HC Deb 14 February 1917 vol 90 cc612-3

asked the hon. Member for Wilton if the Food Controller, in view of his statement that the barley, sugar, and other ingredients used in brewing are required for food, will explain why the continuance is allowed of their present rate of waste in brewing for another six weeks and thereafter at the rate of one-half that in 1914, or more than twenty-five million bushels of grain and more than one and a-half million cwts. Of sugar; and what further steps he proposes to save this foodstuff for the food of the nation?


The decision to restrict the use of materials in brewing to approximately 50 per cent, of the prewar level, as from 1st April, was taken by the Government after full consideration of all the existing circumstances. The Food Controller will not hesitate to recommend further restrictions if the necessity should, in his opinion, arise. The assumption that the conversion of foodstuffs into brewers' materials will continue undiminished till 1st April is inaccurate. This conversion as regards barley takes place when the barley is malted, and it is intended that further malting shall be stopped as soon as sufficient malt for the reduced output of beer has been made.


Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman expect parents now to stint their children of food, while these ingredients are being used for the production of alcoholic beverages?


I understand the whole question is about to be raised in Debate this afternoon, and I dare say the hon. Member will have an opportunity of presenting his views to the House.