HC Deb 28 June 1916 vol 83 c955

The provisions of the Finance (New Duties) Act, 1916, shall not apply to herb beer.


The right hon. Gentle man the Financial Secretary suggested that I should put down a new Clause in relation to this matter, but I do not think he wanted me to do so all the same. It was very kind, however, for him to do it, and I am sorry that I have to bring him down from the Olympian heights of high finance to this very small matter. It is a very small matter, but it is of great importance, and for these reasons: Hon. Members will remember that very poor people who have, by reason of thrift and industry, got a small botanical herb business together, and—


I think I may save the hon. Member's time if I just explain. We are now seeking a method of differentiating herb beer scientifically from ginger beer, and all other similar beverages. If we get that definition we propose, on the Report stage, to reduce the tax on such herb beers to 2d. from 4d. That, I think, will meet the case the hon. Gentleman has in mind.