HC Deb 26 November 1931 vol 260 cc514-5

asked the. Chancellor of the Exchequer if he can give the consumption of beer in the month preceding the introduction of the increased tax in the September Budget, as well as the consumption for each of the two months following the introduction of the tax; and whether he can give the revenue obtained by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in each of the three mouths mentioned?


Figures as to the consumption of beer are not available. Nor are particulars yet available of the revenue actually collected in any whole month following the recent increase in the Beer Duty.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will inform the House before it rises of the total amount of Beer Duty due during the months of October and November this year; the total amount received during the same months in 1930; and the total number of standard barrels brewed in October and November, 1930 and 1931; and if he has considered the resolution sent to him from the East Kent Chamber of Agriculture protesting against the continued imposition of the extra Beer Duty, and stating that it has resulted in increased unemployment in the hop gardens and is causing resentment among agricultural workers?


As regards the first three parts of the question, the numbers of standard barrels of beer assessed to duty, and the amount of duty assessed, during the months of October in 1930 and 1931 were as follow:

October, 1930. October, 1931.
Quantity (standard barrels). 1,573,000 1,152,000
Amount of duty £66,076,000 £6,123,000
I am afraid that figures for November are not yet available. As regards the last part of the question, I have seen the resolution, but I can only refer my hon. Friend to the replies which I gave on Tuesday to the hon. Member for Kensington South (Sir W. Davison).


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, considering that Christmas is so near, and that the revenue is gaining less this year than it did last year from the Beer Duty, if he will think of those millions of beer drinkers and allow them to purchase their Christmas beer at the same price as they did last year, and, if necessary, apply to this House—[Interruption.]