asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the quantity of whisky in bond at present in the United Kingdom; in what proportion to the total quantity it is being released for consumption; if foreign vessels are allowed to take out of this country excessive quantities of whisky duty free as ships' stores; the amount of revenue lost to this country during the past twelve months owing to this practice; and whether he is aware of the difficulty in obtaining whisky for medicinal and other purposes in the United Kingdom?
I have been asked to reply. The information asked for in the first part of the question is not available, as whisky is not separately distinguished from other spirit in the official records. Clearances of spirits from bond on payment of duty are permitted at a rate not exceeding 75 per cent. of the clearances in 1916. Foreign vessels bound for overseas destinations are entitled to ship spirits free of duty as stores; but the quantities allowed are calculated upon a scale based on the duration of the voyage and the number of crew and passengers and are strictly limited. As regards the last part of the question, since the quantity of clearances has been increased to 75 per cent. of that cleared in 1916 the difficulty of obtaining whisky for medicinal purposes has been. practically eliminated.