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BEER DUTY PROSECUTIONS., Issue 8023, 27 September 1889
BEER DUTY PROSECUTIONS.
At the City Police Court yesterday morning, James R. Brigga was charged, on the information of William C. Chamberlain, before Messrs J. Logan and J. D. Feraud, J.P.s, with unlawfully and fraudulently neglecting on the Bth of June to enter or cause to ba entered in the manner required by the Beer Duty Act, 18S0, in the book kept by him for that purpose, an account of certain material—to wit, 100 bushels of malt purchased by him for the purpose of producing beer, and received by him into the Standard Brewery at Caversham. Mr Haggitt appeared for the prosecution, and Mr Milne for the defendant;, who pleaded guilty, 1 ivi. Milne said, in'explanation of the charge, that the malt was neglected to be entered, svs required by the Act, during tht absence of Mr Briggs from town. At the same time, the entry returned to the Customs showed that the malt had been used. The books did not tally, and it was apparent on the face of them that they did not tally. Mr Haggitt said the charge was laid under the 25th and 29 th sections of the Act. The former section required that every brewer should " from day to day enter, or cause to be entered, in a separate book to be kept by him for that purpose, an account of all materials ... by him purchased for the purpose of producing such beer." Section 29 provided that "every brewer who evades or attempts to evade the payment of any duty payable under this Act, or fraudulently neglects or refuses to make true and exact entry and report of any matter or thing in the manner required by law, or to do or cause to be done any of the things by law required to be done by him as aforesaid, or who intentionally makes any false entry in the said books or either of them, or in the said statement, or knowingly allows or procures the same to be done, shall forfeit for every such offence all the beer made by him or for him then in his custody or possession, and all the vessels, utensils, and apparatus used in making the same, and be liable to a penalty of not less than LSO nor more than L 100." The prosecutor would be satisfied if the Bench inflicted a penalty of Lso—the least allowed by the Act. Mr Logan said if the beer and materials were forfeited by the Act, the Bench need not say anything about that. Mr Haggitt pointed out that it was necessary that a certificate of forfeiture should be given by Justices. Mr Milne observed that there was no such provision in the Beer Duty Act. Mr Haggitt replied that there was Bucb. a. provision in some other Act.
Mr Logan said that the defendant would be fined LSO, costs of Court 7s, and professional costs Ll. The beer utensils and apparatus in his possession would also be forfeited.
The defendant was then charged with that he did, on the 11th of July, wilfully and designedly neglect to keep at, and did remove from, the Standard Brewery the books required by sections 24 and 25 of the Beer Duty Act, 1880, to be kept by him. Mr Haggitt said he would offer no evidence on this charge. He would, however, point out that the Beer Duty Act gave the Commissioner of Trade and Customs power to make regulations, and declared that any regulations so made were equally as binding as the Act itself. Under these regulations it was required that the books, which under sections 24 and 25 of the Beer Duty Act every brewer was required to keep, should be kept on the brewing premises and nowhere else, and any person who should offend against these regulations should be liable to a penalty of not less than L2O. He would not ask "the Bench to deal with this case in any manner. He simply made these remarks in order that other brewers might not negligently offend as regards removing the books from their premises. Mr Milne said in this particular instance the books were kept in Mr Briggs's house, which stood only about 20ft away from the brewery. The charge was withdrawn.
The defendant was then further charged that he did, on the 19th of July, commit a breach of the 7th section of the Beer Duty Act, 1880, by knowingly carrying on and continuing the trade or business of a brewer without having first sent to the Collector of Customs of the district in which his brewery was situated a notice in writing in the form or to the effect and containing the particulars required by the said Act. Mr Haggitt said he would not offer any evidence on this charge either. The Collector of Customs thought that the punishment, already inflicted was sufficient to meet the requirements of the case. But in the information it was provided by the Beer Duty Act that any person at present carrying on, or who hereafter desired to carry on, the trade cr business of a brewer, should, before commencing or continuing such trade or business, send to the Collector of the district in which his brewery was situated the particulars required by the schedule of the Act. What Mr Briggs was charged with was with not including in the notioe given by him the whole of the wort boilers and other vessels upon his brewery. He had explained to the Collector of Customs that the particular vessel with regard to which the complaint had been made was not included because he thought that it was not necessary to include it, as it was not used for the purpose of brewing. Mr Chamberlain was willing to accept that explanation; but he might point out that it was necessary for every brewer to disclose a description of the premises and all the vessels on the premises, whether used for brewing or not. This charge was also withdrawn. The defendant was then charged with fraudulently neglecting on the 24th of April to enter or cause to be entered, in a book kept by him for that purpose, the actual quantity of beer sold and removed for sale from his brewery—to wit, eight hogsheada of beer.
Mr Haggitt said this information was laid under the 18th section of the Act, but he did not intend to offer any evidence with regard to it.
Mr Milne said it might be stated that six of these hogsheads had been accounted for and two had not. The beer had been returned with the stamps on the hogsheads unbroken, and there was no question of the evasion of duty, Mr Haggitt said his friend might say there was no evasion, but that was not the case. There were really only two charges, but the Act required Mr Briggs ,to account for the whole eight hogsheads. The charge was eventually withdrawn.
BEER DUTY PROSECUTIONS., Issue 8023, 27 September 1889
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