HC Deb 28 November 1916 vol 88 cc188-9W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps have been taken during the War in Allied countries, and particularly in France and Russia, to restrict the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors; what are the restrictive laws at present in force; and what have been their social and economic effect?


As regards France, copies of two decrees, the first prohibiting the sale or circulation of absinthe and the second prohibiting the opening of new establishments for the sale of spirits, were received from His Majesty's Ambassador in Paris early in 1915 and placed in the Library of the House. As regards Russia a White Paper (Cd. 7,738) containing a report from His Majesty's Ambassador at Petrograd respecting the prohibition of the sale of spirits and vodka in Russia has been laid before Parliament. As regards the social and economic effects of these measures His Majesty's Government have learnt that the general prohibition of the sale of spirits and wines has greatly stimulated the growth of national savings in Russia, the Savings Bank Deposits having increased from £207.3 millions on 1st July, 1914, to £243.45 millions on 14th April, 1915. No later information is available. The general effect of the prohibition upon the population is understood to have been excellent, but the revenue has, of course, suffered severely. No regulations restricting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors have, so far as I am aware, been issued in any other Allied country.