§ Mr. JESSON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that American motor manufacturers contemplate completing about 3,000,000 motor cars and motor lorries this year, and that it is estimated that this number alone will absorb nearly the whole of the world's output of petrol; whether he is aware that to meet this growing shortage of petrol with a growing demand for all forms of liquid fuel, consequent upon the development of the motor industry throughout the world, new plant for the production of industrial alcohol is being put down in many countries, including our Dominions and Colonies, and that, given reasonable transport, importing, and denaturing facilities, over 200,000,000 gallons of Empire-produced alcohol could be imported into this country within two years from now; and whether, having regard to the importance of an abundant supply of cheap liquid fuel in the production and distribution of cheap food, he will immediately revise the restrictions placed upon the importation of industrial alcohol for power purposes into this country?
I am unable to confirm the statements made in the first two parts of the question. As regards the last part, the Government agree with the hon. Member as to the importance of an abundance of cheap liquid fuel, and I would remind him that provision was made in the Finance Act of this year for the payment in respect of spirits (whether imported or home-made) denatured in this country as power methylated spirits, of an allowance which would have the effect of cheapening production. Further legislative proposals are under consideration which will enable the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to modify the existing restrictions on the conditions of transport and distribution of spirits intended for use in making power methylated spirits so far as this can be done with due regard to the protection of the Revenue.