HC Deb 06 March 1928 vol 214 cc941-2
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?


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?


I believe that both Australian and South African wines are in very great demand, and their consumption in this country is steadily increasing.


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?


Is this the wine they supply to the Kit Cat Club?


What does it matter so long as it is good wine?

Following are the detailed figures:

Imports into United Kingdom from British countries average:

1909–13 1,031,426
1919 (preference first accorded 1919) 530,584
1920 976,591
1921 669,421
1922 702,178
1923 966,715
1924 1,105,436
1925 (increased preference 1925) 1,294,314
1926 2,055,597
1927 4,666,159