HC Deb 12 February 1947 vol 433 c372
63. Mr. Gammans

asked the Minister of Food if he will make a statement on the shortage of beer; state the reasons for it; and give an estimate of how long it is likely to continue.

Dr. Summerskill

Any shortage of beer in recent years has been due to increased demand, because although standard barrelage has been cut to save grain, the reduction in the average strength of beer has more than offset it and resulted in a total increase in quantity. Down to the present fuel emergency, bulk production was nearly 20 per cent. above prewar. Production is bound to decline during the current fuel shortage, but I hope it will soon be restored.

Mr. Gammans

Is the hon. Lady suggesting that there has been no reduction in the production of beer during the last few months?

Dr. Summerskill

What I am saying is that the production has increased by 20 per cent. over the prewar figure.

Mr. James Hudson

In view of the enormous expenditure on beer, is there not.a case for a reduction—a very good case?

Sir T. Moore

Is not water more important than barley in the present production of beer?