HC Deb 18 April 1921 vol 140 cc1542-3W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the effect of the restriction of the price of lager beer on the home and valuable export trade in that commodity; whether he is aware that lager is more costly to produce, although it has a less alcoholic content, than ordinary beer, and, as a result of the prices being fixed at the same figure, the lager beer trade is being extinguished at home, resulting in the extinction of the export trade which depends on a reasonable amount of home trade to reduce prices in competition with Germany; and whether he will free lager beer from restriction of price and enable the trade to be conducted on commercial lines?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. There are obvious disadvantages in the application of a flat rate based on gravity to beers of which the cost of manufacture varies according to the quality of materials used and the method of storage employed; but I am not clear that raising the permitted price of lager beer would tend to enhance its sale. As stated by the Prime Minister on 21st March, in answer to the hon. Members for East Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees) and Devizes (Lieut.-Colonel Bell), the Government propose to deal with the whole subject at an early opportunity, when the points raised by my hon. and learned Friend will be duly weighed.

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