HC Deb 13 July 1915 vol 73 cc761-3

(1) Notwithstanding anything in Section ninety-five of the Spirits Act, 1880, a rectifier may, subject to the provisions of that Section—

  1. (a) warehouse for home consumption spirits of wine of a strength of seventy-four degrees over proof or upwards rectified by him from spirits on which duty has been paid; or
  2. (b) warehouse for delivery to a person entitled to receive spirits duty free under Section eight of the Finance Act, 1902, or under this Act, spirits of wine of a strength of fifty degrees over proof or upwards so rectified.

(2) The Commissioners of Customs and Excise may make regulations with respect to the conditions under which spirits of wine of a strength of seventy-four degrees over proof or upwards may be warehoused by a distiller or a rectifier, and may by any such regulations modify as respects any such spirits any of the provisions of the Spirits Act, 1880, or any other enactment relating to the warehousing of spirits.

(3) If any person contravenes or fails to comply with any regulations made under this Section he shall be liable to an excise penalty of one hundred pounds.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in Section twenty-one of the Revenue Act, 1889, the allowance payable under Section three of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1885, in respect of spirits of the nature of spirits of wine shall, in the case of any such spirits as are mentioned in Sub-section one of this Section, be payable only on the exportation of the spirits and not on the deposit of the spirits in the warehouse.

Clause brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."


The matter is extremely complicated. We propose to allow the warehousing of spirits as suggested. It must not be forgotten that duty has been paid upon the spirits from which the spirits of wine are obtained by rectification, and that it is only reasonable that the same facility should be given for the use of spirits of wine to the home manufacturers as are now given to those for export This Clause, introduced into the present Finance Bill, is in response to a question put by the hon. Member for Edinburgh, and I think the House generally will agree with it. I propose to move it in a slightly different form to that upon which it appears upon the Paper. I propose, in Sub-section (1), paragraph (b), to leave out the words "or under this Act." These words were inserted because at the time the Clause was, drafted it was thought that an amendment of the law might be secured by the hon. Member who is sitting beside me in relation to spirits of wine used in the hospitals. I propose still further to amend the Clause.


We had better take these Amendments as Amendments to the Clause.

Question put, and agreed to.

Amendments made: In Sub-section (1), paragraph (c), omit the words "or under this Act."

In Sub-section (4), after the word "spirits" ["on the exportation of the spirits"], to insert the words "or on the spirits being used in the warehouse."— [Mr. McKenna.]

Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, be added to the Bill."


I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether those manufacturers of absolute alcohol who have recently applied themselves to that industry in this country—because, previously, the whole of the absolute alcohol was supplied to this country by Germany and none of it was manufactured here—come within this Clause and will be allowed to warehouse duty free the absolute alcohol on their premises. When the War broke out absolute alcohol, especially for the manufacture of medicines and for a great many purposes connected with munitions and other matters, was a great necessity, and it was so scarce that manufacturers had to have special pressure put upon them to get them to make this alcohol at a loss. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman can inform me whether or not they will come within the Clause in question. They are rectifiers of spirits.


As I understand, absolute alcohol is a description of rectified spirits differing only from the ordinary description in the fact that it is more fully dehydrated, and it would, therefore, come under the provision of paragraph (a) of the new Clause. I can briefly answer my hon. Friend, therefore, in the affirmative.

Clause, as amended, added to the Bill.


had the following on the Paper: