§ 19. Sir J. D. REES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the £10 shares in the Camden Brewery now in liquidation, on which 15 per cent, dividend was paid in 1901, are, on reconstruction, to be cut down to 6d.; that this case is typical of the disaster which has overtaken an industry in which multitudes of persons of all classes have invested their money in the belief that all trades will receive fair and equal treatment from the Exchequer, and without any apprehension that Licensing Duties would be raised in some cases tenfold and more, whereas upwards of 60 per cent. of the net profits of the brewing industry are now taken as taxation; and what steps he proposes to take to mitigate the excessive taxation on this trade?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)
I have seen it stated in the Press that the £10 ordinary shares in the Camden Brewery are, in a scheme of reconstruction, cut down to 6d., but the depreciation in question does not appear to be typical of the brewing industry generally, for many of the brewery stocks and shares have for some time past been rising rapidly. I am informed that the company went into liquidation in October, 1910, from which I think it may be inferred that it was in difficulties before the increase in the Licence Duties; in fact, no dividend had been paid on the shares in question for more than three years previously. The receiver is reported as having publicly stated last week that since October, 1910, the company's affairs had greatly improved.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Is it not a fact that the hon. Member voted for the increase in the Licence Duties, and also supported the Licensing Bill of the Government?
§ Sir J. D. REES
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, if that fact is established, it makes them any more defensible?