Monday, 14 September 2015

State run pubs

The nightmare of some. Personally, I can recall some very pleasant ones in Czechoslovakia.

A strange hangover from WW I was the State management scheme. Certain areas important for the munitions industry had their pubs, and in case of Carlisle, their breweries, too. There were some who proposed nationalising the whole of the brewing industry.

The net profit for the three State management districts of the liquor trade (at Carlisle, Gretna, and Cromarty Firth) for the year ended March 31 last was £145,289, according to the annual report published a White Paper to-day.

This was £42,946 less than the profit for the previous year. The total, as usual, makes provision for taxes assessed on profits.

The report states: "The increase in the beer duties imposed in the budgets of November, 1947, and April, 1948, and the consequent increase of prices, in conjunction with the maintenance of the restrictions on the gravity of the beer brewed, resulted in the State management districts, as generally throughout the country, in a reduction in the consumption of beer, which was sharply accentuated in the concluding months of the financial year."

The report showed that there were 178 State premises at Carlisle, 15 at Gretna, and 18 in Cromarty Firth.”
Gloucestershire Echo - Friday 27 January 1950, page 1.

I make that £688 11s 6d per pub. Which doesn’t sound that bad to me. Remember that a pint of Mild only cost a shilling. I suspect many privately-owned breweries would have been happy with that level of profit.

But the Carlisle scheme wasn’t the sort of nationalisation Britain saw under Labour governments after WW II. It hadn’t been introduced by socialists. It was closer to a Gothenburg scheme than British Steel.

We’ll learn more about that soon.

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