§ I come to hops. At the present time there is a duty of £4 per cwt. on imported hops. That duty was first imposed in 1925 for a period of four years on the expiry of the Hop Control, which had been initiated during the War. In 1929 it was again renewed for four years and now, after consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, I propose to renew this duty, which would otherwise expire in August next, for a further four years, but in view of representations which have been made to me by users that difficulties may arise out of the co-existence of a duty with some form of quantitative regulation under the Agricultural Marketing Bill, I am prepared to say now that if any such regulation should be introduced, I should be ready to consider whether any modification of the duty were required.
§ Another interesting but minor item is the imposition of an additional Excise Duty upon British sparkling wines. Imported sparkling wines have always paid a surtax over the duty upon still wines, 52 but British sparkling wines, perhaps because they have not been taken very seriously hitherto, have escaped with the ordinary duty of is. 6d. a gallon paid by all British wines. Now, for the protection of the revenue, it is desirable that they should pay a fair share of taxation, and I am proposing therefore to put a surtax of 6s. per gallon upon these wines, which will compare with the existing surtax of 6s. 3d. a gallon on imported Empire sparkling wines. The yield from that surtax I estimate as only £7,000 this year.