HC Deb 28 June 1916 vol 83 cc940-1

"There shall be paid an additional drawback on beer under conditions to be made by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise in respect of imported sugar and glucose, and also in respect of sugar and glucose made in Great Britain and Ireland used in the brewing of beer for export on its deposit in bond according to the amount of duty paid on such sugar and glucose."—[Sir G. Younger.]

Clause brought up, and read the first time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

This question was discussed on the occasion of the last Budget, and the proposal was refused on the ground that it applied only to a small number of people and not to the' general body of the trade. I said at the time that that was no answer to the argument, and that in placing an Excise Duty on any article of export there should be a drawback paid. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been very particular about that, even in the case of matches. This is a Clause which does not affect a very large number of people, but it is the principle which we ought to bear in mind. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will agree that the request which I make is not an unfair one. I do not want to elaborate the matter, and I am content to believe that the right hon. Gentleman will probably accept the Clause.


The cost to the Exchequer of this new Clause, which the hon. Baronet presses once again upon us, is something under £10,000, and if one could make a calculation as to the expenditure of energy and of his valuable time on the Clause since first he introduced it to our notice, one would find that he had commendably spent a great deal of time for a very little object. He is quite right. There is not the slightest justification for withholding this drawback. The only reason why we did withhold it was that only comparatively few brewers would be able to take advantage of it, and because of the difficulty of measuring the amount of the drawback. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer promised the hon. Baronet that, if practicable, he would do it. It is practicable now, and therefore we must do it. I congratulate the hon. Baronet on the result of his efforts.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a second time, and added to the Bill.

The following stood in the name of Mr. MacCallum Scott.