HC Deb 19 April 1926 vol 194 cc821-2

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the statement in the Bombay Excise Department's latest Report to the effect that, contemporaneously with a theoretical reduction in the consumption of local liquor and the number of liquor shops, the illicit distillation of spirituous liquors is increasing and spreading into areas where it has been hitherto unknown, the Secretary of State will use his influence to support the Department's insistence that either the existing Excise staff must be materially increased or a. reversion made to the former policy in the best interest of the masses?


I have seen the statements in the 1924–25 Excise Administration Report for Bombay to which my hon. Friend refers, but I must remind him that Excise is a transferred subject in Bombay, for the administration of which the Governor, acting with his Ministers, is responsible. That being the case, my Noble Friend is unable to interfere with the discretion of the local government in dealing with the matter. It may possibly have escaped my hon. Friend's notice that in the Resolution of the Government of Bombay recorded on the Report it was announced that a substantial increase in the Excise force of the Presidency had recently been sanctioned.