§ Mr. T. RICHARDSON
asked the Minister of Munitions if he can state the convictions for drunkenness in the areas scheduled by the Central Control Board for the years 1913, 1914, and 1916, giving separately the figures for men and women; if he can state the amount of absolute alcohol consumed in the United Kingdom for each of these years in the form of beer, spirits, and wine, respectively; and if he has any information as to the distribution of the responsibility for drunkenness among these three forms of alcohol?
§ Sir W. EVANS
The convictions for drunkenness in London and forty other cities and towns in Great Britain, of a population exceeding 100,000, which came under the Orders of the Central Control Board between August, 1915, and September, 1916, are approximately as follows:
1913. 1914. 1915. 1916. Men … 119,000 115,000 88,000 53,000 Women 40,000 41,000 38,000 24,000 Total … 159,000 156,000 126,000 77,000
The corresponding figures for the areas are not available.
The total volume of absolute alcohol consumed during these years was approximately:
Gallons. 1913 … … 92,000,000 1914 … … 89,000,000 1915 … … 81,000,000 1916 … … 73,000,000
I am circulating a Table showing how these figures are divided between beer, wine, and spirits.
With regard to the third part of the question, evidence is extremely difficult to obtain, but inquiries have been and are being made in various localities. The results of these inquiries naturally vary considerably according to the drinking habits 1116W of different parts of the country. In a representative southern area 40 per cent. of the causes of drunkenness investigated were attributed to beer, ale or stout; 43 per cent. to spirits; 10 per cent. to beer and spirits mixed; 4 per cent. to other drinks, including wine; in 3 per cent. of the cases no evidence was obtainable as to the cause of inebriety.
The following Table shows approximately the volume of absolute alcohol contained (1) in the standard barrels of beer charged with duty; (2) in the spirits duty-paid for home consumption; (3) in the wine cleared for home consumption in the years mentioned. In the case of wine the calculation is made on the basis of wine containing an average volume of 17.2 per cent. absolute alcohol:
— (1) Beer. (2) Spirits. (3) Wine. Gallons. 1913 … 72,000,000 18,000,000 1,965,000 1914 … 69,000,000 18,000,000 1,778,000 1915 … 59,000,000 20,000,000 1,760,000 1916 … 55,000,000 16,000,000 1,720,000