HC Deb 07 March 1833 vol 16 cc337-9
Mr. Bolling

presented a Petition from the Proprietors of new Beer Shops at Bolton in favour of the new Beer Act, and praying that no restrictions might be placed upon their trade. The hon. Member said, that having been intrusted with the petition, he felt it his duty to present it to the House, although he could not, he was sorry to say, concur in its prayer, considering, as he did, new beer shops to be a very great evil.

Colonel Williams

also dissented from the prayer of the petition, and declared that the effect of allowing every third house in a parish or town to have a license to sell beer was, that the people of England would, in the end, be literally poisoned. The new Beer Act was, in his opinion, and he spoke from observation and experience, the worst measure which any Government had of late introduced. The number of new beer shops exceeded 25,000, and he could assure the House that they were calculated only to demoralize the poor. He trusted that the present Government would see and correct the evil.

Mr. Cobbett

thought, that the hon. Member who had just sat down was mistaken as to the number of new beer-shops, for, instead of there being 25,000, the number did not exceed 2,000.

Colonel Williams

could assure the hon. member for Oldham, that in the district of Lancashire, in which he (Colonel Williams) resided, there were more than 2,000 new beer shops. He had the honour to be a magistrate, and, as he took an active part in the business of the district to which he alluded, he could, without fear of contradiction, assert that the number was nearly double that which the hon. member for Oldham had stated.

Sir Robert Inglis

observed, that if his hon. friend (Colonel Williams) had not limited himself to Lancashire he might have gone even still further. He could state without fear of contradiction, that the number of licensed public-houses was 50,000, and that there were upwards of 26,000 shops for the sale of beer opened under the new Beer Act.

Colonel Torrens

supported the prayer of the petition, because he was of opinion that new beer shops were a decided advantage to the poor. He had a similar petition to present, and—

The Speaker

, referring to the understanding which had been come to relative to abstaining from discussion on the presentation of petitions, said that he hoped the hon. Member would at least reserve his speech until he presented the petition to which he had alluded.

Mr. Benett

hoped he might be allowed to say a very few words.

The Speaker

put it to the good sense of the hon. Member whether he would proceed after what had just taken place.

Petition to lie upon the Table.

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