§ 43. Sir JOSEPH NALL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that certain imported cider, which is believed by many people to be a non-alcoholic drink, contains 7.88 per cent. of proof spirit, whilst mild beer contains only 6.9 per cent. and bitter beer 9 per cent.; and if he can adjust the taxation of cider accordingly?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am aware that in some cases the alcoholic content of imported cider may exceed that of certain classes of beer. I would, however, remind my hon. and gallant Friend that the duty on cider was repealed as recently as 1923, and that my proposals for taxation for the current year have already been laid before the House. At the same time, I may mention that imported cider containing spirit which is not the result of the natural fermentation of the apple juice does not escape taxation, but is dutied on its spirit content.
§ Sir H. BRITTAIN
Is there any need to import any cider at all, when the best in the world is made in the West of England?
§ Sir J. NALL
My question is directed towards the matter of imported cider. Does my right hon. Friend think it quite fair that a heavy duty should be imposed on home-produced beer while imported cider escapes, although it has a higher alcoholic content?
§ Mr. B. PETO
Will the right hon. Gentleman give serious consideration to the advisability of reimposing the import duty by leaving the British cider free?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We have not yet finally disposed of the Budget far 1926–27, and there will be time to consider that question before the Budget of 1927–28.
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
Does the right hon. Gentleman contemplate reopening Committee of Ways and Means, in order to propose new taxation?