Tuesday 30 June 2020

More beer

More about permitted output, too.

The limitation of brewers' output was a rather bluny instrument. Which didn't always operate fairly. For example in Thanet, which had seen its population increase greatly after the end of the war:


Two days after the Hon. Edward Carson, M.P. for Thanet, had promised local licensees that he would continue his efforts to increase the “beer ration" for the district, news came that he has been successful in a five-months fight on their behalf.

Licensed premises were short of beer this summer because supplies were based on the breweries’ output for the year ended 30th September last year. In addition to the great influx of visitors the population of the district has considerably increased since then — in fact the number of Parliamentary electors has risen from about 44,000 to over 65,000.

Addressing a meeting of the Isle of Thanet Licensed Retailers Protection Society at the Royal Oak Hotel, Ramsgate, on Tuesday, Mr. Carson said he thought that bad distribution was the reason for the shortages. He had already contacted the Ministry of Food and the Mayor of Ramsgate was also taking steps to help them."
Thanet Advertiser - Friday 01 November 1946, page 4.

It seems that the local MP managed to get a concession from the government.

"Dr. Summerskill's Letter
Although Mr. Carson did not tell the licensees, he has been championing their cause since May and on Thursday he received the following letter, signifying his success, from Dr. Edith Summerskill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food:

"You wrote to Mr. Strachey on 7th and 10th October about beer supplies for the Isle of Thanet . . We have changed the datum year on which the current output of beer was based from the year ended 30th September, 1945, to the year ended 31st March, 1946, when the output was nearer the level of the present day demand. The effect of this change will be that the permitted output of two of the four brewers concerned will be increased and the output of the other brewers whose production on the new datum was less than in the old will (by arrangement with the Brewers’ Society) be favourably adjusted on hardship grounds in relation to the new datum. The general result will be an increase in the supplies of beer for Thanet.""
Thanet Advertiser - Friday 01 November 1946, page 4.
What struck me about this is how it was all about the four local breweries. Which implies that the majority of beer being drunk in Thanet was produced locally. Something which wouldn't have been the case a couple of decades later.

If you're wondering where the Isle of Thanet is, I'd best let you know that it isn't an island anymore. It's the top right hand corner of Kent, and includes the towns of Ramsgate and Margate,

Beer was in such short supply that pubs couldn't open every day. How sad is that?

"Talk to L.Vs.
Mr. Carson told the licensees that, although he was not qualified to speak about beer, he was aware of the position which faced local publicans at the present time. The quota of beer allowed was being based on the war-time census figures  —which was wholly unfair, for the population of Thanet towns had greatly increased since the end of the war. He had heard that some houses were able to open only on four days each week.

"There is a strong anti-drink feeling in the House at the moment,” he said. "It is much stronger than is usual, but I do not hold that view.”

Following his address Mr. Carson was told by one licensee that his custom had increased four times since the war, but he was still only receiving a beer quota based on the population flgures for the war period. Although the shortage seemed to be nation-wide, it looked as though Thanct was being treated very unfairly in comparison with other areas."
Thanet Advertiser - Friday 01 November 1946, page 4.
Those bastard anti-drink MPs.

No comments: