HC Deb 20 February 1919 vol 112 cc1126-8
60. Major NEWMAN

asked the Prime Minister whether the War Cabinet has come to any decision with regard to the release of a sufficient supply of whisky to meet the legitimate needs of the population; and whether a supply of barley has been or is being sent from the United States of America on the condition that it is not used for distilling purposes?


I have been asked toreply. No decision has yet been reached by the War Cabinet concerning the release of further supplies of whisky. As regards the latter part of the question, I have no knowledge of the transaction to which the hon. Member refers.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that whisky is now being sold, at Christie's as a valuable curiosity?

68. Colonel ASHLEY

asked the Prime Minister if he will explain why wine merchants are not allowed to sell brandy for medical purposes in quantities less than a whole bottle, which in view of the present price of brandy places this stimulant, when prescribed by a doctor, beyond the reach, of the poorer classes?


If the hon. Member is referring to restrictions other than those imposed by the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, I am informed by the Central Control Board that their Regulations make special provision for the sale of spirits in quantities less than a whole bottle when required for medical purposes.

69. Colonel ASHLEY

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the inhabitants of the districts round Preston are unable to obtain spirits in cases of sickness, especially in the case of influenza and pneumonia, when the same is prescribed by the local doctors and a medical certificate is given; if he will explain why the promises made in November and December last that spirits should be released for such purposes have not been carried out; and what steps the Government propose to take in order that the necessary medical treatment may be provided for these sick people?


I have been asked to reply. In view of the limited supplies available, it was found impracticable to carry out the arrangement contemplated with reference to the supply of spirits to specific districts on medical grounds. The whole question of the release of spirits is now before the War Cabinet.

Colonel ASHLEY

Surely, if we have a lot of spirits in bond, it is absolutely necessary that a certain amount should be released for medical purposes under doctors' certificates, to save the lives of these wretched people who are dying from pneumonia?


Does the hon. Gentleman know that, even when a doctor's certificate is granted, the poor people cannot get the brandy or whisky?




They do not know anything about it. They will have to ask the clerks in the Office.

Colonel ASHLEY

I beg to give notice that I shall put another question on Tuesday on this important subject.

92 and 93. Colonel PICKERING

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will now state what reasons of public policy or interest now justify the continuance of any restrictions upon the supply of spirits from bond; and (2) if he is aware of the grave resentment and unrest caused by the failure of sick persons to obtain spirits when medical certificates have ordered such; and if he can state the reason for the withholding of the necessary supply?


I can only refer the hon. Member to the answers which have already been made on this subject.