HC Deb 19 January 1944 vol 396 cc172-3
55. Mr. Boothby

asked the Minister of Food whether, in the interest of the industry as a whole and particularly of the export trade after the war, he will now authorise the distillation of a limited quantity of whisky.

Colonel Llewellin

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wycombe (Sir A. Knox) on 15th December, 1943.

Mr. Boothby

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that if no whisky is made fairly soon we shall be deprived of any stocks of mature whisky? Does he not think that the effect of this on our export trade after the war, particularly to the United States, will be very serious?

Colonel Llewellin

I fully appreciate what my hon. Friend says but there are other competing claims for the ingredients.

Mr. Quintin Hogg

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that his absolute impartiality between whisky and unfermented wine is much appreciated?

59. Sir Leonard Lyle

asked the Minister of Food to what extent there is to be a reduction in the supply of whisky; and whether this is due to shortage of ingredients, diminution of stocks or restriction of output.

Colonel Llewellin

No cereals have been allocated for the production of whisky since the end of 1941 and releases have had, therefore, to be reduced. I am not at present able to state the precise rate of the releases which will be made this year but it is unlikely to differ greatly from the rate in 1943.

Sir L. Lyle

Is it not highly important to maintain the national beverage in Scotland, particularly as Scotland is the backbone of England?

Mr. McKinlay

Will the hon. Member allow Scottish Members to speak for Scotland?

Mr. Boothby

Is it not a fact that in its present diluted condition this beverage does no harm to anybody but at the same time brings great comfort to large numbers of people?