Government proposals to acquire the liquor trade in the First World War
Government attempts during the First World War to acquire the licensed liquor trade, at a cost in today’s values of around £20 billion, was described by David Lloyd George as “a fundamental revolution in the trade”. The valuation method chosen was a multiple of profits, as the stock market or balance sheet figures were not considered to be a true valuation of a business. The case of Macardle Moore and Company examines for the first time how the proposals would have affected the Irish brewing industry. Company and official archives are used to illustrate the lobbying of various interested parties. Finally, a modern perspective is offered on the historical proposals.