HC Deb 03 November 1947 vol 443 cc141-2W
44. Sir P. Hannon

asked the Minister of Food whether in view of the satisfactory reports of harvest yield of barley and hops, additional quantities of these foodstuffs will be made available for the brewing industry.

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. According to the official estimates, both the yield per acre and total production of barley from the 1947 crop of the United Kingdom are substantially less than the 1946 figures. The yield from hops is rather better this year than last, but this of itself does not enable beer production to be increased.

Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Minister of Food how many tons of barley have been allocated to whisky produced for the home market and export, respectively; and whether he is aware that it is in the interest of food production to prohibit all export of whisky and use the barley saved for basic food consumption at home.

Mr. Strachey

Barley allocations bear no relation to the whisky released in the same year because the spirit has to be matured for many years before it: is sold. The following allocations of home-grown barley have been made in 1944–45 and since:

1944–45 100,000
1945–46 120,000
1946–47 100,000
1947–48 75,000

Release of whisky in the same period, as shown in the Reports of the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs and Excise were:

Year ended 31st March Exports (except to U.M. Forces) million proof gallons Home Consumption (Estimated)
1945 4.4 4.6
1946 5.0 4.7
1947 5.6 4.7

In the 12 months beginning 1st May, 1947, the figures provided for under present plans are: 7.8; 2.6. The increase in exports will be entirely to hard-currency countries where it will help us to earn dollars. Continued production is essential if we are to have matured stocks in the future to maintain exports without interruption.

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