HC Deb 22 June 1925 vol 185 cc1084-5

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a farm labourer, who is also a householder, may brew beer from two bushels of malt without paying a licence fee, and whether he is prepared to extend this privilege to farm labourers who are lodgers?


A farm labourer or any other person who occupies a house of an annual value of £8 or less may, in any year, brew a quantity not exceeding four bushels of malt or the equivalent thereof for his own use without payment of duty. The Government are not prepared to extend this privilege to lodgers as suggested in the second part of the question.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to consider the question further if I put other information before him?


I will gladly consider any information which the hon. Member may bring to my notice, but I would remind him that his question is not limited to agricultural labourers but to all householders with a small valuation. The effect of his proposal would be a very great widening of the scope of the concession given, and would lead to very great loss of revenue.

Viscountess ASTOR

Considering that we are spending £6,000,000 a week on drink in this country, and £40,000,000 a year more than we did before the War, will the Prime Minister watch very carefully that nothing is done to increase the consumption of beer?


That is rather a large question arising out of this little one.