempted in a very different way. That being so. I do not think it is quite fair on the part of hon. Members who have supported this Bill to refer, as some of them have done, to the recent epidemic in Manchester and the neighbourhood and the danger that might arise from a recurrence of such epidemics, as reasons in support of the Bill. There was, no doubt, a very strong and very proper feeling throughout the country at the time of the occurrence of that epidemic that sufficient care had not been exercised in the choice of materials for brewing, and that in some way or other, through the Government or through the local authorities, there should be more stringent regulations made and enforced to secure the purity of materials used by brewers. With that object my right hon. friend the President of the Local Government Board recommended the appointment of a Commission to inquire into the actual facts of the Manchester epidemic, and to report what steps might be taken for the purpose to which I have referred. When that Report is received it will, no doubt, as my right hon. friend the Member for Sleaford has said, be the duty of the Government to deal with it and to make such proposals to Parliament as may be deemed necessary. This Bill does not touch that matter at all. Yet we are asked to support it on the ground of meetings held and of petitions presented to this House based upon the dangers of a recurrence of the epidemic, though those petitions were not presented with any reference to the Bill 1499 before us. The. argument is now suggested to us by the hon. Member who has just sat down, and by the hon. Member for Peterborough, that though the Bill does not do anything directly to secure the wholesomeness of beer, yet it will have this effect—it will enable the consumer to ask for malt beer or partly malt beer, and that the consumer who desires to be safeguarded against poisonous ingredients will always ask for malt beer. Well, in the first place, it has been shown that there is a possibility of the presence of arsenic in malt itself.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
In some instances, I believe, such a possibility has been shown, but at any rate I will consider that matter as sub judice. But beyond that, this Bill does nothing whatever to secure that the consumer who asks for part-malt beer shall have a wholesome liquor. That may be brewed from any materials whatever, even poisonous materials, and therefore, unless he asks for malt beer be is not safeguarded at all. If he does ask for malt beer is he quite sure of getting it? Is it possible under the provisions laid down by this Bill that he can have that security? I have gone carefully with the Inland Revenue authorities into the proposals in the Bill for carrying out the object, and I am bound to state to the House that, so far as I. can judge, these securities are absolutely illusory. In the first place, the brewer has to ticket all the casks or other vessels in which he sends out beer as malt beer or partly malt beer. Well, if there was continuous supervision of the stock account of the brewer and of every delivery from his brewery, I suppose it might be possible, having regard to the comparatively small number of breweries in the United Kingdom, to secure that the contents are according to ticket. But the casks or bottles go to agents, go to bottlers, and thence are distributed over all the public-houses in the kingdom; and it would be absolutely impossible for the Excise authorities to follow the beer throughout the process, and it would be equally impossible for the officers of a local authority on whom the right hon. Gentleman desires 1500 to impose this duty to do so. Therefore by the time the beer reaches the consumer in the retail public-house, which is the time when you want to secure the guarantee that the beer is part malt or wholly malt, there can be no security that the label over the beer-engine, the bottle, or the cask actually represents the character of the beer inside.
Now, it has been said, with great reason, that the principle that a person who asks for a certain defined article should be entitled to the protection of the law from fraud has been accepted by Parliament. But I do not know that this principle has ever been accepted except in regard to articles which it would be possible to analyse to ascertain whether the article is what it is represented to be. This by common admission you cannot do. Throughout this debate it has been agreed that as between the beer brewed from malt and partly from malt analysis cannot determine the difference. Therefore we are utterly deprived of the ordinary safeguard that a purchaser has, if he chooses to take the trouble, to secure the article he requires. Under these circumstances, I confess that although I entirely accept the principle, to which the hon. Member who has just sat down attaches great importance, that there should be a safeguard to the purchaser, yet I cannot myself see how it is possible to apply the principle to this particular article of beer. It is my business to look at the matter from a practical point of view, for, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, I am responsible for the Inland Revenue, and cannot be guided by sentiment, which has prevailed a good deal on this question. I cannot, as I have said, see how it will be possible to enforce the provisions of the Bill, and therefore, though it is right to say I speak for myself rather than on behalf of the Government, I cannot give my vote in favour of the Bill.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put"; but Mr. Speaker withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ COLONEL WALKER (Widnes)
said it had been alleged by the right hon. Mem 1501 ber for Sleaford that certain firms did not use any sugar at all, and that Clause 9 was a protection for those firms. He did not know whether that was the case or not, but he would like to inform the House what that meant. It meant that those brewers used now three-fourths foreign barley and only one-fourth English barley, and in addition to that, in virtue of Clause 9, they could use "priming" which amounted to1½ per cent, of un-fermented sugar—1½ per cent, unfermented sugar was equal to three times that quantity of fermented sugar, which meant that the proportion of sugar used by these firms was no less than 4½ per cent; and the proportion of sugar used by the brewers who used three-fourths English barley and one-fourth sugar was only 8 per cent. That was a point which ought to be considered by the House.
§ *MR. GROVES (Salford, S.)
said that as one who had had experience of the trade for thirty years he should have a word or two to say on the subject. The moderate use of sugar had nothing in the world to do with the profits of the brewer. When the public demanded an article that could be produced by the addition of a small percentage of sugar rather than by malt alone, they must have it. In his own brewery he used an average of about 90 per cent, of English malt and 10 per cent, of sugar. Attention had been called to the recent deplorable epidemic and the arsenical contaminat on of one brand of brewing sugar, but he would like to emphasise the fact that the public analyst of Manchester had also found arsenic in malt. He had no particular objection to Clause 2. because the substitutes to which it referred were, he believed, entirely confined to the production of teetotal beverages. He knew hundreds of brewers, but he knew no single brewer who used these substitutes for hops in brewing beer. As to Clause 9, dealing with malt beer, he had the best reason for thinking that it had been deliberately put into the Bill for the purpose of arranging a compromise with certain large brewing firms. Under the operation of that clause they would be entitled to label beer as "malt" beer which was no more "all-malt" beer than that which was labeled "part- 1502 malt beer. The Bill was too ridiculous for consideration. The brewers had no objection whatever to a measure of this kind drawn on reasonable and common-sense lines, and which would really provide for the purity of beer, but the present measure was so absurdly drawn that the clauses would be inoperative. He maintained that those concerned mostly in the purity of beer were those who manufactured it. He asked the House by rejecting this measure to say that it was an immature Bill, and required further consideration. Let the Bill be sent to the limbo of all ill-considered measures. The framers of the Bill, if it were repeated, would then have opportunities of amending it. As he had said, the brewers did not object to any of the principles of the Bill, but its clauses were so tied round with red tape, and ridiculous anomalies that he had no hesitation—and he hoped the House would have none—in voting against it.
§ COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)
said that the hon. Member who had just sat down declared that the Bill was a ridiculous Bill. That might be his opinion, but there were hon. Members who differed from him, and their opinion was as good as his. Again, the hon. Gentleman said that those most concerned in the purity of beer were the manufacturers. That he entirely denied. The basis of the Bill was that it was the consumers who were principally concerned, and in the interests of the consumers he begged the House to read the Bill a second time.
§ *ME. GROVES
said the hon. and gallant Gentleman had misinterpreted his meaning. What he meant when he said that the brewers were most concerned in the purity of beer was this—that unless they brewed good beer, to suit the popular taste, their trade and profits would very soon disappear and they might as well give up their business.
§ MR. RUTHERFORD (Lancashire, Darwen)
said that the great objection which maltsters had to English barley was that it was often broken, and that 1503 brewers had to provide machinery for dressing it. If agriculturists were to dress their barley they would receive better prices for it. Generally brewers used 75 per cent, of malt, 10 per cent, of maize, and 15 per cent, of sugar; and a certain proportion of malt must always be used, no matter what other substitutes were employed. The working man would have a glass of beer, and a clear beer that sparkled, and the brewer was compelled, therefore, to produce the article which
§ his consumer required. - Unless he did so he would very soon lose his custom. He did not think the Bill a good measure, nor did he believe it would accomplish the object of its promoters, and therefore he should vote against it.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 245; Noes, 133. (Division List No. 108).1507
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Delany, William||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil|
|Abraham, Wm. (Rhondda)||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.|
|Aird, Sir John||Dilion, John||Button, John (Yorks. N. R.)|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc,Stroud||Donelan, Captain A.||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Ambrose, Robert||Doogan, P. C.||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Jones, David Brynmor(Swans'a|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Dunn, Sir William||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. Hart||Joyce, Michael|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Edwards, Frank||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone||Kenyon-Slaney, Col, W. (Salop.|
|Bantley, George C. T.||Faber, George Denison||Lambert, George|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lambton, Don. Fredk. Win.|
|Beach Rt. Hn. W. W. B.(Hants.||Fenwick, Charles||Lawson, John Grant|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Ffrench, Peter||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Bignold, Arthur||Field, William||Loamy, Edmund|
|Bill, Charles||Finch, George H.||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham|
|Black, Alexander William||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Leighton, Stanley|
|Boland, John||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Flynn, James Christopher||Levy, Maurice|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Furness, Sir Christopher||Lloyd-George, David|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Garfit, William||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R,|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur C.||Gilhooly, James||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham|
|Brassey, Albert||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Lough, Thomas|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Brookfield, Col. Montagu||Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Lowther, Rt.Hn.James(Kent)|
|Brown, Alexander H.(Shropsh.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'uth|
|Bull, William James||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Burns, John||Graham, Henry Robert||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Burt, Thomas||Grant, Corrie||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|Caine, William Sproston||Green, AY. D. (Wednesbury)||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Cameron, Robert||Grenfell, William Henry||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Griffith, Ellis J.||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin|
|Carlile, William Walter||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Malcolm, Ian|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Hall, Edward Marshall||Mansfield, Horace Kendall|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. Wm.||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Cavendish, V.C.W(Derbyshire||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd.||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hayden, John Patrick||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Helme, Norval Watson||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Colston, Charles E. H. Athole||Hermon- Hodge, Robert Trotter||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Colville, John||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hobhouse, Hy. (Somerset, E.)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hogg, Lindsay||Murphy, J.|
|Cremer, William Randal||Horner, Frederick William||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Horniman, Frederick John||Nownes, Sir George|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Howard, Capt. J. (K'nt, Faversh||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|O'Doherty, William||Robson, William Snowdon||Vincent, Col. Sir CEH (Sheffield|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H|
|O'Mara, James||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Round, James||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Warner Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Partington, Oswald||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Percy, Karl||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Perks, Robert William||Smith, H C (North'mb.Tyn's'de||Welby, Sir Charles G. E (Notts.)|
|Philipps, John Wynford||Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Pickard, Benjamin||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Pilkington, Richard||Spear, John Ward||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Stevenson, Francis S.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Strachey, Edward||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid|
|Price, Robert John||Stroyan, John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Priestley, Arthur||Start, Hon. Humphry Napier||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Rankin, Sir James||Sullivan, Donal||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Rasch, Maj. Frederic Came||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf. Univ.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Reddy, M.||Taylor, Theodore Cooke||Wodehouse, Hn. Armine (Essex|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Rentoul, James Alexander||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Renwick, George||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.||Younger, William|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Thorburn, Sir Walter||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green||Tomkinson, James|
|Rigg, Richard||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Mr. Purvis and Sir Cuthbert Quilter.|
|Robertson. Herbert (Hackney)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Flower, Ernest||Mooney, John J.|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Foster, Sir Michael (Lon. Univ.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Asher, Alexander||Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Asquith. Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Groves, James Grimble||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Austin, Sir John||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Myers, William Henry|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Harwood, George||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Hay, Hon. Claude George||O'Connor. T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor||Hayne, Rt. Hon. CharlesSeale-||O'Dowd, John|
|Beach, Rt.Hn.SirM. H. (Bristol||Heaton, John Henniker||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Bigwood, James||Higginbottom, S. W.||O'Malley, William|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hoare, Edw.Brodie(Hampste'd||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Bond, Edward||Hobhouse, C.E.H. (Bristol,E.)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Boyle, James||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Brigg, John||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Joicey, Sir James||Ratcliffe, R. F.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Caldwell, James||Kitson, Sir James||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cavendish, R, F. (N. Lancs.)||Knowles, Lees||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Labouchere, Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Chapman, Edward||Lawrence, William V.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Charrington, Spencer||Leng, Sir John||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Staly bridge|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Lowe, Francis William||Rutherford, John|
|Corbett, A.Cameron(Glasgow)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alex.|
|Crean, Eugene||Lundon, W.||Sandys, Lieut. Col.Thos Myles|
|Crombie, John William||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||M'Dermott, Patrick||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Fadden, Edward||Stewart, Sir. M. J. M'Taggart|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D.(Chath'm||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Temant, Harold John|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Tollemache, Henry James|
|FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Ure, Alexander|
|Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton u-Lyne||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Walker, Col. William Hall||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Colonel Mil ward and Mr. Heywood Johnstone.|
|Wallace, Robert||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|White, Patrick, (Meath, North||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Whiteley, George (York, W. R.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
Bill read a second time, and committed for to-morrow.