§ Sir ARCHIBALD WILLIAMSON
asked if the right hon. Gentleman's attention has been directed to the fact that since the increased duty on spirits was imposed inferior qualities of whisky, consisting largely of raw grain and new whisky, are now chiefly sold; and whether, in view of this and of the Report of Lord Peel's Commission adverse to the sale of new whisky, he will take steps in the Finance Bill to graduate the tax according to age?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I have no information on the point referred to by my hon. Friend in the first part of this question. As regards the latter part, I can add nothing to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for North Meath on the 26th ultimo.
§ Sir A. WILLIAMSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that without graduation the proposals of the Bill will fall unequally on the two classes of distillers in Scotland, and will be adverse to the interests of Scotch and Irish farmers?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I am not aware of the fact. What I am aware of is that a Select Committee of this House and a Royal Commission have both reported adversely to the inferior quality of whisky made in a short time by the patent still process.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Royal Commission on whisky reported that the evidence taken before them failed to establish the statement that new spirit was more deleterious than old, and that any specially evil effects observed were to be attributed to the quantity rather than to the quality of the spirits consumed?
§ Mr. YOUNGER
Does the right hon. Gentleman remember my statement about the monkeys, and the effect of new and old spirit and the evidence given before Lord Peel's Commission?