HC Deb 06 December 1939 vol 355 cc646-7
50. Mr. John Morgan

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the estimated annual amount of barley required by the brewing industry; whether the brewing industry will be expected to purchase its requirements from home sources in war-time; and whether rationing of barley for brewing and distilling uses is to be enforced?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The annual amount of barley used by the brewing industry increased from 533,000 tons in 1933–34 to 625,000 tons in 1937–38. At present no barley is being imported for malting purposes and brewers are purchasing their supplies entirely from the home crop. The question of regulating the quantity of barley and other grain used for brewing and distilling is under consideration.

Mr. Morgan

May I ask whether that consideration is to be with a view to making some of this barley accessible to people who are producing human food such as pigs?

Mr. Morrison

That is one of the factors to which consideration is being given.

Mr. T. Williams

Is the right hon. Gentleman taking note of the excessive increase in the prices charged by the farmers to the brewers during this war time shortage; and will he intimate to that section of the community that the reaction may be very adverse to their own interests when peace time comes?

Mr. Morrison

The question of whether prices are excessive or not, is always a matter of opinion.

Sir Ernest Shepperson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the beer brewed from home-grown barley is just as good as, if not better than, beer made from foreign barley?