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Beer (Prices, Middle East)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 23 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War the mean average charge for an American tin containing about half-a pint of beer to the troops in the Middle East; how this price compares with the price at which it is landed; and who pays for the cost of unloading it?

I have no information about the price of beer in the Middle East other than in N.A.A.F.I. canteens. American beer was at one time sold by them at 1s. 8d. a pint. The beer was bought through local agents who no doubt included the cost of unloading in their price. It is not known what was the price of the beer when it was landed. American beer has not been sold by N.A.A.F.I. for some time. All the beer now sold by them is brewed locally and is sold on the average for 8d. a pint.

Does my right hon. Friend realise that the Egyptians are making between 200 and 300 per cent. profit on this beer sold to the troops, and cannot he persuade the Egyptian Government to ask Egyptians to be content with a more reasonable profit like 100 per cent.?