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TABLE 9.-Imperial Preference: Ratio of Empire goods to total goods Imported for Consumption.
(a) Proportions based on quantities corresponding to revenue collected in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
(b) Preference increased 1925.
(c) Preference reduced 1924 and restored 1925.
(d) Duties lapsed August 2nd, 1924, and re-imposed July 1st, 1925.
The consumption of spirits had fallen in 1925-26, and, in framing the estimate for 1926-27, a further decline was allowed for. Clearances were accordingly placed at 13.7 million proof gallons, as against 14.2 million in 1925-26, and the estimated revenue at £48.2 million. But clearances fell more than was anticipated, amounting to 12.5 million proof gallons, while the revenue was £43.6 million, giving a deficit of over £4.6 million on the estimate. This was partly due to the postponement of clearances, estimated at over half a million gallons, to 1927-28, in anticipation of a reduction in duty by the 1927 Budget, and partly to the effects of the industrial troubles of the year.
The quantity of home-made spirits retained for consumption was 10.7 million proof gallons, against rather less than 12.1 million proof gallons in the preceding year. The corresponding quantity of imported spirits was 1.7 million proof gallons against 2.1 million. The principal imported spirit is Rum, the bulk of which comes from the Empire, mainly the British West Indies and Guiana.
The proportion of the revenue contributed by the different classes of spirits in the last five financial years is shown in the following table :
In reading the tables below, it must be borne in mind that, owing to the disturbances caused by war-time restrictions on clearances and by changes of duty, the consumption of spirits during financial years is not properly represented by the amounts actually retained for consumption, and during the war period even the calendar year figures were affected by these disturbances The probable course of consumption down to 1919-20 is described in our Annual Report for that year. In post-war years the calendar year figures in Table 124 are a better guide to the true course of consumption.
Non-dutiable use of Alcohol. (Tables 26-29.)
Spirits of certain descriptions and strengths are allowed to be received free of the ordinary spirit duties—but subject in the case of certain imported spirits to small differential duties-for the following purposes, namely:
(1) Use, under revenue supervision, in an Art or Manufacture for which Industrial Methylated Spirits are unsuitable ;
Methylated Spirits are of four descriptions:
(a) “Industrial Methylated Spirits," for use, under revenue supervision, in industrial and other operations for which Mineralized Methylated Spirits are unsuitable;
(b) "Industrial Methylated Spirits (Pyridinised)," for use in the manufacture of finish for sale;
(c) "Mineralised Methylated Spirits," which are more completely denatured than the "Industrial" description, for use free from revenue supervision;
(d) "Power Methylated Spirits," for generating mechanical power.
Imported spirits used for the manufacture of mineralised methylated spirits are charged a differential duty of 2s. 10d. or 2s. 11d. per proof gallon if foreign, and 4d. or 5d. per gallon if Empire, these sums being equivalent to the difference between the full or preferential import duties, as the case may be, and the Excise duty on home-made spirits. In the other cases, Empire spirits are free of duty, while foreign spirits are charged 2s. 6d. per proof gallon, being equivalent to the difference between the full and the preferential import duties. Methylic Alcohol used in an Art or Manufacture is free of duty whatever its origin.
The Finance Act, 1924, authorised us to prescribe the substances to be used as denaturants in methylated spirits and their proportions. We were also given power to impose special conditions on persons receiving methylated spirits for use in any Art or Manufacture, in order to prevent such spirits, or any product made therefrom, being used as a beverage. Under these powers we issued regulations providing that on and after the 1st May, 1924, crude pyridine shall be an additional denaturant in mineralised methylated spirits, with the object of rendering such spirits more nauseous for drinking purposes than heretofore.
For 1922-23 the figures in ordinary type show the revenue collected in Great Britain and Northern Ireland; those in italics show the • Figures for United Kingdom. revenue attributable to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The figures for later years refer to Great Britain and Northern Ireland only.
(a) Excise duty on Home-made Spirits, which governs the rates of duty on other kinds of Spirits.
(b) Duty on Foreign Spirits increased by 2s. 6d. under Imperial Preference from 1st September, 1919.
1913-14* 17,890,592 4,669,167 22,559,759 6,173,453 676,966 | 6,850,419 1918-19*(b) 8,106,700 2,951,887 11,058,587 2,445,244 451,329 2,896,573 1919-20*(b) 12,548,385 4,914,279 17,462,664 3,546,247 971,943 4,518,190 1920-21*(b) 10,758,557 3,471,366 14,229,923 3,354,576 853,684 4,208,260 1921-22* 10,106,556 2,347,296 12,453,852 3,068,077 497,335 | 3,565,412 9,722,699 1,869,806 11,592,505 2,757,190 330,451 3,087,641 9,941,823 1,955,116 11,896,939 2,641,323 309,579 2,950,902 9,473,180 1,781,558 11,254,738 | 2,532,494 310,867 | 2,843,361 9,349,948 1,748,301 11,098,249 2,453,838 281,811 2,735,649 8,397,592 1,433,180 9,830,772 2,099,235 222,081 2,321,316
• Figures for United Kingdom: those for later years refer to Great Britain and Northern Ireland only. (a) This Table does not include Spirits delivered for Methylation, use in Arts and Manufacture, or in fortified Wines.
(b) For changes of duty see Table 10.