HC Deb 22 July 1943 vol 391 c1077
57. Major Petherick

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food why Algerian wine which originally cost the equivalent of about 3d. a bottle, and which was bought by His Majesty's Government, can only be bought by the public at the equivalent of 8s. a bottle?

Mr. Mabane

The retail price approved for Algerian wines includes duty at the rate of 2s. 10d. a bottle, and has been calculated by my Department to cover freight, insurance, landing charges, storage, bottling and the costs of wholesale and retail distribution on a basis comparable with that agreed for recent imports of Dominion wines. Notwithstanding the low price at which it is intended to be offered to the consumer, it will also, I hope, show a small but welcome profit to my Department.

Major Petherick

What is the profit, in view of the fact that my hon. Friend has said that this wine was bought in Algeria at 1s. 6d. a gallon and that it is sold to the first intermediary at 8s. a gallon?

Mr. Mabane

About 4 per cent.

Mr. Mathers

How comes it that wine is a matter for the Ministry of Food? What is its food value?

Commander Locker-Lampson

Can we have a sample of Algerian wine in the House of Commons?