HC Deb 06 August 1941 vol 373 cc1946-7
47. Major Peto

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that, on 6th December, 1939, in reply to a Question whether some of the barley devoted to brewing would be devoted to feeding stuffs for animals, the Ministry of Agriculture promised to give consideration to the matter; that on 18th January, 1941, a further answer stated that the matter was under discussion with representatives of the brewing industry; and, as 18 months has now elapsed, what actual reduction has been made in the supply of barley to brewers?

Major Lloyd George

In view of the Government's decision that the output of beer should be permitted up to 100 per cent. of the output in the year ended 30th September, 1939, no reduction in the amount of barley used for brewing has been feasible. Purchases by brewers and maltsters have, however, been strictly controlled to the quantities necessary to meet the current requirements. It is estimated that, by restricting to a minimum the stocks ordinarily carried by the industry from one season to another, between 150,000 and 200,000 tons of cereals have been diverted to animal feeding-stuffs during the cereal year 1940–41.

Mr. Mathers

Are we to understand from the answer of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman that it is the policy of the Ministry that, whatever else may go short, brewing must not?

Major Lloyd George

I do not think that conclusion can be drawn from my. answer.