§ Lieut.-Colonel JAMES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total number of gallons of whisky and gin exported from the United Kingdom in 192324, and to date?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Guinness)
I regret that it is not possible to furnish the information desired as whisky and gin are not separately distinguished in the official records.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Would not the right hon. Gentleman find out the various amounts of these two commodities which have been exported, and will he not consult the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the desirability of imposing an export tax?
I think the right hon. Gentleman will see that we have not got the information, and as to the second part of the question, it is obvious that if we put on an export tax without a simultaneous and corresponding tax being imposed by other producers, such as the Irish Free State, it would cause very serious damage to the distilling interest in this country
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that so far from an export tax being put upon whisky, we actually give a bounty of 4d. a gallon?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Scotch whisky cannot be produced anywhere else, and has a monopoly?
Of course it is a matter of taste. My information is that it is very difficult chemically to distinguish between Scotch whisky and certain competing products which are produced elsewhere.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
If these two figures are inseparable why could not the right hon. Gentleman give us the total The question could be construed either as asking for the total, or as asking for the separate figures for whisky and gin
I did not understand the question to ask for the total, nor apparently did the hon. Member who put the question put that interpretation upon it