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Notes of 1901


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 19 January 1901. Price 1d.



A public meeting, convened by the Mayor of Canterbury (Alderman H. Hart), was held at the Guildhall on Saturday afternoon to consider the necessity of a Pure Beer Bill and to take steps to urge the Government to legislate on the matter. In the unavoidable absence of the Mayor the deputy Mayor (Councillor W. H. Netherclift) presided, being supported by Mr. Laurence Hardy, M.P., Mr. W. Vipan, Alderman W. W. Mason, Mr. A. D. Hall (Principal of Wye College), and Mr. W. J. Jarrett. The hall was packed, amongst those present being Messrs. P. Wacher, S. Swinford, R. W. Wood, R. G. Maxted, G. F. Whiteman, S. S. Warren, G. Dunn, C. Moxon, E. Cladish, F. H. Wilbee, J. P. Wright Hunt, J. F. Whichcord, F. T. Gentry, J. G. B. Stone, J. R. Farewell. C. Barrows, F. Heath, G. Mount (St. Peter's Street), W. Ladd, S. Harvey, W. H. Hammond, T. Wacher, H. Page, H. Homersham, J. Gray, R. U. Shaxby, E. Strouds, E. Colthup, T. Easton, T. Gillett, J. Harvey, E. Le May, P.M. Collard, R. B. Tritton, W. W. Berry, W. H. Crowhurst, E. L. Gardener, H. Fielding (Town Clerk). &c.

The Chairman, having regretted the absence of the Mayor, said that letters of apology for non-attendance had been received from Mr. Akers Dougles, M.P., Mr. J. Lowther, M.P., Sir Cuthbert Quilter. M.P., Mr. Boscawen, M.P. Mr. George Wyndham, M.P., Captain J. Howard, M.P., Mr. John Barker, M.P., and Colonel Warde, M.P.

The Town Clerk read a letter from Sir Cuthbert Quilter, in which he set forth his well-known views on the question and said that whatever conclusion the Royal Commission arrived at the necessity for some legislation on the lines he had proposed would be as urgent as at the present time. Beer was the drink of the great majority of our countrymen and it should be as good and wholesome as it could be. The purchaser ought to have protection, and, therefore, let them have a legal definition of what beer was.


The Deputy Mayor said he knew they would fight the question in the calm and judicious spirit which it required, forgetting any feelings of a personal or party character that might interfere with a just decision, and not allowing any prejudice to interfere with them on the one hand or hesitation in giving their vote on this national question fur a measure that would be foreshadowed to them. The question of artificial sugars being added to beer dated from a very remote time indeed. A scientific gentleman told him that he remembered in 1847, after the termination of one of the greatest Irish famines, that certain permits were issued to brewers to use sugar in their beers. He took it in the history of this question that the brewers might date their Magna Charta from 1880, when Mr. Gladstone passed the England Revenue Act which took off the malt duty. In 1896 a departmental committed met and sat for two years to thresh the question out. It resulted in the majority being in favour of the legislation then in force being continued, but the minority were of opinion that that legislation was not sufficient. How well founded that opinion was might be gathered from the evidence of one of the expert witnesses. The question put was "Are there any starch substances which contain health impairing substances." The answer was decidedly in the affirmative as investigations had proved the existence of considerable quantities of arsenic in potato starch. This answer had been amply justified by the epidemic in the northern counties of which they probably knew the leading details. Some thousands of people had been more or less attacked by this nerve malady and something like 100 deaths had ensued, he was glad to say, however, that the matter was promptly taken in hand by the medical men. He had in his hand a book only 48 hours old giving a report on this beer poisoning epidemic, in winch the authors arrived at the conclusion that arsenic was at the basis of the epidemic. To Dr. Reynolds who due the honour of first attributing it to arsenic. The authors went on to say that as a result of their investigations they had the satisfaction of localising the source of the poisoning within a few hours of the epidemic, and immediate steps were taken to arrest the poisoning. They also stated that arsenic was found in the glucose used by the brewers and that arsenic was detected in the tissues of affected person. The Manchester brewers also appointed a committee of scientific men representing both the medical and brewing interest to go into the matter. This commission sat and thoroughly investigated the matter, and, subsequently, reported that it was clearly established that the arsenic found in the beer had been solely due to contamination by the sugars supplied by one Liverpool firm. This firm supplied no less then 200 brewers and the poisoning was due to impure sulphuric acid. The Commission also made the important statement that all the other brewing sugars on the English market had been analysed and there was not a trace of arsenic in one of them. (Applause.) that, he thought, mutt be a relief to the English people. The London County Council had also reported that the samples taken at the brewery taps ware free from arsenic. Their own borough analyst had also analysed 10 samples of beer from Margate, 12 from Dover, 6 from Folkestone, 12 from Canterbury, and between 30 and 40 articles of food containing glucose, and they were all absolutely free from any trace of arsenic. (Applause.)

Councillor Wright Hunt said that be felt that in the interest of public health they would be lacking their duty to the city and neighbourhood if they failed to take that opportunity of inviting discussion upon a question which was creating so much attention at the present time. The main point was that highly poisonous substances had been found in the national drink, and they should take advantage of the public interest in the matter in order to secure by Act of Parliament a remedy, and also ensure for the future the impossibility of poisonous substances being found in the national beverage. He thought the various boroughs and Councils should form one united common action in representing this to Parliament. They knew that such action was necessary because a similar bill was thrown out by Parliament on a previous occasion. Their demands were not unreasonable. In 1899 one hundred million pounds were spent on beer, producing revenue of twelve million pounds, and surely the Legislature could not disregard those who provided them with such a revenue. Referring to the had quality of the drink supplied to the poor in some of the larger cities, the Councillor said be thought much of the drunkenness would be prevented if some means were taken to secure greater purity in the various kinds of alcoholic drinks. Some of the concoctions sold as whiskey and brandy were absolutely vile. He proposed "That in view of the serious epidemic attributed to poison in beer this meeting desires to urge strongly upon Her Majesty's Government the necessity of passing at the earliest possible date a bill to secure purity in beer and the legal definition of beer as the product of barley, malt, hops, water, and yeast.”

Mr. W. Vipan, in seconding, said his remarks about chemical beer would not apply to those gentlemen who brewed from barley, malt, hops, and yeast. There were many who did so, and they had much respect for them because they had resisted the temptation for increased gain. The question that arose before every one was “What was beer?” It was well defined 600 years ago by the Saxon word “bere.” It was a very criminal offence to adulterate beer from the time of Henry III. to George III., and was punishable by being whipped at the cart tail through the street. (Laughter.) But as we become more civilised the penalty was reduced to a fine of £20 sterling. In the early part of the Queen's reign it was mitigated again, and now it became a question of being almost impossible to prosecute because beer could not be defined. He wanted the meeting to say that beer should be defined, not only now, but for posterity. (Applause.) One of the most serious agents employed in making beer was sulphuric acid or oil of vitriol which was mixed with starch of some form or other. Sulphuric acid he did not believe was ever pure. It often contained lead which would produce paralysis and gout. When this acid was used it was found that beer did not keep and, therefore, antiseptics were resorted to keep it sound. The Mark Lane Express said that there were over 150 ingredients used in brewing besides malt and hops. Mr. Vipan then read the names of a few of the compounds used in brewing as advertised in the Brewers' Journal, such as artificial hops, frothing powder, hop substitute, regenerator, etc. He thought that was enough to disgust any man about chemical beer. He was convinced from what he had seen and tried on himself that beer brewed from these agents had a most serious effect upon the nervous system. Men who were beer drinkers would tell one that once when they got drunk they could go to bed and get up the next morning without feeling any effects, but now they felt useless and undone. It also created a most remarkable thirst. (Laughter.) The Government seemed to say they wanted proof that this beer was injurious to the public health, but he thought the facts he had quoted were sufficient to prove that. (Hear, hear.) He asked those present, and especially the workers of the town, who were the men who drank the beer and also the brewers, to sympathise with their northern brethren in their great calamity and distress, and to give their vote in favour of a Pure Beer Bill. (Applause.)

Mr. Laurence Hardy, M.P., in supporting the motion said that it was a matter in which he had taken deep interest for some considerable time, though perhaps from a different point of view, but he did not wish to dwell on that. It was from an agricultural view. They pressed it in and out of season that an injustice was being done to agriculture, that agriculture should be encouraged in the land by brewers using as much barley as possible, and that hops should be used in beer and not substitutes. that was the old attitude they had taken. They did it partly from a health point of view and with the idea of encouraging agriculture, but also to secure that the national beverage should be what everyone always thought it to be. He was sorry to say that they did not succeed, but they had as a result of their pressure a committee which sat for a considerable time and eventually arrived at a report. The minority, including Mr. Clare Sowell Read, now applied in the country again to say that the conclusion of the committee in the majority report was wrong and that the minority was right and that some legislation was necessary. What the legislation should be was the question they had to consider. He was glad to think that the committee elicited the fact that still more then half the brewers brewed from the old materials. It was true that they were the small brewers, but the firm of Guinness used no substances for malt nor did Bass except for small consumption in their public houses. If they had some brewers still using the old materials then he said it could not be considered they were attacking the brewing industry. The whole condition of the trade was altered from 1880, when the brewers ware given the free mash tun. It was thought that this would encourage the use of rice and maize, and it was never believed that the brewers would have resource to glucose. If the argument was again put before the committee that the brewers used these substances in order to follow the popular taste then he thought another question was raised. The system of tied houses had become more prevalent and, therefore, the public had not had the opportunity of deciding what sort of liquor they should have. He maintained that this question was not pushed forward for selfish reasons or as an attack on a particular trade. They saw now that there was danger to the health of the community, which was apparent through this arsenic poisoning. The danger had, however, not only been brought forward by this epidemic as for years the doctors and nurses in the London Hospitals had noticed an increase in a peculiar form of cases to which they could not attribute a name, but which was attributed to alcoholism. When they got the late epidemic he thought they were justified in pressing the question from a national point of view, and with a desire to help the consumer getting a pure article. There was nothing unreasonable or contrary to what was feasible in the suggestions they had offered. It was first of all that they should secure beer to be pure, and secondly that it should be defined. They wanted it defined for various reasons. The first thing that struck him in reading the blue book was that though beer had the largest consumption in the country during the last 20 years it had practically been apart from any act that dealt with its adulteration. Prior to 1880 when they had the Malt Act they had prosecutions, and again and again deleterious, and poisonous matters were found in beer. Suddenly in 1880 these prosecutions entirely disappeared, and since then the Revenue Officers had only given their attention to one article used and forbidden its use. that was saccharin's, which he believed was not a deleterious article, but took off three per cent, of the gravity of the beer, and diminished the revenue of the Government. that was at once condemned by them and that showed that really the whole inspection and examination by the Inland Revenue was to find out what was prejudicial to the revenue, and not to the health of the community. It was certainly time that one of the greatest articles of food should be put in the same position as other foods, and be subject to a Food and Drugs Act. that was one object for securing the definition of beer. Secondly if it came to the question of how to define it, it must be defined as they always believed it to be made from. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the nation had abolished such an idea, but if they turned to another of his colleagues the Minister of War they found that when he wanted beer for his soldiers he specially defined that it should be made from barley, malt, and hops, and that alone. If they had such care for the soldier he thought they might have equal care for the community that provided the soldier after all. (Applause.) He submitted that the increasing use of these substitutes justified them asking for legislation. Whatever might be the ultimate settlement he did not know, and whether it would be advantageous to agriculture he could not foretell. He simply asked them in the interest of public health to ask the Government to push forward legislation so as to secure a pure national beverage. He said they ought to press it most strenuously upon the Government, and not be put off by a Royal Commission, but ask for immediate legislation. (Applause).

The motion was carried amidst loud applause.

On the proposition of Alderman Mason copies of the resolution were ordered to be sent to the county members, the city member, the Minister for Agriculture, and the Prime Minister.

A vote of thanks to the Deputy Mayor for presiding closed the meeting.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 19 January 1901. Price 1d.

At a largely attended public meeting, at Maidstone, on Friday, under the presidency of the Ex-Mayor, a resolution was unanimously adopted urging upon the Government to take immediate steps to define the word beer as consisting of barley, malt, hops, water, and yeast, and providing that no beer should be sold which contained other ingredients unless they were declared. The resolution was supported by Colonel Warde, M.P., and the suggestion that arsenic in beer was probably due to hop-growers using sulphur in order to check mould in hops was characterised as wild.


Mr. Walter Ling, speaking at Chipping Norton, on Friday, having assured his hearers that every step was being taken to prevent a recurrence of the recent epidemic of arsenic poisoning, went on to address a word of caution to those who desire drastic legislation with reference to beer. The brewers, he reminded them, obtained the free mash tun under a contract which give the Treasury the advantage of taxing the beverage they manufactured, and the revenue from this source amounted in 1900 to £1,800,000. Of course, the public health, if really threatened, must be placed above all other considerations.


Colonel A. M. Brookfield, M.P., has written to the Wadhurst (Sussex) Farmers' Club as follows:— “I beg to acknowledge the resolution you have sent me on the subject of legislation to compel brewers to use only malt and hops in the manufacture of beer. I am afraid we are not likely to have any Government measure of such a thorough-going character. I shall, however, do all in my power to induce the Government to go as far as possible in that direction, and many individuals are working with the same object. The new President of the Board of Agriculture seems fully impressed with the necessity of taking up the whole question in earnest, and, if he should not in the end do so, many of us are arranging to take concerted action at the proper time, and in the way most likely to secure the desired result.”



It is officially announced that a Royal Commission his been appointed to make investigations respecting the beer poisoning epidemic.

The Commissioners are Lord Kelvin, Sir W. Hart Dyke, Sir W. S. Church, President of the Royal College of Physicians; Professor T. E. Thorpe, Government Analyst; Mr. H. Cosmo Bonsor, and Dr. B. A. Whitelegge, her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Factories. Dr. G. S. Buchanan, one of the Medical Inspectors of the Local Government Board, is the Secretary to the Commission.

The instructions to the Commissioners are—

To ascertain with respect to England and Wales:—

1. The amount of recent exceptional sickness and death attributable to poisoning by arsenic;

2. Whether each exceptional sickness and death have been due to arsenic in beer or in other articles of food or drink, and, if so,

(a) To what extent;

(b) By what ingredient?, or in what manner the arsenic was conveyed; and

(c) In what way any such ingredients became arcenicated, and

3. If it is found that exceptional sickness and death have been due to arsenic in beer or in other articles of food or drink, by what safeguards the introduction of arsenic therein can be prevented.


The Parliamentary Committee of the Country Brewers' Society have issued a pamphlet on the Pure Beer Movement, and with it a circular giving the following "Facts to be remembered”:- The real supporters of the movement are those who favour but dare not propose protection for the barley grower. Even from their own point of view their wisdom is questionable, inasmuch as in the opinion of many best qualified to judge much of the home grown barley would be useless for malting without the addition of some preparation of sugar. The use of sugar for brewing was authorised many years before the concession of the free mash-tun In 1880; it had been legalised in the brewing of porter as far back as 1811, and since 1847 its general use has been permitted in the brewing of beer. In 1880, when the present Beer Duty was imposed, the Legislature may be said to have encouraged the use of sugar. With regard to the change made in 1880, brewers paid heavily at the time and ever since for the free mash-tun. Mr. Gladstone himself admitted that he asked brewers to pay a sum of between £300,000 and £400,000 for the privilege of the free mash-tun; it can easily be shown that the amount actually paid was double the higher estimate. If the privilege then conceded is withdrawn, the beer tax must be revised. Sir William Harcourt, when Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1895, said that the “free mash was a bargain which, if you are prepared to break it, will necessitate the reconsideration of the whole system of the Beer Duty.” The reference of the whole question to a Departmental Committee was accepted in 1896 by supporters of the “Pure” Beer Bill. In the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer a better committee then the Beer Materials Committee could not have been constituted. That Committee could not have been constituted. that Committee, with the sole exception of Mr. Clare Sewell Read, who implemented the agriculturists, found, for reasons in no way affected by the recent epidemic, that the word "beer" could not be restricted to liquor made from malt, hops, yeast, and water only, and they reported against the compulsory declaration of materials, which two points constitute the chief demands of the agricultural party at the present moment. Had Mr. Cuthbert Quilter's Beer Adulteration Bill of 1896 became law or had legislation followed on the lines of that report signed by Mr. Clare Sewell Read alone, the recent epidemic, even if entirely due to the presence of arsenic in beer, would have occurred none the less. The practical proposals made by the “Pure” Beer party before the Beer Materials Committee were:-
1) Declaration of materials by labelling on sale; and (2) publication of a return showing the amount or proportion of materials of each class used by individual brewers. There was nothing in the Bill, or in the proposals, to ensure purity of materials. The recent epidemic has been due to the accidental use of impure material in the manufacture of brewing sugars. During the whole of the proceedings before the Beer Materials Committee no suggestion whatever as to the possibility of beer containing arsenic was made. It is argued that barley malted and cured under right conditions should contain no arsenic. The same contention holds good as regards sugar; when it is prepared under right condition, sugar can contain no arsenic. A mere declaration according to Act of Parliament cannot ensure a pure beer; only when all the ingredients are pure will the beer so brewed be pure.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 26 January 1901. Price 1d.


A public meeting was held in the Corn Exchange on Tuesday afternoon to pass a resolution in regard to the need for legislation on the subject of pure beer. Colonel Cheesman presided in the absence of Dr. Wilks who was unable to be present, and there were also present on the platform Colonel Brookfield, M.P., Mr. L. Hardy, M.P., Messrs. J. Sayer, W. G. Handcock, J. Batchelor, Colonel DeLatour, and others. The attendance was large, and the feeling was unanimous in favour of the following resolution, which was proposed by Mr. Handcock, seconded by Mr. Batchelor, and supported by the two members of Parliament present:- “In view of the revelations in regard to the use of substitutes in the manufacture of beer, this meeting is emphatically and unanimously of opinion that legislation for adequately securing greater purity of ale and beer ought to be no longer delayed."

Mr. Handcock, in proposing the resolution, took the ground that the legislation they were asking for would be a benefit to agriculture generally, and incidentally to the town which he had the honour to speak for and he also maintained that the consumer had a right to know what it was that he was drinking when he was served with what was called beer.

Mr. Batchelor took the broader line of advocating the general good of the community at large. He was not there, he said, in the interest of any particular section of the country, but what he wanted to protect were the interests of the great masses of the industrial population. (Hear, hear.) He found no fault with the brewers for manufacturing an article with the object of making as much money out of it as they could, but it was the law that ought to be altered.

Colonel Brookfield said that the request in the resolution was a very moderate one. They were asking first that they should not be poisoned; and in the second place for a legal definition of beer. They would not prevent the brewers from making anything they liked providing they let the public know what it was. No law would stop the drinking of beer, but advocates of temperance might very well unite with them in an endeavour to secure that the beer that was used should be as little harmful as possible. He urged that the Government ought to take up the question and make it their own.

Mr. L. Hardy, M.P., followed on similar lines, remarking that the committee appointed some five years ago had reported adversely to the agricultural view. They said they did not find that any thing deleterious to the public health had been used, but recent events had destroyed that thread, and the recent events had destroyed that thread, and the majority report almost fell to pieces. Previous to 1860 there was a larger use then now of barley and hops, and there were frequent prosecutions for using adulterants, but there had not been since. The Inland Revenue authorities did not look apparently for anything except that which would affect the revenue, and the Government had only prohibited the use of saccharine because it reduced the specific gravity of the beer, and so lowered the revenue. Mr. Hardy also spoke on the steps taken in Bavaria and elsewhere on the continent to prevent the manufacture of beer from anything but barley, maize, hops, yeast, and water.

The resolution was carried unanimously, and the meeting also passed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, who announced that the promoters of the gathering hoped all parish councils in the country would adopt a resolution similar to that passed that afternoon, and send it to the Prime Minister.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 16 February 1901. Price 1d.


Sir Cuthbert Quilter, M.P. addressed a crowded meeting of farmers and corn dealers in Colchester on Saturday. He said he had received 270 resolutions from board of guardians urging the necessity of proceeding with the Pure Bill Bill, and in addition 314 other resolutions had been passed in its favour. Having remarked that in 1898 the minority report had warned the Government as to the probable presence of arsenic in glucose, Sir Cuthbert pointed out that the report of the present Commission would, perhaps, not be presented for some time, and what was the public to do meanwhile, especially as another poison had been detected in beer? The Hon. A. Wodehouse, M.P., Mr. P. H. A. Majendie, M.P., and Mr. James Round, M.P., also spoke, and a resolution supporting the Bill was carried.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 23 February 1901. Price 1d.


Mr. Twymin read an interesting paper on the question of pure beer from the brewers' point of view, stating that the so-called substitutes for barley were not injuriously used, and that the Act of Parliament carried with great éclat by Mr. Gladstone in 1874 specially recognised them. They were employed not on account of their cheapness, but because of the public demand for a lighter and more brisk beer than the old and possibly more wholesome beers of years ago, and he doubted if this subject would have been raised at the present time but for the terrible catastrophe in the north, caused not by a substitute, as a substitute, but by improperly manufactured material. Mr. Twyman described, the agitation as a double-barrelled one, there being the hummitarian or philanthropic side and the commercial or profitable one. The first barrel had been dealt with by the prompt and successful measures adopted, which commanded their deepest gratitude. A great danger was abroad, the origin was discovered, and remedies were applied, and in a very short time all chance of a further disaster were averted. All honour was due to the great medical profession for this. He believe the Food and Drugs Act efficiently and honestly put in force should safeguard parity in all consumable articles. While he was naturally a staunch supporter of barley, malt, and hops, he mast say that the brewer was fully within his rights, whether brewing from malt and hops only or from substitutes, when he said “You have pure beer,” and the beers of Kent stood pre-eminently high, and were accepted as pure in all directions. Mr. Twyman contended that alcohol was more injurious than beer, and urged that new and raw spirit should be shut out, and he then want on to point out that foreign barleys—especially those grown in Asia Minor—contained more sugar then the English, and that it was their use which had depressed the price of English barley, adding also that sugar was used as an adjunct to the home grown barley. He concluded by moving the following resolution: “That this meeting of the Chamber of Trade of the City of Canterbury views with exceeding satisfaction and admiration the energy and skill with which the medical profession and authorities grasped and dealt with the recent cases of arsenical poisoning in beer, and urges the Government to take such steps as may be necessary to prevent any similar occurrence through the medium of beer or other consumable commodity, and further to impose such regulation upon the spirit trade as to prevent other then proper time-matured whiskeys and other spirits coming upon the market.”

Dr. Netherclift said he was much gratified by the honest way in which Mr. Twyman had dealt with this national question. What was wanted was a standard test for arsenic in all kinds of food. A larger use of foreign barley would increase it's price, and that would reflect on the price of English barley, and so would work matters round.

Mr. Sidney Harvey (city analyst) said he wished the Food and Drags Act did efficiently prevent the introduction of arsenic, but in 30 years, up to lately, he had hardly been asked to test a dozen samples of beer, and the Act was a dead letter as regarded beer. He thought the free mash tun opened a wide door. Would they, like a free bread basket or a free milk can? What was wanted was some definition as to what constituted; pure beer. (Hear, hear.)

Dr. Netherclift said it was a remarkable coincidence that from the date of the free mash tun in 1880 the number of diseases of the nerves had so tremendously increased.

Mr. Wright Hunt suggested that the part of Mr. Twyman's resolution referring to spirits should be eliminated, and Mr. Twyman agreed.

The discussion was continued by Mr. Scripps, Mr. F. G. Coast, Mr. Collis, and other members, and eventually the abridged resolution was carried, as was one moved by Mr. Scripps. “That the free mash tun law be repealed, and that a simple definition of pure beer, rejecting all substitutes, be passed by the legislature.”

Dr. Natherclift moved "That a regulation should he promulgated by the proper authority providing that no sulphuric acid shall he permitted to enter into the composition of any food or drink unless it is found arsenic free as tested by a standard test.”— This was seconded by Mr. S. Harvey, and carried.

Mr. Collis moved a resolution that the Food and Drugs Act, if properly administered, would meet the necessity, but Mr. Harvey pointed out that the words appearing in the Act “with Intent” stood in the way, and Mr. Collis withdrew his motion.



This is the title of a leading article in the Brewers' Journal, which starts with the demand, “in view of the astonishing ignorance prevailing on the part of the general public and of their representatives in Parliament in regard to beer,” that the leaders of the trade should address to the Press a frank and exploit declaration of the actual materials employed in brewing. An authoritative statement signed by Brewers' Hall and by the chairmen of all the brewing associations throughout the United Kingdom fully setting forth the precise ingredients and the approximate proportion in which each is used, would, our contemporary believes, remove a vast amount of prejudice, and go a long way to explain what to the ordinary beer drinker's mind is now a sealed problem. In the course of its further remarks the Brewers' Journal, alluding to the occasional use of adjuncts, says,—

In the case of a complex manufacture such as brewing, even with the best and purest of materials, difficult complications will necessarily from time to time arise; it is then that the brewer must have recourse to the remedies at hand, which are openly advertised, and in regard to which there is no secrecy whatever. This is a widely different thing, however, from the insane, general parrot-cry that “beer is made from chemicals!” As a matter of fact we do not hesitate to say that chemical have no more part in or connection with brewing then they have with the manufacture of any other article of food or drink, and on this point the trade may safely challenge contradiction. One cannot now take up a newspaper without being told that beer is made of “vile compounds of chemicals,” or from “old rags,” “dirty underclothing,” “hop substitutes,” “poisonous glucose,” “hog wash compound of the refuse of the chemist's laboratory,” et hoc genus omne, (and all this kind) and that no malt and hops are used in brewing. What then, we ask, becomes of all the hops grown in this country and imported from the Continent and America, as well as of all the home and foreign barley purchased only by brewers? the agricultural party cannot deny the fact that every bushel of barley and pocket of hops worth a brewer's notice readily commands a ready sale; and when they persist in making statements which they know are untrue, it shows the weakness and insincerity of their cause to fix on the occurrence of one mishap to again trump up charges which have been proved to be fallacious and wholly unwarranted. With slight but unimportant modifications in the process of brewing beer, to-day is brewed just as it has been during the last twenty years and from materials that are identical. If then, as the, “Pure Beerites” assert, brewers put all sorts of deleterious substances into beer, it follows that by this time, especially in the light of recent events, the whole beer-consuming community should have suffered or died from slow poisoning. But what are the facts? Both out-put and consumption of beer have, as is well known, gone on steadily increasing, and, apart from the deplorable Liverpool glucose accident, the nation has enjoyed and thrived on its favourite beverage.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 2 March 1901. Price 1d.


Dr. G. S. Buchannon's report to the Local Government Board on the recant epidemic of arsenical poisoning attributed to beer has been issued as a Parliamentary paper. Dr. Buchanan, whose statement is dated January 25th, opens with a narrative of the cases of peripheral neuritis, which led to the conclusion that contaminated beer was responsible for the outbreak. The sufferers numbered about 3,600. The disease appears to have attacked many whose consumption of beer was moderate, as well as those who were heavy drinkers. Dr. Buchanan finds it difficult to draw any definite conclusions from the quantitative analyses of various samples of beer which gave results varying from 1 1100 grain of arsenic per gallon up to 1½ grains, in the absence of knowledge of the procedure which they adopted in testing and of its trustworthiness in regard of small quantities of arsenic in beer. “Without further inquiry in these directions, there appear no data by which to judge whether the beers to which the greater part of the poisoning has been referred have in general been highly contaminated (e.g., 1½ grains arsenious acid per gallon) or have been contaminated to a much smaller degree (e.g. ⅓ to ⅛ grain arsenious acid par gallon or less.) Glucose and invert sugar, however, are not the only channels by which arsenic finds its way into beer. In several cases contaminated sugars had been discarded, the plant thoroughly cleaned, and yet the poison appeared. Dr. Buchanan says: “Various means, other than sugars, by which arsenic may gain access to beer have been suggested. Attention has been specially directed to malt, which in some instances has been found arsenical. Explanation has bean given that malt in malting kiln may absorb arsenious acid, which reaches it in consequence of the combustion of arsononic coal, coke, or sulphur. Arsenic is said also to have been discovered in yeast, in hops, and in certain other substances used by brewers." Yet even this conclusion does not cover the case of a brewer whose ingredients had all, with the exception of the malt and hops, been analysed by two chemists independently and found arsenic free. Twelve brews were made, the same materials, including the malt and hops, being used in the same proportions, yet only three of the dozen were certified free from arsenic. In three more both analysts found traces, and one or other reported similarly with regard to the remaining six.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 9 March 1901. Price 1d.


At a meeting of the Farmers' Club on Monday, at the “Salisbury Hotel,” London, a discussion on “Pure beer,” was opened by Mr. C. S. Read, author of the minority report of the recent committee on the subject. Regarding the Bill to be read a second time in the House of Commons during this month, Mr. Read said he believed the idea had got hold of a vast majority of the House of Commons that it was almost impossible for analysts to define what beer was composed of. His own opinion was that if the Government paid chemists as much to discover fraud as the brewers gave their chemists to invent fraud more good would be done by analysis. If the Government passed the best pure beer bill possible he believed we should have the worst possible malt and hop beer that could be brewed, and the best substitute beer it was possible to make. (Laughter.) A resolution was adopted regretting that the Government declined to initiate any legislation for better securing the purity of beer pending the report of the Arsenical Poisoning Commission, and hoping that the Purity of beer Bill, standing for second reading on the 27th ult., would speedily become law.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 6 April 1901. Price 1d.


The East Kent Coroner (Mr. R. M. Mercer) held an inquest on Saturday, at Whitstable, on the body of George Mungeam, aged 49, a farm labourer, living at Bug's Hole Farm, Whitstable.

It appeared that deceased had not been to work on the previous Thursday. He came home at four p.m. apparently the worse for drink. He went to bed about 4.45, and nothing more was heard of him. As he did not come down to breakfast on Friday morning his brother-in-law (Henry Benefield) went to his room and found him in bed dead. Dr. Heyward made a post mortem examination and found the cause of death to he alcoholic poisoning. An empty bottle, which had contained spirits, was found under the deceased's pillow. The doctor knew the deceased was addicted to drink and had been called to him several times.

The jury returned a verdict of death from alcoholic poisoning.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 6 April, 1901.


The debate on the second reading—carried by 245 to 133—of the Beer Bill on Wednesday was characterised by a considerable amount of humour. What the measure aimed at was that anyone who desired it should be able to obtain beer made solely from barley, malt, hops, and yeast. Mr. G. Whiteley, speaking against the Bill, suspected that it was an attempt not so much to benefit the purchaser of malt beer as to help agriculture and the landlords by raising the price and consumption of barley. What, he asked, would this special kind of brew be called? The names be suggested were "Quilter" or “Chaplin" so that than a purchaser could say. "Give me a pint of Quilter, and draw it mild," or "Give me a quart of Chaplin, and put a good head on it." In the laughter which followed, Sir Cuthbert Quilter (known as the "Pure Beer Member") and Mr. Chaplin heartily joined. Sir Michael Foster considered that the solution of this vexed question was to be found in a necessary amendment of the Food and Drugs Act, and declared that the arsenic poisoning cases at Manchester ought to have been foreseen. "If there had been," he said, "an adequate watch over the materials we took as food, it would have been known that since the South African war had used up all the sulphur, the manufacturers of sulphur would be resorting to pyrites, and there would be danger of arsenic.” Sir William Harcourt was in his most humorous vein, and the House roared over his playful sally that Sir William Foster had given the hitherto unknown information that the Manchester poisoning outbreak was an indirect consequence of the war. “All the sulphur,” said Sir William, "had been consumed in South Africa, and there was nothing else to hope for until a fresh eruption of Veauvics." The country had asked far a Pure Beer Bill, but that was just what they had not got. Therefore, he could no longer salute Sir C. Quilter as the true "Simon pure." (Laughter.) Sir Cuthbert was an altered man. (Laughter.) They were accustomed to a charming literary discourse on the origin and history of beer. To-day the hon. member did not go further back than Egypt. (Laughter.) Sir Cuthbert quoted Herodotus. He was surprised to bear the hon. member call Herodotus a most truthful historian. In that respect the hon. member differed from the poet Juvenal, who described Herodotus as the most audacious liar of history. (Loud laughter.) As happened to many man, Sir Cuthbert Quilter had got into bad company, having gone into partnership with the member for Sleaford (Mr. Chaplin). (laughter.) He could understand that coalition. It was like a famous coalition of old, and if be might borrow an image from Mr. Pitt, he would say, before this ill-omened alliance was consummated, “In the name of Pure Beer I forbid the banns." (Loud laughter.) He could well understand the basis of the alliance. His hon. friend was a simple-minded and innocent man, and his purity was undoubted until he met with the seducer. (Renewed merriment.) Sir Cuthbert went to the member for Sleaford, or the member for Sleaford went to him, and said, “Oh, parity! Look; that's all nonsense— (laughter)—what we want is a beer market." The member for Sudbury unfortunately succumbed, and struck “pure” out of the Bill and the purity of his style was not what it used to be (Laughter.) Sir William then discussed the merits of the Bill, and expressed the view that the great obstacle in the way of people getting the kind of beer they wanted was the tied-house system. Mr. Chaplin, when his opportunity arrived, hit back at the facetious baronet, whose speech he described as “most amusing, highly imaginative, and the best bit of fooling heard in the House for many days."


From Dover Express 31 May 1901.


The "Daily Chronicle" has been collecting some curious public house signs, and mentioned there was one very curious one the "Cause Is Altered." That gave Dover its chance, for there is apparently need of something new in the way of names amongst the many Dover pubs, or else there would be a distressing sameness in their nomenclature. Yesterday the "Daily Chronicle" had the following:- Many letters have reached us as to the public house sign The "Cause Is Altered." It occurs at Ipswich, and at Bentley, near Ipswich. It is also the sign of a beer house near Pinner, and there is in a back street in Dover an inn bearing the sign the "Cause Is Altered." From Pinner and from Ipswich comes the explanation, that the inn with the strange name had been formerly mis-managed, and when a new landlord came upon the scene the change of policy was flaunted on the signboard.

Incidentally some more curious signs are chronicled by our correspondents. Dover, for example, supplies the "Why Not?" - which we certainly do not remember to have met before. The "Five Alls" is another sign which. if not confined to Dover, is by no means common. And is there an instance - outside Bury in Lancashire - of "Hark A Towler" as the sign of an inn? Towler, we presume, was the name of a Hound.

[We believe the Dover "Cause Is Altered" received its name at the time of the Landing of King William, when a decided change took place in the views of the men in office at Dover. Ed. D. E.]


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 23 August, 1901. Price 1d.


The licence of the Dover Promenade Pier and Pavilion Company was transferred from Mr. A. E. Marsh (secretary) to Mr. G. D. Hutchings, secretary to the Fredericks Hotels Company.

Mr. F. D. Bolton, of the firm of R. Dickeson and Co., was granted an "off" license for the offices and warehouses in Market Lane.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 August, 1901. Price 1d.


The Annual Licensing sessions for the Borough and Liberties of Dover were opened at the Town Hall on Monday. The Chairman of the Licensing Bench was Sir William Crundall, and his colleagues were Dr. Astley, Messrs. W. J. Adcock, J. L. Bradley, F. W. Prescott, G. R. Killick, M. Pepper, P. W. J. Mackenzie, H. F. Edwin, H. W. Thorpe, A. Bottle, and Capt. R. B. Cay, R.N.


Mr. Harby: It there any opposition to the renewal of any existing license?

Mr. A. M. Bradley: I shall oppose the renewal of the “Old Commercial Quay Inn.”

Mr. Harby then informed the holders of the existing licenses, with the exception of the “Silver Lion” and the “Old Commercial Quay Inn,” that renewals should be made out in the adjoining hall.


It was decided to hold the adjourned Licensing Meeting at Broadstairs on Wednesday, September 18th, at 2.30 p.m.


The following Licensing Committee appointed by the Justices then sat to hear new applications: Sir William Crundall (in the chair), Dr. Astley, Messrs. M. Pepper, W. J. Adcock, A. Bottle, J. L. Bradley, H. Peake.


Sir Woolaston Knocker applied for a dancing licence for the Promenade Pier in addition to the music and singing. He stated that the Directors would not allow the Pier to be used for dancing until a certificate that it was safe to do so was obtained from the Engineer.

The Chairman said that the licence would be granted on a certificate being handed to the Clerk from the Engineer that it would be perfectly safe.


Mr. Rutley Mowll appeared for an off licence on behalf of C. E. C. Ashbee, of Lansdowne Terrace, Union Road.

Mr. Peake: Is it anywhere near the Dover Union?

Mr. Ashbee: Almost opposite the big gates.

Mr. Mowll, in support of the application, said that he would call Mr. Ashbee, who would put in a memorial. The bench had said something about a memorial being easily obtained. That was a memorial against a house, and people would not put their names for a memorial unless there was a very urgent need. (Laughter.) The Bench were in a position to know the important requirements of this neighbourhood and it was a fact that these premises were very close ton the Dover Union and very handy when the Guardians had their weekly or fortnightly dinner and required a little bottled ale. (Loud laughter.) That being so, any more arguments on this part would be a waste of time, and he would call the applicant, who would further explain the needs of the neighbourhood.

Charles H. C. Ashbee, 1, Lansdowne Cottages, Union Road, said he kept a grocers' shop. The neighbours had expressed an urgent need for a house where they could obtain bottled beer. They had at present to go so far that sometimes when they got back all the head had gone off. (Laughter.)

Mr. Alderton, who opposed on behalf of the Licensed Victuallers, asked the applicant if he had any other occupation.

The Applicant replied that he had been a hawker amongst the soldiers, but they were all away now.

Supposing you got this licence, who would you have to assist you?

My housekeeper and my daughter.

Where is your wife?

Oh, now you are asking me something. I do not know!

Mr. Mowll: This is not an application for a wife but for a licence! (Laughter.)

Have you ever been convicted?

I pleaded guilty, but I was innocent. (Laughter.)

What did you plead guilty to?

My wife said I hit her in the eye. I pleaded guilty to that, but I was innocent of the charge.

Mr. Bottle: I notice, Mr. Ashbee, this memorial is signed mainly by ladies?

Mr. Ashbee: Their husbands were at work.

Mr. Bottle: Oh, it was not because they objected to the quality of you tea? (Laughter.)

Mr. Ashbee: Oh no, sir.


Mr. Bradley, in addressing the Bench in opposition to the applications, said that he would deal first of all with the new application, which would require very few words. It was the application of Ashbee for an off licence. If he were a correct thought reader it would be unnecessary for him to urge any reasons to the Bench why it should not be grated. The position, immediately opposite the gates of the Union Workhouse, was quite sufficient reason why the licence should not be granted.

The Magistrates then retired, and after an absence of three minutes returned.

The Chairman said: The Magistrates have considered these applications, and have come to the conclusion that they cannot grant the application of Charles Ashbee;

This was all the business.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 13 September 1901.

Licensing business.

Superintendent Fowle had given notice that he opposed the renewal of the following licenses. "Red Lion," Biddenden; "Chequers," Biddenden; "Bull," Cranbrook; "White Horse," Cranbrook; "George," Cranbrook; "Crown Inn," Cranbrook; "Vine," Goudhurst; "Star and Crown," Goudhurst; "King's Arms," Horsmonden; "Chequers," Marden; "Bull," (sic) Staplehurst; and "King's Head," Staplehurst, on the grounds that, owing to their proximity to other licensed houses, they were not needed in the public interest. He now stated that the general conduct of the houses in the division had been good, and that he wished to withdraw the objections, except that against the "Chequers," Maden.

The Magistrates granted the renewal of the licences with the exception of the following, which were enumerated by superintendent Fowle:-

The "Chequers," Biddenden; the "George," Cranbrook; the "Vine," Goudhurst; the "Chequers," Marden; the "Chequers," High Halden; the "Red Lion," Biddenden; and the "Chequers," Goudhurst.

Respecting the "Chequees Inn," Goudhurst, the "Red Lion," Biddenden, and the "Chequers Inn," High Halden, the Bench held over the licences till the adjourned licensing sessions.


Dover Express 20 September 1901.


The County Petty Sessions, which were also the adjourned sitting to deal with licensing business, were held yesterday at the Town Hall. Dover, before Messrs. G F. Fry, (in the chair), W. J. Adcock, J. L. Bradley, T. A. Terson, G. E. Toomer, H. M. Baker, W. H. Burch Rosher, Capt. Palliser, and Major R. B. Lawes.


Superintendents Chaney and Holland presented tabular reports, giving particulars of the licensed houses in the Wingham and Elham Divisions. In each case all the houses were reported to have been carried on in a satisfactory manner, and no license holders were prosecuted. All the old licenses were renewed.


Yesterday the Liberties part of the Dover Licensing Sessions took place at Dover. There were six applications for new new licences. That of Miss A. E. Barford, of the Dumpton House, private hotel between Broadstairs and Ramsgate, met with a refusal, which was also the fate of the applications of Mr. J. M. Paramour for a full licence for a house to be built near his brickfield at West Wood Lane, St. Peter’s; by Mr. E. E. Wagtail, wine merchant, for a beer licence for his premises at Broadstairs; and by Mr. J. Bing, for a grocers' licence at St. Peter’s. New grocers’ licences were granted to Mr. W. G. Johnson, grocer, Reading street, St. Peter’s, and to Mr. T. Lawrence for 11, Charlotte place, Broadstairs. Mr. W. B. Hobbs, of Ramsgate, who is not a member of the legal profession, opposed all the licences.