11. Sir J. D. REES
asked the President of the Board of Trade when he proposes to release the brandy, whisky, and red and white wine, including port, which is so valuable as a preventive against influenza and other illnesses, and in keeping up the strength of those who are suffering; and whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction felt in all quarters against the continuance of any war restrictions in this behalf?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of FOOD (Mr. McCurdy)
I have been asked to reply. 12 The delivery of wine for home consumption was freed from any restrictions by Statutory Order as from 3rd June, 1918. The amount of spirits released from bond has recently been increased by 50 per cent., and the whole question of releases is continuing to receive close consideration.
§ 75. Sir J. HARMOOD-BANNER
asked the Food Controller whether the Order regarding further supplies and release of spirits from bond is limited to an additional 10 per cent. up to the 31st March next, and not to the 50 per cent. mentioned in the Press; and whether this limited supply is injurious to persons sick from influenza who are ordered brandy or whisky by their doctors?
§ Mr. McCURDY
The increase in the percentage of spirits permitted to be withdrawn from bond for home consumption—namely, 50 per cent. of the quantity withdrawn in 1916 to 75 per cent. of that quantity—operates as from the 24th February. The additional quantity permitted to be withdrawn for the unexpired one-tenth of the Excise year—namely, from 24th February to 31st March—is one-tenth of the additional 25 per cent. The Cabinet and the Food Controller have at present no reason to suppose that these additional releases will not prove reasonably sufficient for the needs of the public.
§ Sir J. HARMOOD-BANNER
Is it not a fact that according to liquor trade evidence there are 100,000,000 gallons of whisky in Scotland, and could not a more generous allowance be made?
§ General Sir I. PHILIPPS
What steps have been taken by the hon. Gentleman's Department to prevent profiteering in this liquor?
§ 19. Sir JAMES AGG-GARDNER
asked the President of the Board of Trade if the additional clearance of spirits to be allowed on the 1916 clearance is at the rate of 12½ per cent. on the last six months; and, if so, why certain firms of wine merchants have only been allotted 10 per cent.?
§ Mr. McCURDY
I have been asked to reply. The increase in the percentage of spirits permitted to be withdrawn from bond for home consumption from 50 per cent. of the quantity withdrawn in 1916 to 13 75 per cent. of that quantity operates as from the 24th February. The Excise year ends on 31st March, and the additional quantity permitted to be withdrawn for the unexpired one-tenth of the Excise year, namely, from 24th February to 31st March, is one-tenth of the additional 25 per cent.