Earthlinggb's Blog

Solving “Climate change”? A piece of cake!

Posted in "Climate Change" by earthlinggb on March 3, 2014

Do you ever get the feeling that there were certain powers ensuring that alcohol was never going to be allowed to be a competitive fuel to petrol?

Once you’ve read this you might wish to plug into the search bar on the blog “The methanol economy”.

HC Deb 25 July 1904 vol 138 cc1066-127

MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE(Bristol, E.)said the new clause he had to submit was discussed on the Finance Bill of two years before, but on that occasion the principle accepted by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer differed considerably from the present proposal. When the former proposal came before the House it was treated entirely from a non-partisan and a quasi-scientific point of view. He hoped to be able to claim the support of those hon. Members who had favoured the former proposal, and in view of the general consensus of opinion in its favour, he hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not lightly put aside the proposal embodied in this new clause. In the first place it was quite clear that the exemption of alcohol when used for motive power or for lighting, heating, or manufacturing purposes, opened a field for British industries that were at present quite undeveloped. There were at the present moment great possibilities, but the development of new industries, and the discoveries of science, were such as to open up a far wider field in the future. It had often been said that British manufacturers were behindhand in their methods, but this was a case in which they found enterprise hampered by the financial department of the Government. The Treasury had expressed two opinions on this question. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had a few days before admitted that he was prepared to appoint a Committee to consider this matter, whereas some four days earlier it was intimated that it was I not the intention of the Exchequer to give any special facilities for the use of alcohol for industrial purposes. There were many industries dependent on the free use of absolute alcohol, in all of which English manufacturers were handicapped by the German manufacturers having the free use of denatured alcohol. He believed it would be possible in Ireland, if it were not for the Treasury restrictions on the manufacture of this denatured alcohol, to manufacture from damaged grain and diseased potatoes a spirit costing not more than from sixpence to eight-pence per gallon. As petrol cost 1s. 4d. per gallon, and the powers of petrol and free alcohol might be represented by 100 and 110 units respectively, it would be seen that an enormous impetus might be given to an industry in Ireland, with- 1106out there being any loss of power by the substitution of alcohol for petrol. Moreover, as the supply of petrol was in the hands of about three companies, the output might very easily be limited and the price raised, unless there were some commodity such as alcohol which might be substituted. It was a curious fact that no loss to the Exchequer would be involved in the acceptance of this proposal, because the present taxes were so prohibitive that they had prevented the establishment of any of these possible industries, and thus no revenue accrued to the Exchequer therefrom. By agreeing to the new clause the Chancellor of the Exchequer would acquire great Kudos to himself without the least expense to the Treasury, and also help in the development of very valuable industries. He begged to move.

A clause [Exemption from duty of alcohol used for motive power]— On and after the first day of August, nineteen hundred and four, where it shall be proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue that alcohol which has been suitably denatured and rendered unpotable is required for motive power, lighting, heating, and manufacturing purposes, it shall be lawful to sell such spirit without payment of any duty or tax thereon, and further, subject to such regulations as the Commissioners may require for the security of the revenue, absolute alcohol shall also be exempt from duty when employed in manufacturing operations where it can be proved to the Commissioners that denaturing agents would prevent its use.”—(Mr. Charles Hobhouse.) Brought up, and read a first time.

§Motion made, and Question proposed, “That this clause be read a second time.”

§MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAINsaid the proposal of the hon. Gentleman, which was practically identical with one moved in Committee, raised a question of much importance. Two years ago the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Haddingtonshire was the author of an Amendment to the Finance Bill, by which it was sought to render possible the use of duty-free spirit in certain cases where it had not hitherto been possible because it could not be denatured, and only denatured spirit was allowed to pass duty free. The question was one of 1107considerable complexity and difficulty, in which he could not move without making sure of his ground. The possible uses of alcohol for motive power and other purposes had enormously increased during the last few years, and would probably be considerably developed in the future, and he was certainly anxious that the Treasury regulations should be so reconsidered in the light of these facts as to remove, if possible, obstacles from the path of manufacturers or enterprise in this country. But it was necessary at the same time to have regard to the protection of the revenue. Under these circumstances, as he stated in Committee, he thought the fairest and wisest course was to appoint a small Committee to go into the question. Although it would be a Departmental Committee, he did not suggest that it should be composed exclusively of officials serving under Government; he would hope to get other advice and assistance on the Committee, and he thought that from such a body they might get a Report indicating what was necessary and desirable if industries were to be promoted and necessary obstacles removed, and at the same time what reconstructions were essential in the interests of the revenue. By that means, with very little delay, a solution satisfactory to all parties might be arrived at. The proposal when made in Committee was accepted by those interested, and he hoped the hon. Gentleman would not think him unreasonable it he refrained from going further on the present occasion. He thought he ought to have the support of the information which such a Committee would afford before he proceeded to deal with a matter of such complexity and importance. He would, as soon as possible, proceed to the appointment of the Committee, and he would take action on their Report. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would be satisfied with this assurance, and would not think it necessary to press the clause to a division.

§MR. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)sympathised with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his reference to the complexity and difficulty which attended this question. For some years he (Mr. Haldane) had given considerable attention to the subject, and the more he had tudied it the more difficult it seemed 1108to become. But there were two or-three particular features which had emerged clearly in his mind. This was a question not merely of industries which at present existed, and which might ultimately become important, but also of industries upon which we had scarcely entered. Anybody who studied the exhibits of Germany in the Paris Exhibition of 1900 must have realised to what an enormous extent the industries of that country had grown, not merely by research but by the free use of reagents. Germany’s chemical industries had grown with a rapidity which was really alarming. A great deal of that was to be put down to the want of freedom enjoyed by the people of this country. We had splendid scientific ability; he believed that the larger proportion of the very first minds were to be reckoned to this country—he was speaking of quality rather than quantity—but, owing to the restriction which was put upon the application of science to industry, we had not given room for the development which otherwise might have taken place in this country. Alcohol afforded a peculiarly significant illustration. Two years ago the Committee was successful in securing the insertion of a clause in the Finance Billwith regard to the free use of alcohol for certain purposes; but on Report the then Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced an Amendment which rendered the clause almost useless to manufacturers. It was stated on the part of the revenue authorities that the production of alcohol could not be allowed for use in manufactures duty free without some supervision, and that to balance the cost of that supervision a surtax should be put upon the foreigner in order that the English manufacturer should not be put at a disadvantage. The result was that the Inland Revenue authorities fixed the surtax at fivepence, and as the price of pure alcohol from Germany was about tenpence halfpenny per gallon, the duty represented 50 per cent. of the cost. During a visit to a distillery he had been told that the fivepence hardly represented the cost of the supervision, but that there was a little bit of protection in it.

§MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAINIntroduced by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol?

1109

§MR. HALDANEbelieved the Inland Revenue authorities did it in perfect innocence, but there were so many innocent things done nowadays that one could never be quite sure of one’s position. But he believed that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol and the present Chancellor of the Exchequer were entitled to say that they were perfectly innocent in this matter. The surtax was fixed by experts, but who were the experts? The surtax of fivepence was more than the cost of the supervision, and this addition of 50 per cent. to the cost meant that the German competitor was able to get his alcohol 50 per cent. cheaper than the British manufacturer, That was a very serious business. He was informed by the manager of one of the great celluloid industries in this country that they were seriously hampered in their competition with foreigners, and that this fivepenny surtax made all the difference in their enterprise. He did not know whether the House realised the enormous growth which had taken place in recent years in the celluloid industry, and how much it formed the foundation of a vast amount of goods in which the foreigner competed with English manufacturers. He was very anxious on this account that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should frame his reference on as wide a basis as possible. Of course he would have to inquire into the amount of the surtax and that would be the most difficult part. If arrangements could be made for relieving the distillers of the heavy charge placed upon them for supervision it was extremely desirable, because unless that could be done they would not be doing any real good to the manufacturer. The task of the right hon. Gentleman was not an easy one. He realised the complications in it for he had seen the evil results in practice, but he felt that in this matter the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have to take the opinions of people who were really experts from more sides than one. Therefore, it was necessary that they should bring in the element of the manufacturers very largely. Manufacturers came too little into contact with the Inland Revenue authorities, and in our Government Departments there was none of that constant contact which existed in some parts of the Continent. The Chancellor 1110of the Exchequer had now an opportunity of making a new departure, and its success would depend largely upon the terms of reference.

§MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAINsaid he had not yet drawn the terms of the reference, but he meant them to be as wide as possible because he thought it was important that they should have a thorough inquiry into the whole question. He should be glad to receive suggestions from anyone who had had such a large experience in these matters as the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite.

§COLONEL SADLER (Middlesbrough)said he regretted he was not present to move his Motion, but having regard to the fact that the day for which it was set down the House sat for thirty-five hours, he did not suppose anybody regretted his absence. He was quite content to accept the Chancellor’s promise to appoint a Committee, and he should like that Committee to be composed not only of men of his own Department, but of men like Mr. Tyler, the ex-President of the Society of Chemical Industry. That gentleman had given an enormous amount of time to the subject, and had delivered several classical papers full of statistics and information upon it. He was quite sure that Mr. Tyler would be of enormous advantage and use to the Chancellor in drawing up his terms of reference to the Committee. There were some points in connection with the question which he desired to allude to because he considered them to be of very great importance. First of all he thought it was a great reproach to British enterprise that we should allow industries of very great national importance to he captured from us without apparently a struggle to keep them. When he told the House that there were over 100 products of various kinds in which alcohol played a prominent part it would be seen what an important thing it was to this country that some change should be made in the present system of the utilisation of alcohol. Dimethylaniline, the base of many colours in this country, cost 2s. 4d. per lb., but in Germany it cost only 3¾d., as industrial alcohol is not taxed there. It was an important product in this country some years ago, but it was not 1111manufactured at all here at the present moment. He did not see how these industries, with duties ranging from 5d. to 11s. 6d. per gallon, could be recaptured for us. Enormous industries had developed abroad owing to the cheapness of alcohol. In Germany last year there were produced over 100,000,000 gallons of alcohol, and 55,000,000 tons of potatoes were used in its manufacture and kindred products. In France from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 tons of beet were grown and used for the manufacture of alcohol. In Germany almost every farmer had his distillery. There were in the East of Germany alone some 6,000 such distilleries, and when one remembered the vast tracts of land which were used for agricultural products required in the manufacture of alcohol it would be seen how important the matter was. There were scores of thousands of people in Germany and France engaged in industries connected with the manufacture of alcohol. Those industries had grown very rapidly and were still growing, and that was why he was anxious to make the few points he was now making. It was recognised that next to benzol alcohol was one of the most prolific source of products known in the chemical world.

Allusion had been made to the diverse uses to which alcohol could be put. It was not only good for motive power and lighting and heating but also for the manufactures to which he had referred. The attention of learned societies and Chambers of Commerce had been called to the subject and there was a great deal of talk in the country about the production of alcohol and its relation to various trades. He saw the President of the United Chambers of Commerce in his place and he hoped that that hon. Member would tell them what he thought about this question. There was a great opportunity dawning upon the country for the production of alcohol and the advancement of various trades dependent upon it, and the most urgent and promising was connected with motive power. As a substitute for petrol, alcohol had a very great opening. Petrol of late years had deteriorated very seriously in quality, and it was becoming scarcer and dearer owing to the extraordinary demand springing up for it, while alcohol, on the other hand, was a much cheaper 1112article and could be manufactured at as low as sixpence per gallon. It had a very obvious advantage over petrol because it was sweeter and safer to use. As to its efficiency there was a good deal of dispute but it had a potential efficiency of at least 50 per cent. in excess of petrol. There were other uses such as lighting to which it could be applied. He saw a great future development in regard to alcohol lamps, and it was the most charming and effective light he had ever seen. A thirty candlepower lamp cost one halfpenny per hour. It was an extremely diffusive light. There had been as many as 50,000 of these lamps sold by one Berlin firm between October, and January last. Alcohol promised to be unrivalled for cooking purposes. The manufacturers he had alluded to were seriously crippled in their industries for the want of cheap alcohol. The difficulties about obtaining cheap alcohol were now so great that it actually paid the manufacturers better to pay the duty than to trouble about it in any other way. As the trade does not now exist there would be no loss to the revenue, nor risk in other respects. This aspect of the question had been greatly exaggerated. An ounce of experience was worth a ton of theory. In 1903 n Germany only 84 persons were fined for fraudulent use and only £2,500 was paid in fines, although something like 100,000,000 gallons of alcohol were manufactured. In Switzerland, where there were no duties on alcohole there was less drunkenness than in any other country in the world. A very large number of improvements had recently been made in the denaturing of alcohol. It was on these grounds that he contended that there was pressing urgency for its manufacture and use in this country, for many new industries would arise from it. He hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be able to devise some scheme which would enable the manufacturers of this country to have duty-free alcohol. The possibilities of this industry were so great that they could not be overrated. In the first place there would he an enormous area of land which was now uncultivated which would be brought under cultivation in order to produce these various agricultural products which were usual in the manufacture of alcohol. 1113Perhaps he had said enough to convince the right hon. Gentleman that the subject was one of very great importance, and he trusted that a Committee would be appointed to inquire into the matter without delay.

 

They never wanted the more efficient and cheaper source of fuel. Now why would that be? And they still don’t want it today! Now why would that be?

While all the climate change believers go on…and on… and on….

Lefty, tree hugging imbeciles happily supporting the con and literally begging to be taxed and set back into the stone age while their heroes sit on ivory thrones, have their 10 cars (all petrol), massive carbon footprints and destroy the middle class – the very class begging to be carbon taxed!

If you want to look into the eyes of a dumb as nails individual, you stare at Naomi Kline, Woody Harrelson or any number of AGW promoters and believers. If you’re one, just stare in the mirror.

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13 Responses

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  1. Uffda said, on March 4, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Oil is NOT a ‘fossil fuel’… It is an ‘Abiotic’ A Self Regenerating CompoundAwake. Awake Yet?

    • earthlinggb said, on March 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Yes I know about abiotics Uffda. I had seen this a long time ago. I wrote the post on the basis of what they TELL us oil is and if they really wished to deal with it then alcohol would do it. Re abiotics however – the “truth” isn’t the “truth” until it’s accepted as “truth” by the majority.

  2. spartacus said, on March 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hey earthling dont knock global warming, it can be very lucrative. On a smaller scale though, i was in my local oh, quite a few years ago now, and the topic came up and there was a quite heated debate about it. Well i was mostly just sitting there listening while this one fella was holding court and coming out with all these figures etc about basically how we are all going to drown in 10-15 years i think he said.
    Anyway my ears pricked up when he mentioned how all the icebergs and sea ice was going to melt and swamp us all if we did’nt all move to the mountains.
    That is when i saw a little opportunity to make a few bob. As a demonstration i asked him what would happen if we put a handfull of ice cubes to represent the bergs and sea ice, into a pint glass then filled it to very near the top with water to represent the sea? He looked at me as if i was simple, and said “well, when the ice melts the glass will overflow of course” i said really? He gave me that look again and said “yes really”
    We settled on a £20 bet. He was so confident with a huge smile on his face.
    Well i have’nt got to tell you what happened or more accurately what did’nt happen, but i can still see his face today. That look of pure astonishment and disbelief, after staring at that glass for so long.
    He actually thought at first that it was a magic trick, but to be fair to the guy he paid up the bet, but only after doing it himself a few times to be sure lol.

    • earthlinggb said, on March 4, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Principle of liquid displacement – (hydrostatics) the volume of a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the volume of the displaced fluid.
      Sad that people don’t think in simple terms when they have a glass of vodka and ice in a bar. Do you think they drink it quickly so as to ensure that it doesn’t overflow if the ice melts?
      However, the thing is that the glaciers aren’t floating in water, they’re on land BUT (and it’s a big but) the western side of Antartica is mainly about 2.5Km deep into the sea so most of that ice melting would have very little effect on the ocean because most of it has already displaced the water. The east side is different. However, the problem there is that the eastern antarctic has been measured by NASA et al as actually increasing in its ice covering. 🙂 Then you have Greenland and the arctic. Greenland is landmass with ice cover so that melting would impact (how much? It’s all bull anyhow) BUT the arctic is all ice submerged in water so that entire lot melting would have zero impact.

  3. spartacus said, on March 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

    “Do you think they drink it quickly so as to ensure that it does’nt overflow if the ice melts” loflmao. That was bloody funny mate. Somehow we just know they do dont we ha ha. The barmaid even give me a towel to put on the bar “for when the glass overflowed” lol.
    Dont worry i made it clear to the guy that i was only talking about icebergs and sea ice, not land based glaciers, when i realized he did’nt know about displacement.
    I could be a crafty bugger in my drinking days when i needed a few pints lol.

    • Crystali said, on March 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      loflmao
      Now is that – lots of frozen lumps marooned and overflowed
      or laugh out fucking loud my ass off… just asking. 🙂

      • spartacus said, on March 7, 2014 at 10:48 am

        Haha, i really balls’ed that one up did’nt i lol. I was’nt going to admit this, but here goes. When i first started making comments in the paper and on other sites, i kept getting replies with ROFLMAO and similar ones. Now this went on for month after month and me being me i did’nt have the foggiest idea what it meant i genuinly thought people were just insulting me all the time.
        Well finally i got curious and called the wife over to the screen to show her all these people giving me stick, she then explained and i felt a right idiot. I was so glad that i never retaliated, that would probably have confused them as much as me.
        btw i also used to think lol meant lots of love.

        • Crystali said, on March 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm

          Hahahahaha lol. Oh Spartacus, that had me in stitches! Lots of love, just as well you didn’t reciprocate, your wife might have got suspicious. 🙂 😆

  4. Crystali said, on March 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    If you introduced alcohol as the main fuel system to cars, the sales for bendy straws would quadruple! hehehe

    • spartacus said, on March 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Haha. Imagine pulling up to the pumps, you could have Guinness, stella, heinekin, carling, ,cider, and lead free shandy if you wanted.

      • Crystali said, on March 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

        And sugar free for the conscientious. LOL

        • Crystali said, on March 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm

          Hey, they should have a coke version, pop in some mentos and you got instant turbo boost!

  5. Crystali said, on March 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm


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