HC Deb 15 March 1976 vol 907 cc910-1
2. Mr. Crawford

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps his Department is taking to encourage further growth in the exports of Scotch whisky.

The Under-Secretary of State for Trade (Mr. Eric Deakins)

The wide range of export services provided by the British Overseas Trade Board is available to exporters of Scotch whisky to help them to expand their already substantial overseas sales. My Department has also taken every opportunity to make representations to certain countries about trade barriers that are hindering exports.

Mr. Crawford

Will the hon. Gentleman do everything in his power to persuade his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to increase the duty on a bottle of whisky by 65p in the forthcoming Budget? Is he aware that such an increase, allied to the 70p that was added to the duty payable on each bottle of whisky in the previous Budget, would do inestimable damage to the industry's export and employment prospects?

Mr. Deakins

I am sure that my right hon. Friend will take note of the hon. Gentleman's point about this very important export industry.

Mr. Alexander Wilson

Bearing in mind nationalist or separatist policy, will my hon. Friend take into account that 1.3 million tons of malt barley is produced in Britain every year, whereas only approximately 0.27 million tons is produced in Scotland? Will my hon. Friend ask the nationalists what they mean by Scottish whisky?

Mr. Deakins

I believe that Scotch whisky is a brand name which is known throughout the world. It comes mainly from Scotland, but it is basically a British export.

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