asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food the reasons for his Order No. 1271, dated 30th June, 1942, prohibiting the sale by auction of wines and spirits except under licence; whether he has considered the possibility that this Order may encourage the owners of stocks to dispose of them in such a way that they may reach the black market; and whether he will consider amending the Order so that holders of stocks who have ceased to hold excise licences shall be permitted to dispose of their stocks to licensed dealers otherwise than by auction in accord with normal practice?
The intention of the Wine and Spirits (Prohibition of Auction Sales) Order, 1942, is to restrict the intrusion of adventurers into the wine and spirits trade it is a condition of licences granted under the Order that an auctioneer may sell only to holders of an excise licence authorising them to sell wine or spirits by wholesale or by retail. In reply to the last part of my hon. Friend's Question, the Order does not provide a means for the disposal of stocks to the black market, and it does not affect wine or spirits which are sold otherwise than by auction.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that disposing of the stocks in the manner prescribed by the Order leads to this position, that one firm of auctioneers deal almost entirely with stocks for disposal in this way, and they get their rake-off irrespective of whether proper value is obtained for the goods or not?