HC Deb 17 June 1936 vol 313 cc1088-92

Section forty-three of the Finance Act, 1910, section six of the Finance Act, 1927, and section five of the Finance Act, 1928, shall not apply to the manufacture or sale of mead made from honey produced in Great Britain or to such mead sent out from the premises of a maker of sweets for sale.—[Mr. Rickards.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

7.49 p.m.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

In moving the Clause in the absence of my hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) I would ask the Committee not to think that because this is a small matter it is not important. When an industry is doing well, a small, good industry deserves the same sympathy and support as any large one. I should like to remind the House that in dealing with this question we are dealing with possibly the second oldest product in the country. I believe I am correct in saying that centuries before the first yarn from wool was woven in this country liquor mead was produced here. For thousands of years, long before we heard of beer or whisky, this was our standard drink. In those times they were wise people, who realised how good mead was. One cannot imagine on the field of Troy Achilles coming back, after killing Hector, and having a mild or bitter. Nor could I, much as I appreciate the Scots, imagine them on Mount Olympus having whisky and soda all round. It was not clone. Therefore, this question of mead is a most venerable one.

I should like to appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a matter of utility. There are very few questions in this House on which we are all agreed, but there is one, and that is, no matter in what part of the House we situ we all like to see this little island of ours as beautiful as possible. We are also agreed that nothing makes it more beautiful than our flowers and gardens. There is nothing more pleasing to us, whether in castle, or house, or little cottage, or public park, than to note the interest that is taken and the improvements that have been effected in our gardens. Nothing helps the gardener more than the busy bee. I would especially appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because I know how, when he walks in St. James's Park, he enjoys looking at the flowers. I do not think that the concession which I ask him to make would cost much, and I would ask him to meet us on this question. It is a very small question, but in some counties, including my own county of York, it is honestly a small, a growing and a very nice industry.

7.53 p.m.


May I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after the

attractive speech to which we have just listened, to make yet one more concession, negligible in point of monetary sacrifice, to give a stimulus to bee-keeping in connection with the various forms of agricultural production? I confess to the Committee that I have only drunk mead once, and that was in a foreign country. It is rather hard to come by in this island, but I hope that by the acceptance of this Clause, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will accept it, we may be able to drink mead in this country.

7.54 p.m.


I understand that mead, an alcoholic drink which is derived from the fermentation of honey, was introduced in mediaeval times into this country, and has not been heard much of since. It might be that if I had access to supplies of mead I should take a greater pleasure in the flowers of St. James's Park. I would put it to my hon. Friend that before he seriously suggests that the bee-keeping industry is depressed by reason of the licence duty on the sale of mead, he had better produce the mead, so that I may have a somewhat closer acquaintance with it than I have to-day. If this Clause were a serious proposition I should require further proof of the production of mead.

Question put, "That the Clause be added to the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 119; Noes, 180.

Division No. 243.] AYES. [7.58 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke Cocks, F. S. Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Adams, D. (Consett) Compton, J. Henderson, T. (Tradeston)
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Cove, W. G. Hills, A. (Pontefract)
Adamson, W. M. Daggar, G. Holdsworth, H.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Holland, A.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Jagger, J.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)
Banfield, J. W. Dobble, W. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)
Barnes, A. J. Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Jones, A. C. (Shipley)
Batey, J. Ede, J. C. Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Bellenger, F. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Kelly, W. T.
Benson, G. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T
Bevan, A. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Kirkwood, D.
Broad, F. A. Foot, D. M. Lathan, G.
Bromfield, W. Frankel, D. Lawson, J. J.
Brooke, W. Gardner, B. W. Leach, W.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Gibbins, J. Lee, F.
Buchanan, G. Graham, D. M. (Hamilton) Leonard, W.
Burke, W. A. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Leslie, J. R.
Cape, T. Grenfell, D. R. Logan, D. G.
Cassells, T. Griffiths, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Lunn, W.
Charleton, H. C. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Macdonald, G. (Ince)
Chater, D. Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) McEntee, V. La T.
Cluse, W. S. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) McGhee, H. G.
MacLaren, A. Price, M. P. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Maclean, N. Richards, R. (Wrexham) Thurtle, E.
MacMillan, M. (Western Isles) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.) Tinker, J. J.
Marklew, E. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) Vlant, S. P.
Mathers, G. Rothschild, J. A. de Walkden, A. G.
Messer, F. Salter, Dr. A. Walker. J.
Montague, F. Seely, Sir H. M. Watkins, F. C.
Morrison, Rt. Hn. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.) Sexton, T. M. Watson, W. McL.
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Short, A. Westwood, J.
Muff, G. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's) White, H. Graham
Naylor, T. E. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe) Whiteley, W.
Oliver, G. H. Smith, E. (Stoke) Wilkinson, Ellen
Paling, W. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Parker, J. Smith, T. (Normanton) Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Parkinson, J. A. Stephen, C.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Potts, J. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.) Mr. Rickards and Mr. Dalton.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Ganzonl, Sir J. Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)
Agnew, Lieut. Comdr. P. G. Gibson, C. G. Neven-Spence. Maj. B. H. H.
Albery, I. J. Gledhill, G. Nicolson, Hon. H. G.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Graham Captain A. C. (Wirral) O'Connor, Sir Terence J.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.
Aske, Sir R. W. Gridley, Sir A. B. Orr-Ewlng, I. L.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N.W.) Palmer, G. E. H.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Gunston, Capt. D. W. Peat, C. U.
Balniel, Lord Guy, J. C. M. Perkins, W. R. D.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hanbury, Sir C. Petherick. M.
Beit, Sir A. L. Hannah, I. C. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Bernays, R. H. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Plugge, L. F
Birchall, Sir J. D. Harbord, A. Pownall, Sir Assheton
Blaker, Sir R. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Radford, E. A.
Blindell, Sir J. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Boulton, W. W. Hepworth, J. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmln)
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Rayner, Major R. H.
Boyce, H. Leslie Herbert, Captain S. (Abbey) Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Braithwalte, Major A. N. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Bull, B. B. Hopkinson, A. Remer, J. R.
Bullock, Capt. M. Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L. Ropner, Colonel L.
Burghley, Lord Horsbrugh, Florence Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Butler, R. A. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Hudson, R. S. (Southport) Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Cary, R. A. Hume, Sir G. H. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Hunter, T. Salt, E. W.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n) James, Wing-Commander A. W. Selley, H. R.
Channon, H. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'Wgt'n) Shakespeare, G. H.
Chorlton, A. E. L. Jones, L. (Swansea, W.) Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Colfox, Major W. P. Keeling, E. H. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Courthope, Col. Sir G. L. Kirkpatrick, W. M. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Craddock, Sir R. H. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)
Cranborne, Viscount Law, Sir A. J. (High Peak) Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
Critchley, A. Leech, Dr. J. W. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Lewis, O. Spens, W. P.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Lindsay, K. M. Stanley. Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Crowder, J. F. E. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'I'd)
Culverwell, C. T. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Davles, MaJor G. F. (Yeovil) Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Strauss. E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Dawson, Sir P. Lumley, Capt. L. R. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Strickland, Captain W. F.
Denville, Alfred MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Scot. U.) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Tasker, Sir R. I.
Dower, Capt. A. V. G. McKie, J. H. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop) Magnay, T. Touche, G. C.
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Maitland, A. Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R, L.
Dugdale, Major T. L. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Wakefield, W. W.
Duggan, H. J. Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Wallace, Captain Euan
Duncan, J. A. L. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon H. D. R, Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Eastwood, J. F. Markham, S. F. Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Edmondson, Major Sir J. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Elliston, G. S. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Wells, S. R.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Erskine Hill, A. G. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Wise, A. R.
Everard, W. L. Moreing, A. C.
Findlay, Sir E. Morgan, R. H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Fleming, E. L. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. Sir George Penny and Mr. Cross.

Question put, and agreed to.