HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 cc1773-4
61. Mr. Kirkwood

asked the Minister of Food why he has permitted the export of barley from Scotland to Eire, in view of the need of Scotland for barley at this time.

Dr. Summerskill

Barley which is sent from the U.K. to Eire is used for the production principally of Guinness's stout for supply to this country and Northern Ireland, because the productive capacity of the London brewery making this type of beer is inadequate. I am not aware that barley has been sent from Scotland for this purpose, though there would be nothing to prevent the manufacturers from buying in that country if suitable barleys were available.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is the Minister aware that we need the barley for food in Scotland? Why should it be sent to Ireland for the making of stout?

Dr. Summerskill

I have made inquiries and I find that no barley has been sent from Scotland. Apparently Scottish barley is not suitable for this purpose.

Mr. Boothby

May I ask the hon. Lady whether she is aware that the production of Scotch whisky is infinitely more important from every point of view than the production of Guinness's stout, and especially from the point of view of earning dollars of which we stand in dire need?

Mr. James Hudson

Is it not a fact that, whether the barley goes for beer or spirits, in both cases the food value of the barley is practically entirely destroyed?

Dr. Summerskill

There are, curiously enough, a number of workers in this country who believe that Guinness is good, for them.