Speeches By J.G Groves MP

Speeches Made By James Grimble Groves MP...

James Grimble Groves (24 October 1854 – 23 June 1914) was a British brewer and Conservative politician. He was the son of William Peer Groves, of Springbank, Pendleton, near Salford and was educated privately and at Owen's College, Manchester. He became chairman and managing director of Groves and Whitnall Limited, owners of the Regent Road Brewery, Salford.

Groves was the chairman of the Salford Conservative Association, and when the member of parliament for Salford South announced his retirement prior to the 1900 general election, he was selected as the party's candidate. He successfully held the seat for the Conservatives.
In November 1900 a number of arsenic poisonings in the Manchester area were traced to beer from the Groves and Whitnall Brewery, and consequently a large amount of the company's stock had to be destroyed. In 1903, he was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Cheshire.

Groves only served one term in the Commons, losing his seat to Hilaire Belloc in the Liberal landslide at the 1906 general election. He married in 1878, and made his home at Oldfield Hall, Altrincham, Cheshire. He died in June 1914 aged 59, after a long illness.

Beer Bill. Commons March 27, 1901

*MR. GROVES (Salford, S.)

said that as one who had had experience of the trade for thirty years he should have a word or two to say on the subject. The moderate use of sugar had nothing in the world to do with the profits of the brewer. When the public demanded an article that could be produced by the addition of a small percentage of sugar rather than by malt alone, they must have it. In his own brewery he used an average of about 90 per cent, of English malt and 10 per cent, of sugar. Attention had been called to the recent deplorable epidemic and the arsenical contaminate on of one brand of brewing sugar, but he would like to emphasise the fact that the public analyst of Manchester had also found arsenic in malt. He had no particular objection to Clause 2. because the substitutes to which it referred were, he believed, entirely confined to the production of teetotal beverages. He knew hundreds of brewers, but he knew no single brewer who used these substitutes for hops in brewing beer. As to Clause 9, dealing with malt beer, he had the best reason for thinking that it had been deliberately put into the Bill for the purpose of arranging a compromise with certain large brewing firms. Under the operation of that clause they would be entitled to label beer as "malt" beer which was no more "all-malt" beer than that which was labelled "part- 1502 malt beer. The Bill was too ridiculous for consideration. The brewers had no objection whatever to a measure of this kind drawn on reasonable and common-sense lines, and which would really provide for the purity of beer, but the present measure was so absurdly drawn that the clauses would be inoperative. He maintained that those concerned mostly in the purity of beer were those who manufactured it. He asked the House by rejecting this measure to say that it was an immature Bill, and required further consideration. Let the Bill be sent to the limbo of all ill-considered measures. The framers of the Bill, if it were repeated, would then have opportunities of amending it. As he had said, the brewers did not object to any of the principles of the Bill, but its clauses were so tied round with red tape, and ridiculous anomalies that he had no hesitation—and he hoped the House would have none—in voting against it.

Finance Bill. Commons June 20, 1901

*MR GROVES (Salford, S.)

appealed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to allow brewers a drawback on sugar used in brewing, on the ground that it was unfair to tax an article twice over. Some brewers might continue to use sugar and tax their profits twice over, but before the additional tax had been on for one year he felt sure that the use of English barley would be largely displaced by foreign barley. It was immaterial to the brewer what he used so long as he produced an article which was appreciated by the public. If he could not produce an article to please the popular taste under these new conditions he would have to fall back upon foreign barley. For these reasons he appealed 1020 to the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to be misled by his agricultural friends.

Beer Bill, Commons. June 26, 1901

*MR. GROVES (Salford, S.)

I hope I shall be able to settle the indecision of the hon. Member who has just spoken by telling him that so far as those who are responsible for the measure before the House are concerned he need not trouble his mind at all. The original Bill does not provide, or profess to provide, in any shape or form for the purity of beer. It is not a Pure Beer Bill, but I admit that on the Second Reading there was some doubt raised on the point, and that a large number of Members who supported the Second Reading were under the impression that they were doing something which would ensure the purity of beer. I consider that it is certainly better to send the Bill to a Committee specially selected, who would devote their time and attention to the discussion of the subject, rather than to a Committee composed of a large number of Members who are lax in their attendance, are wanting in expert knowledge of the question, and who will not give the attention to the subject which its importance warrants, because then when the Bill came down to the House again on the Report stage we should be no further advanced than we are now. The hon. Member for South Molton taunted the minority on this question with having been beaten in the open by an enormous majority, and with now attempting to minimise the importance of the division by a side issue, but for the reasons I have given, and which I think answer the hon. Member, there cannot be the slightest doubt as to which is the better qualified body to deal with a matter of this technical and controversial character. I shall, therefore, support the motion to refer the Bill to a Select Committee.

Didsbury Sub-Postmastership. Commons July 18, 1901

MR. GROVES (Salford, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that the sub-postmastership of Didsbury, in the Manchester district, recently vacant, was filled without giving the staff an opportunity of competing for the position; and whether he is in a position to give any assurance that in future all such vacancies shall be open for competition, and that petitions in favour of persons not in the employment of the Post Office shall not be considered to the detriment of established members of the staff.

Manchester Postman's Grievance. Commons July 18, 1901

MR. GROVES (Salford, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he can say when an answer will be given to the application made by Postman J. E. Frost, Manchester, in December, 1900, and repeated in March and June, 1901, for the restoration of a deferred increment arrested under the rules of the service in December, 1898.

Naval Manœuvres—Leave To Sailors. Commons August 13, 1901

MR. GROVES (Salford, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty 596 if he can state whether the usual leave will be granted to the officers and men who have taken part in the recent Naval Manœuvres, including those engaged in the regular Channel Squadron, as has been the custom in former years on the conclusion of the said Manœuvres.