§ 28. Mr. Pargiter
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has with regard to the extent to which brewers have reduced the price of sherry and port by the glass over the counter to their customers following his Budget reduction in the heavy wine duties; and how the procedure of the trade in this respect compares with that following the reduction of the Beer Duties in the Budget of 1959.
Retail prices are, of course, matters for the trade, but I understand that where bar prices are controlled by the brewers they have, in general, passed the reductions in the wine duties on to the consumer, as they did the reduction in the Beer Duty last year.
§ Mr. Pargiter
What evidence has the Chancellor of this? Is he aware that the evidence I have is that there has been no reduction at all in the price of port and sherry by the glass over the counter and that the brewers have decided not to pass on the relief given in his Budget?
I have given it in relation to the brewer, but prices in many bars are fixed not by the brewers but by the licensees, who are independent in many cases. The hon. Member will have noted that in my main Answer I said:… I understand … they have, in general …
§ Mr. Pargiter
Having regard to what has happened generally with the price of beer, to which there is also a reference in the Question, and the fact that there is no question of licensees fixing the price of beer because that is fixed by the brewers, may I ask why there is a difficulty about the brewers determining what the price ought to be in this case?