HC Deb 11 April 1927 vol 205 cc92-3

While the tax collector has hitherto levied his toll on the imported products of every vineyard, a new industry has sprung up in this Island where there are no vineyards. That industry is called "British Wines." Science and enterprise have enabled the juice of the grape to be imported in an unfermented condition, and thus to avoid Customs Duty. The consumption of British wines has shown a striking increase in the last few years, and in 1926 their production for retail sale amounted to very nearly 1,800,000 gallons. We may both admire and respect the ingenuity of the process, and yet feel that it is not fair that this product should continue to be immune from the taxes placed upon other intoxicants. It is, I am assured, able to bear a moderate charge. I think from some point of view it is a recognition of their quality. I propose, therefore, that an Excise Duty of 1s. per gallon shall be placed on British wines, to take effect on the 25th April. This proposal should yield a small revenue of £90,000 in a full year and £80,000 in the year 1927, with which we are immediately concerned.