HC Deb 21 July 1942 vol 381 cc1419-20W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that 7,000,000 tons a year of shipping space are used for importing materials from which to make beer besides a large consumption of shipping space for the import of materials for the manufacture of spirits involving protective convoy with all the risks attached to it in which the American Navy is concerned; and whether he will take measures such as were carried out in the last war to use as food materials at present employed in brewing and distilling?

Mr. Mabane

The suggestion in the first part of the Question, which has been made, I understand, in an American magazine, is not correct. The only imported material used in the brewing of beer is sugar of which about 70,000 tons is allocated to the brewing industry. Of raw materials for the manufacture of potable spirits about 6,000 tons will, it is anticipated, be imported during the current calendar year. I cannot accept the suggestion in the last part of my hon. Friend's Question. There is no ground for the unfavourable comparison between the control exercised over raw materials allocated to beer production in this war and in the last war. My Noble Friend considers the present restrictions on the output of beer and spirits sufficient in existing circumstances.