§ Mr. MILLAR
asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the pre- 457W war tonnage taken up in connection with the importation of grain, sugar, hops, etc., into the United Kingdom for brewing and distilling purposes; and to what extent tonnage will be released by the proposed reduction of 50 per cent, on the output of beer and corresponding restriction of spirits?
In the twelve months ended the 30th September, 1914, the materials (barley, hops, sugar, etc.) used in brewing and distilling had an aggregate weight of about 2,100,000 tons, of which somewhat over 1,500,000 tons were used in brewing. What proportion of the total materials used was imported cannot be stated, but, broadly speaking, any reduction in the use of these materials for brewing and distilling, by setting them free for other purposes, increases the tonnage space available for other imports by the whole amount of reduction. The space which would be occupied by all the brewing and distilling materials used in the period above referred to may be estimated at the equivalent of between 1,100,000 and 1,200,000 net register of tons of shipping. The brewing materials alone would account for about 900,000 net register tons, and a reduction of 50 per cent, in their use would therefore set free about 450,000 tons. In view of the requirements for industrial purposes and munition manufacture of the products of distilleries, the probable reduction in materials used in distilleries cannot be stated.