§ Mr. R. MCNEILL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions 1328W whether there is in force a Regulation in pursuance of which wine and spirit merchants refuse to supply spirits except to customers whom they supplied in 1916; if he is aware that this rule prohibits officers and men now at home who were serving abroad in 1916 from obtaining spirits; and if he will take steps to have the Regulation cancelled which thus operates inequitably to the disadvantage of returned sailors and soldiers?
§ MR. McCURDY
I have been asked to reply. The limitation imposed on the delivery of spirits from bond for home consumption involves adherence to a system of distribution on a datum year basis, and this has caused some hardship to clubs which came into existence after 1916 and to officers and men who were in that year serving abroad. As regards clubs, arrangements have been made whereby applications for supplies will be considered by the Board of Customs and Excise. In cases where the Customs are satisfied that provision should be made, special clearance certificates will be issued and such certificates honoured. As regards individuals, I understand that the margin of supplies in the hands of wine and spirit merchants should be sufficient to meet the claims of returned soldiers and sailors. If my hon. Friend will give me particulars of any case of hardship within his knowledge, I will do my best to have it remedied.