HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc25-6
48. Captain Sir William Brass

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that whisky is being retailed at 14s. 3d. a bottle, while in his Budget speech he estimated the cost to the public at 13s. 9d. a bottle; and what is the explanation of this divergence?

Sir J. Simon

The statement which I made in my Budget speech was a calculation of the effect of the duty in increasing the pre-war price. I understand that the divergence referred to is claimed by the trade to be due to other elements.

Sir W. Brass

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that this increase is a reasonable one?

Sir J. Simon

It is not for me to be satisfied with that. The matter relates to what are alleged to be increased and excessive charges and that is a question in which the Board of Trade have an interest.

Viscountess Astor

Does my right hon. Friend not think that it would be a good thing in war time for the Government to take over the control of this trade?