§ 21. Dr. SALTER
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the reduction of licence fees in Palestine since 1st January, 1934, has resulted in a large increase in the production of wines, and that the increase in the production and sale of these alcoholic beverages is resented by the Mohammedan majority of the population whose religion forbids the use of intoxicants; and whether he will give an assurance that no further licences will be issued?
Mr. J. H. THOMAS
I would invite the hon. Member's attention to a reply given on 4th March to the hon. Member for Coatbridge (Mr. Barr). I am not aware that the production or sale of wine in Palestine is resented by the majority of the population. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative; but the hon. Member may be assured that the number of retail licences for the sale of intoxicating liquors is at all times strictly limited.
§ Dr. SALTER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that numerous protests have been made by the Mohammedan community to the High Commissioner with respect to this very matter?
No, I am not aware of that, and I am not aware that there is any danger in connection with the sale of intoxicating liquors. On the contrary, the figures to which the hon. Member refers are only about one-third of those for 1930, notwithstanding the increase in the population.
I am sure if the hon. Member will consult with the hon. Member who put the original question and they will taste the wine, they will be able to judge.