HC Deb 26 November 1931 vol 260 cc484-5
20. Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

asked the Minister of Labour if he will state how many workers have lost their employment in the brewing and allied industries since the increased Beer Duty was imposed; and what is the estimated cost of such unemployment to the State?


I have no figures for the brewing industry separately. For the drink industry generally (which includes the brewing of nonalcoholic drinks and the bottling of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages), the following are the figures: There are 1,769 more insured persons recorded as unemployed on 26th October, 1931, than on 24th August, 1931, the date of the last count prior to the introduction of the increased Beer Duty on 11th September. This increase compares with an increase of 833 in the corresponding period of 1930. Assuming that the average rates for men and boys apply to this industry, the estimated cost of insurance benefit and transitional payments of the 1,769 additional persons is at the rate of about £78,000 per annum.


Has the Minister no information with regard to the much larger figure for the allied industries, such as the manufacture of bottles, cooperage, malt-making, and other industries?


What I have given my hon. and gallant Friend is the figure for those engaged actually in the drink industry itself, alcoholic and nonalcoholic. Whether we have a separate classification which would cover such trades as bottle-snaking, I am not quite sure, but I will look into the matter and give my hon. and gallant Friend all the information that I can on that point.


Will the right hon. Gentleman see, in order to assist this industry, that a State system of free beer is instituted?

Forward to