Spirits Duty.

Oral Answers to Questions — Kenya Colony. – in the House of Commons on 23rd March 1922.

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Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has received a memorandum from the Whisky Association drawing attention to the fact that the Spirits Duty, which is now 72s. 6d., was in 1913 14s. 9d per proof gallon, and is now, therefore, 18 times the average selling price of new whisky, a rate of taxation borne by no other article subject to Excise duty, and that this prohibitive duty of 72s. 6d. was responsible for the fall in consumption in 1920, resulting in the revenue from the Spirits Duty falling some £15,000,000 short of the revenue anticipated in the 1920 Budget; whether, in view of the foregoing Considerations, it will be possible to reduce the Spirits Duty from the present high level of 72s. 6d. per proof gallon to at least 50s. per proof gallon;

(2) whether he has received a memorandum from the Distillers Company, Limited, and the United Distillery, Limited, drawing attention to the fact that the diminished output of spirits consequent upon the present high taxes results in the diminished output of yeast, thereby rendering necessary the importation of foreign yeast, and that the production of spirits and yeast in January, 1920, 1921, and 1922 was respectively as follows: 1920, spirits 1,817,979 gallons, yeast 2,538 tons; 1921, spirits 1,942,636 gallons, yeast 2,115 tons; 1922, spirits 1,408,578 gallons, yeast 1,966 tons; whilst yeast imported from abroad during the same months was: 1920, 161 tons; 1921, 320 tons; and 1922, 566 tons; and whether, in view of the menace to the British yeast trade, he will consider the reduction of the Spirits Duty from 72s. 6d. per proof gallon to at least to 50s. per proof gallon?

Photo of Sir Robert Horne Sir Robert Horne , Glasgow Hillhead

I can add nothing to the reply given on this subject to my hon. Friend yesterday.