HC Deb 08 July 1941 vol 373 cc25-6
56. Commander Sir Archibald Southby

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been called to the widespread shortage of supplies of beer throughout the country; and whether, in view of the importance of this beverage, especially to those engaged in heavy manual labour, he will take such steps as will ensure adequate supplies being available?

Major Lloyd George

I am aware that, particularly during recent hot weather, local shortages of beer have occurred. These have been due not to lack of materials, but to difficulties of transport, labour and fuel. I have already, however, invited the brewing trade to consider what steps can be taken to ensure that, if temporary shortages occur, the supply of beer to public houses will be maintained in working class districts.

Sir A. Southby

Does my hon. and gallant Friend appreciate that it is not a local shortage, but a widespread shortage throughout the country which obtains at the present time, and in view of the necessity for men employed in industry and agriculture having adequate supplies of beer, will he see that brewers get the materials with which to make beer?

Major Lloyd George

There are the difficulties of transport and hot weather which add to the problem.

Mr. Lawson

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that miners are far more interested in getting some meat than beer?

Mr. Mathers

Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman endorse the statement of the hon. and gallant Member for Epsom (Sir A. Southby) that supplies of beer are necessary and must not be allowed to fall away?

Major Lloyd George

I do not think I can possibly enter into that question.