HC Deb 09 February 1971 vol 811 cc252-3
2. Dr. Gilbert

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will require the brewing industry to indicate the minimum alcoholic content that their draught and bottled beers possess at the time they are put in bottle or cask.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

No, Sir. Such a declaration could be misleading.

Dr. Gilbert

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in a supplementary answer by one of his colleagues just before Christmas I was told that the only objection was one of practicality, the reason being given that some brews continue to ferment in the bottle or cask. This question takes care of this problem of practicality. There is no reason at all why— —

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member for Dudley (Dr. Gilbert) must not make observations; he must ask questions.

Mr. Stodart

It is wise that we should look at the experience of other countries which have tried this. In Canada the declaration of alcoholic content is prohibited as it is thought that it might lead to increased drunkenness. The Netherlands require it as a means of encouraging temperance, but it is said to have had precisely the opposite effect.

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