54. Lieut.-Colonel W. GUINNESS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that discontent exists 1599 among agricultural labourers owing to the issue of malt for home-brewed ale being limited to those who applied for a supply last year; and whether he will consider an amendment to extend such facilities to all bonâ fide workers in agriculture by granting permits to farmers for the total number of men employed?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of FOOD (Mr. McCurdy)
I have been asked to reply. Since 14th May, 1919, licences for malt for home brewing have been issued to those who brewed in the years 1916, 1917, or 1918, and under these licences malt may be purchased at the rate of two bushels per man. Owing to shortage of available supplies of malt, it is not practicable at present to adopt the proposal made by the hon. and gallant Member.
If it is possible to increase the supply of malt allowed to brewers, why is it not possible to allocate some of this extra malt to the agricultural labourers?
§ Mr. McCURDY
It is obvious that the extra malt allowed to the brewers to increase beer supplies pro tanto leaves less malt available for other purposes.
§ Major HOWARD
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that by limiting the permits to those who had malt in 1916–17 the returned Service men are deprived of homebrewed beer, although it is available to those who stayed at home during the War?