§ 2. Sir H. CROFT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the great increase of wines exported to this country from the Empire since the establishment of Imperial Preference; and whether steps can be taken to make public in this country, Australia, and South Africa the effects on production and employment as a result of that policy?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)
I have been asked to reply. The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The increase has been from an average of just over a million gallons a year for the period 1909–1913 to over 4½ million gallons last year. With my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, I will circulate some more detailed figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT. During my right hon. Friend's visits to Australia and South Africa he was able to see for himself the good effects of Imperial Preference in the directions which my hon. and gallant Friend has mentioned, and I think he can rest assured that they are having, and will have, a wide publicity.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
May I ask whether at Conservative auctions preference is given to Empire wines?
§ Sir H. CROFT
Can the President of the Board of Trade give the House any information as to whether Australia is now successfully competing with France and Portugal?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I believe that both Australian and South African wines are in very great demand, and their consumption in this country is steadily increasing.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Is it the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman that any great increase in the consumption of wines, from whatever source, is a public advantage?
§ Following are the detailed figures:
§ Imports into United Kingdom from British countries average:
|1919 (preference first accorded 1919)
|1925 (increased preference 1925)