HC Deb 27 June 1839 vol 48 cc973-90

On the order of the day for the House to resolve itself into a committee of the whole House on the Sale of Beer Bill, and on the question that the Speaker now leave the chair,

Mr. Hume

objected to the House proceeding further with this bill. On its first introduction, the hon. Member who brought it forward (Mr. Pakington) had been asked to make out a case, in order to induce the House to after the existing law; but instead of making out the case, the hon. Member had been obliged to confess that the applications made to the House in favour of the proposed alteration had arisen in consequence of the circular the hon. Member had addressed to the different counties of England, calling the attention of the authorities there to the provisions of this bill, and urging them to petition. The hon. Member had urged in support of his bill the irregularities of which the keepers of beer-shops were constantly guilty; he stated that those irregularities were greater in the beer-shops than in the public-houses. Now, he had obtained returns which altogether refuted that allegation, and in fact showed that there was greater regularity in the conduct of the beer-shops than in that of the public-houses. The House had been told that robberies were concocted in the beer-houses, and that by those houses crime was encouraged. That argument would have held good if the hon. Member could have shown that before the passing of the Beer Act there had been no robberies or thefts, but when it could be proved that there were fewer robberies and thefts since beer-shops were established than before, the argument failed. Had the people who carried on the beer-shops showed themselves hostile to the law? If the hon. Member would look to the returns before the House, he would find that the beer-shop keepers were really the innocent parties, and that those whom he would befriend, the licensed victuallers, had been guilty of tenfold the crimes and offences of their competitors. The hon. Member had referred on a former occasion, to anonymous letters to support his views; but what was anonymous in- formation to authentic returns? It appeared from the returns which had been moved for by the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that in the year 1835 there had been 129 licensed victuallers convicted for adulterating beer. In the following year there had been 146 convictions for the same offence; and of these, 144 were licensed victuallers, and only two beer-shop keepers. In 1837 there were forty-eight convictions, and would the House believe that of this convict class only one person was a beer-seller, while there were 47 licensed victuallers? So much for the offence of adulteration. He had taken the trouble to ascertain the state of things in London in respect to irregularity, and he had returns, beginning from the year 1830, of the number of publicans and beer-shop keepers summoned before the magistrates for irregularities. From those returns it appeared, that in the year 1830 there had been 123 licensed victuallers summoned, of whom 109 were convicted, and fourteen escaped; in the same year only four beer-shop keepers had been summoned, and all four informations were dismissed. In 1831 there had been summoned 169 licensed victuallers, of whom 143 were convicted, and twelve dismissed; while in that same year only ten retailers of beer had been summoned. In 1836 the number of licensed victuallers summoned was 357, of these 333 had been convicted, and twenty-four dismissed; and in the same year the number of beer-shop keepers summoned was 194, whose offences in the majority of the cases were for opening a few minutes too early, or keeping open a few minutes too late. In 1837 the licensed victuallers summoned were in number 546, of whom 519 had been convicted and twenty-seven dismissed. In the same year the number of beer-shop keepers summoned was 241, and of these 217 were convicted, and 24 dismissed. In 1838 the number summoned was 655 licensed victuallers, of whom 603 were convicted, and fifty-two dismissed; 349 beer-shop keepers, of whom 320 were convicted, and twenty-eight dismissed. The result was, that during the whole period which the returns covered there had been 2,519 licensed victuallers brought before the magistrates, while there had only been summoned 1,008 beer-shopkeepers. On the whole the hon. Member opposite had made out no case for a further legislative interference. Indeed, if anything was done, it should be that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should place the beer-shops on an exact equality with the public-houses. He could not see on what principle it was that beer-shops should be shut while the gin-shops were allowed to remain open. It appeared to him, that this bill was wholly uncalled for, and therefore he should move, that the House resolve itself into a committee upon this bill on this day six months.

Mr. A. Sanford

thought the vast number of petitions which had been presented from all classes praying for an alteration in the present Beer Act afforded sufficient reason for the House taking the present bill into its consideration. He must say, that those who had seen the working of the existing law were more competent to judge of it than those who formed their opinions from returns which were made to that House. That a superintendence by the magistrates had formerly been necessary, was shown by the legislation which had taken place so long ago as the year 1494, again in 1562, and again in 1787. In 1787 the Secretary of State issued a circular to the Magistrates cautioning them against the system that prevailed in issuing licences. He thought it absolutely necessary that some plan should be adopted for licensing these houses different from the present. All that was necessary now was to obtain the certificates of six householders of the neighbourhood; but if the excise officer by whom the licence was granted took care to ascertain that the person applying was a man of good character and respectability, much of the present evil would be done away with. He thought the measure would be one of very general utility, and he hoped there would be no objection to going into Committee on the bill.

Viscount Dungannon

said, that he had never listened to a more monstrous proposition than that of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, for stopping the progress of the bill. He would, however, give the House the returns for the Borough of Liverpool, which would show what the proportion was between the offences of the two classes of houses; in 1830–31 the number of convictions was—licensed victuallers 80, beerhouses 106; in 1831–32, licensed victuallers 82, beer-houses 81; in 1832–33, licensed victuallers 88, beer-houses 77; in 1833–34, licensed victuallers 72, beerhouses 95; in 1834–35, licensed victuallers 67, beer-houses 179, in 1835–36 licensed victuallers 193, beer-houses 312 in 1836–37, licensed victuallers 39, beerhouses 87; in 1837–38, licensed victuallers 83, beer-houses 135. That, he thought, was a fair criterion of the two classes of houses. He believed, if the hon. Members made inquiries among the clergymen and magistrates from one end of the country to the other—from Northumberland to Cornwall—he would hear that a great portion of the vice and immorality existing among the agricultural classes was to be attributed to the establishment of beer-houses. As a county magistrate, he could state, that most of the robberies—not those of a trifling, but many of a much graver character, were concocted in the beer-houses, whose proprietors were, in most cases, men of no capital or property. He hoped the motion would be carried by a large majority.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was not prepared to oppose the measure at its present stage, and therefore he could not support the hon. Member for Kilkenny's amendment, by which the House would refuse to consider the bill. The arguments of his hon. Friend should rather have been directed against the second reading of the bill than against the bill in its present stage, and above all, after the understanding that was come to when it was last before the House. When the bill was read a second time, he then took the opportunity of stating, and he thought, with the approbation of many Members, that on going into committee he should endeavour to induce the House to assimilate and equalise as much as possible the laws respecting licensed victuallers and beer-shop keepers. If he failed in his attempt to do this, he would join with his hon. Friend in voting against the bill on the report or on the third reading. What was the state of public opinion on this subject? It appeared by the returns on the Table, that 77 petitions had been presented for the repeal of the Beer Act, and these were signed by 6,420 persons; against the repeal nine petitions had been presented, signed by 20,757 persons. But for carrying into effect the principles for which he contended, namely, for equalising the law between the licensed victuallers and beer-shop keepers, he found that, independently of the numerous petitions presented that evening, petitions had been presented signed by 248,000 persons. He trusted, therefore, that they would go into committee with a view of considering the clauses of the bill. In recommending that course he was bound to say, that he entirely repudiated the doctrines of the noble Lord; for if they were correct, the House ought not to be satisfied with the bill of the hon. Member for Droitwich, but should insist on the total repeal of the Act of 1830. He should take the liberty of refuting some of the very extraordinary statements of the noble Lord. It was assumed in the first place, that all the beer-shops were disreputable places, that their owners were men of no character or property, and that they were all hotbeds of vice. He would show that there was no ground whatever for these general statements. The House would hardly believe that the property invested in these houses was very considerable. He held in his hand a letter from one party, who stated that he had invested 4,000l. in the establishment of a beer-shop. It might be said, that that was only an individual case, but he had a return of 360 beer-shops, and the total amount of the rental was 8,226l.; the amount of capital invested was 74,210l., and that was but a small proportion of the 40 or 50,000 houses for which they were called upon to legislate. He would now give the noble Lord another instance, and he would take a case from the metropolis. There was a beer-shop in Mile-end, the property of an individual owner, the value of the house and fixtures was 1,500l., the stock 1,325l., and that was one of the class which the hon. Gentleman opposite represented as persons without property, and in many cases without character. [Viscount Dungannon had alluded to beerhouses in agricultural districts.] The noble Lord and those hon. Members who had discussed the question, had brought the arguments as against the whole body, and he, for one, could not allow them to back out of their assertions in that way. The next case he would quote was that of a beer-shop in Ratcliffe-street. The value of the house was 600l., and of the stock 500l. Then with respect to residence, which was an excellent test of character, there were instances of 8, 6, 10, 16, and even of 23 years constant residence in one house, the parties paying rates and taxes, and contributing to parochial and other dues during all that time, and yet they were told, that these men were wholly without capital, and altogether devoid of respectability. There was another point to which he wished to call the attention of the House. In stating the amount of capital embarked in that trade, he had not taken into account the amount of capital embarked by brewers, and if that were added to the capital of the beer-house keepers, it would form a sum total which would much astonish hon. Members. He would take the number of licensed brewers before and after the passing of the Beer Bill, and he would begin two years before the passing of the Act. In the first year, the number of licensed brewers, was 27,161; in the year after the passing of the Bill it was 36,284; but in the following year the number was 42,976; and in the one following that 43,087. Therefore there was an addition of capital, as represented by the increase in numbers, from 27,161 brewers to 43,087, the number of licensed brewers in the last year, and he wished hon. Members, and more especially landed proprietors, to recollect that it was these brewers who furnished a market for their barley, and formed a great addition to the demand for the agricultural produce of the country. He was merely applying himself to the arguments that there was no capital embarked in these beer-houses. He held in his hand another return of a very extraordinary nature, and to which he would call the attention of hon. Members opposite. Nothing was more easy than to say that the licensed victuallers, as a class, were all men of wealth and independence; while the keepers of beer-shops were men without capital. He had procured a return from the Excise officers of the number of public-houses and beer-houses within the respective collections extending over the whole of England. It appeared by that return, that the number of public-houses was 55,513, and the number of beer-shops licensed to sell beer to be consumed on the premises, 36,054. Now of these 55,000 public-houses, the owners of which were supposed to represent so much wealth and capital, there were 18,379 who rented houses under 10l. yearly value. And it should be remembered, that the value of the house was increased by the licence, so that the 10l. did not merely represent the natural but the fictitious value of the rent Amongst the beer-shops there were houses under 5l. in value, 1,858; and above 5l. in value, 34,196. That, however, might not be considered a fair mode of comparison, and he would take the question in another point of view. There were of publicans inhabiting houses under 10l. in yearly value, 18,379; and beer-shops under 10l. yearly value, 15,318. It should besides be borne in mind, that the value of the public-houses was increased by the licence, which was not the case with the beer-houses. What, then, became of the exaggerated statements of the wealth of the one class, and the absence of capital of the other, which had been put forward by hon. Members opposite. He would lay these papers on the Table of the House, because he thought they would go far to dispel the delusion that existed on this subject. He, did not, however, think it would be wise to continue the license to houses rated under 5l.; with that exception, he contended, that there ought to be a totally free trade in beer, subject only to such police regulations as were considered to be necessary. The deputation of beer sellers, who had had an interview with him had thought that instead of good police regulations being any hardship they would be a protection to their trade, and had assented to the proposition. They stated, that it was the want of police regulations in small places that had raised the storm against them, and they were perfectly willing to acquiesce in the proposed modification. He had now disposed of that part of the case which related to the value of the property; and he had shown the contrast between the one class and the other was founded on entire delusion. He now came to an important question, that which referred to crime; and the assertions that had been made on this subject were just as gratuitous and unfounded as they were on the other. The opponents of that measure had two facts to establish—first, that the amount of crime had increased, and, secondly, that such increase was to be attributed to the Beer Act. Now, as to the first of these points, he had procured from the Home-office some tables, the accuracy of which there was no reason whatever to doubt. Before he stated the conclusions he drew from these tables, he would remark, that since the Municipal Corporation Bill had been in operation, there had existed a more active system of police, greater facilities for bringing offenders to conviction, than those which existed before the passing of that Act. In addition to this, since the year 1834, three or four large classes of crime, such as common assaults, riots, and breaches of the peace, had been included in the criminal returns for the first time. On both these accounts, it would by no means follow that there had been an increase of crime, even if the re- turns showed a greater number of commitments, after the passing of the Beer Act, than there appeared to have taken place previously in equal periods of the time. It might, however, with certainty, be assumed that a decrease in the number of commitments was proof of the decrease of crime. But what were the facts as they appeared upon these tables? He would take four years before the passing of the Act and four years afterwards. In the period from 1826 to 1829 inclusive, the average ratio of increase of crime had been 7½ per cent. What was the ratio of increase in the four years after the passing of the Act? Why, 2½ per cent. only. What became, then, of the allegations that there had been an increase of crime? It was, however, said, that although the total amount of crime had not increased, there had been an augmentation in the agricultural districts. What was the fact? Why, in twenty of the largest agricultural counties, there was a decrease in commitments altogether, and particularly a decrease in the commitments for serious offences. Allusions had repeatedly been made to sheep-stealing and cattle stealing, as if these crimes had almost originated since the establishment of beer-shops but on referring to the returns of the commitments, as well as of the offences, he found a great decrease in both these classes of crime, as well as in maliciously wounding or maiming cattle. It appeared, also, that since that period, the offences against the Game-laws had diminished forty-five per cent. In spite of these facts, they were repeatedly told that crime had increased in consequence of the existence of beer-shops; but previously to the establishment of the latter trade, almost all the offences that were committed were imputed in argument to the public houses. There was then a general outcry against the licensed victuallers, which had been transferred to the beer-shop keepers. For his own part, without lending himself to the propagation of reflections on any class of persons, he might be permitted to observe, that he thought that crime might rather be imputed to indulgence in ardent spirits than in beer. Certainly it was the opinion of most moralists that crime was more likely to be engendered by habits of spirit drinking than by taking beer. This, indeed, seemed to be the general feeling; and one of the greatest moral instructors that this country had produced, namely, Hogarth, had furnished an admirable illustration of this in his two celebrated pictures. of "Beer-street," and "Gin-lane." He would entreat the House to approach this subject with the most serious deliberation. If there was one thing more calculated than another to lessen the House in the opinion of the country, it was a want of consistency in its legislation. The interest now in question was created under a well-considered and thoroughly-debated measure, and after full inquiry, and the very point now more particularly raised was raised then; evidence was taken on the subject, and that evidence supported the passing of the measure, and negatived the assertions which were then and now made. The measure was a very bold, but a very effectual financial reform, and the Government which carried it through merited the best thanks of the country. The question was again discussed in 1834. A committee sat on the subject—evidence was taken, and the House legislated restrictively upon it, but not to the effect which the hon. Member now proposed, and still less to the effect of destroying the trade. He trusted the House would not impair its character with the country by the injustice and inconsistency of destroying an interest which it had only just raised. He should vote for going into committee for the purpose of proposing his amendments; and if he did not succeed in inducing the committee to adopt them, he should certainly oppose the third reading of the bill.

Lord Eliot

could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in taking property as a test of respectability, which was the same principle as that adopted by a witness once, who defined a respectable man to be one who kept a gig. The whole of the right hon. Gentleman's address had been a panegyric on beer-shops; but the magistrates with whom he had communicated in different parts of the country had taken a very different view of the subject. But he admitted that a great part of the evil might be attributed to the inefficient control over the beer-shops. With a rural police, a great many of the evils might be remedied. He should vote for going into committee, but he did not think the bill of his hon. Friend best calculated to effect the object he had in view. He was opposed to the principle of making property the test of respectability.

Mr. Warburton

thought the returns referred to by the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, most satisfactory. It ought also to be remembered, that whenever beer-sellers exceeded the hour prescribed by the Act for keeping their houses open, they fell under a description of offence from which licensed victuallers were exempt, and that therefore the number of convictions of these different classes of individuals did not offer a fair comparison of the mischiefs arising from the two sorts of establishments.

Captain Wood

said, he thought it right to state, that in the London district, while the licensed victuallers were 4,300, the beer-shops were only 1,560; so that the convictions were two to one, and the numbers as three to one.

Lord Worsley

said, as a county magistrate, he felt bound to make a few observations. He certainly did not attribute the increase of crime to the beer-shops exclusively. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated, that crime had decreased. Now, that might be the case in large towns, but, in the country, he was afraid that the efficiency of the town police had but tended to drive bad characters into the rural districts. Certainly he much doubted if crime had really diminished so much as 45 per cent. At all events, that was not the case in his own county, where the depredations upon the farmers had greatly increased. The farmers, indeed, generally complained most grievously of the existing law, stating that their servants had thereby great facilities for drinking, and that their conduct had, since the passing of that law, become much worse. Of one thing he was convinced, that the state of the country would never become thoroughly improved until an efficient paid constabulary was established. He hoped the bill would be allowed to go into committee, though he was by no means so sanguine as to benefits to be expected from it, yet he felt that some alteration in the law was imperatively called for.

Mr. Pakington

said, he was not prepared for such a discussion upon the committee, which, he thought, would have better taken place upon the second reading. He must observe, that a great part of the speech of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer was against a bill now before the House—a bill for entirely doing away with the beer-housse. The hon. Member for Kilkenny had said, that no case had been made out for the present bill, an observation which he (Mr. Pakington) would not take the trouble to refute. The capital alleged to be invested in the beer-houses was very unequally distributed; and the proposal, that they should be such as were rated at 10l. or 15l., would secure respectability. As to the argument drawn from the returns of the London district, it was sufficient to observe, that the licensed victuallers were to the beer-houses as five to one. No one could be more desirous than himself of putting down all the misery and vice connected with spirit houses; but because such misery and vice were connected with the spirit houses, were the evils associated with the beer shops to go unremedied? It was in evidence before the committee of 1834, that the sale of spirits had been increased by the competition consequent upon the passing of the Beer Act. If it had been proved, that the public houses were the haunts of vice, they would have been equally condemned; but no such complaint had been made. Besides, the licensed victuallers' houses were directly under the control of the magistrates, which was not the case with these beerhouses. Now as to the question of crime, he admitted, that was most important— and that unless he could show, that the beer-houses were haunts of vice, and injurious to the working classes, he had no right to ask the House to restrict them. But the right hon. Gentleman had not established any case in their favour by merely stating from general statistical returns, that crime throughout the country had not increased. The real question was, whether it had not been established, that the beer-houses were the haunts of crime, that therefore they were strongly objectionable, and the ground of just and general complaint? Now he contended, that this had been abundantly proved. He would refer emphatically to the numerous confessions of men who had been executed under sentence of the law. Surely hon. Members would not disregard the declarations of dying men, as to the causes which had led to their unhappy fate. And he could cite many such declarations of men upon the scaffold, that their crime and their misery were attributed to beer-houses. He could also quote many confessions of those who had become the inmates of gaols, through the evil associations which they had formed in the beer-houses. From thirty-one counties, the magistrates had almost unanimously petitioned against the existing law. When the Act was under consideration in the House, the debates were long, and the division very narrow; and it was really remarkable to observe how accurately the predictions of those who had then opposed it had been fulfilled. Undoubtedly this was no party question. The Beer Act had been proposed by the party with whom he had the honour usually to vote. But the great man who had been then at the head of the Government had now been the foremost to avow that the measure had failed, and had since recorded his vote for the repeal. It had been said, indeed, that in 1834, legislation had taken place upon the subject, but it was legislation abortive and miserable. The present bill was founded upon the report of the Committee in 1834; and the proposal for a 10l. qualification was in reality lower than the 10l. proposed in 1834, as 10l. rating then would be equivalent to 15l. now, owing to the local Assessment Act, which had since passed; with regard to the hours, he must say, that the licensed victuallers had been hardly dealt with, and he would agree to the principle of the clause suggested in this respect by the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, though he thought it was very loosely worded, and would be difficult to frame accurately, especially in regard to travellers. Believing that the bill was intimately connected with the morals, welfare, and the happiness of the people, he hoped the House would not be led away by the statistical statements of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reject it.

Mr. M. Phillips

concurred in requesting his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilkenny, not to persist in opposing the bill going into committee. He regretted, that this bill, which had been introduced so long ago as the 7th March, should now be under discussion. He wished the subject had been referred to a select committee, which might have inquired into the different charges against both the beer-houses and licensed victuallers, and might have made a report, on which legislation would perhaps have been more satisfactorily founded than upon the discussions in that House. Upon one point he thought there could be no difference of judgment—that some legislation upon the subject was imperatively required. He hoped the hon. Member for Kilkenny would consent to withdraw his motion, and not interfere at present with the hon. Member.

Mr. Hume

said, that concurring in much of what had fallen from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he should withdraw his amendment.

House went into Committee.

On the first clause being put,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, it would be most convenient if the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool would bring forward his amendment on the first clause.

Viscount Sandon

agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that it would be better to dispose of his amendment (a clause for prohibiting the consumption of beer on the premises) at once. He had many objections to beer-houses, and could adduce the testimony of clergymen (Roman Catholics as well as Protestants) in Liverpool, Manchester, and other populous towns, that beer-houses were the resort of the worst characters, and had been productive of a great increase of crime. He contended, that the consumption of spirits was not diminished, but rather increased, by the multitude of beer-houses. The evidence of the deputy constable for Manchester slated, that such were the temptations the beer-shops held out to the lower classes, especially the Irish, to distil illicit spirits, that the revenue lost 50,000l. a year in that town alone. The objection against the system was almost unanimously strong amongst the best informed and the least prejudiced persons. The grand juries of Essex, Oxfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Surrey, the Western Circuit, and many other important districts, were all against it. He, therefore, would move the insertion of the following clause:— That from and after the commencement of the act, it shall be lawful for the commissioners of excise or other persons duly authorised, to grant a licence for the sale of beer, ale, porter, cider, and perry, under the authority of the said recited act (the former Beer Act), to any person applying for the same; but that such licence shall not authorize the sale of beer, &c, to be drunk or consumed in the house of the person specified in the licence. The Chairman was of opinion, that the amendment which was a new clause could not be put.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

thought it would be better that the question should be raised upon the postponement of the clause.

Amendment postponed.

On the question, that the blank in the first clause be filled up with the words "ten-pounds,"

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was glad the twelve month's previous residence was abandoned. He thought, however, the other provision equally unreasonable. The result of adopting it would be that 15,518 beer-houses, which at present were rated under 10l. would be disqualified. It would be also manifestly unjust, as it would continue 18,379 public-houses, which were all rated under 10l. Nothing could be more unjust, and he would add more untenable, than such a proposition, and he should most decidedly oppose it. He should also object to the principle of twelve months' previous residence, inasmuch as it would be a bar to the application of capital, and capital in its most beneficial state, arising from the occupation of houses of an improved construction, and built for the purposes of that trade. In the clause which he intended to substitute, he proposed that where the population of the district was under 5,000, the qualification should be 5l.; where it was above that number, the qualification to be 10l., and a house rated at 15l. to be the qualification within the bills of mortality. That would exclude about 1,800 houses existing under the present system, but he thought it would be productive of good, inasmuch as in the existing small houses they could not have good police regulations. On these grounds he would object to the clause.

Sir E. Knatchbull

was not quite sure, that the rates proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be successful, but he was anxious to allow a trial of the experiment. The whole responsibility ought to be thrown into the hands of the Government, and, if the experiment failed, the House could afterwards take the matter up.

Mr. Slaney

reminded the Committee, that a vast amount of property had been invested in the trade which was the subject of the bill. In the towns, the beer-shops had been in many cases productive of much good. He should prefer the rating between the two propositions, but, as that could not be obtained, he would recommend the adoption of the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Pakington

was deeply impressed with the necessity for legislation respecting beer-shops, and having taken up the subject at an early part of the Session, and from the most disinterested motives, he could not abandon the measure which he had brought forward, at least till the House had by a division expressed its opinion. He could not consent to adopt the non-consumption clause which had been proposed by the noble Lord near him, neither could he agree to the scale of 5l. 10l. and 15l. which had been recommended by the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The non-consumption clause would certainly diminish the number of beer-shops, but it would take away the best class and leave the worst remaining. He should, therefore, if the clause was pressed to a division, vote against it. By the scale proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 15l. was to be the rate for the metropolis, and he must say he thought that the proposal was unfair, for the beer-shops in the metropolis were the least objectionable, and yet they were to be rated highest. If he could not secure the principle, that no house should be licensed as a house of entertainment unless it was of the annual value of 10l. he would rather abandon the bill altogether.

Sir Robert Inglis

said, the Committee was placed in an extraordinary position by the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had brought in what he called clauses, a proceeding for which he believed there was no precedent. The bill of his hon. Friend consisted of a few clauses, and what his right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had introduced under thebumblename of "clauses" was a bill three times as long as that of his bon. Friend, and it seemed rather unfair to his hon. Friend to take that course. He hoped his hon. Friend would not abandon his original determination.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had taken that course which he considered fairest. He had given full notice of the clauses he meant to propose, and had them printed. The question was as to the 10l. qualification, to which he objected, because upon the best information he had been able to procure, he believed, the effect of that qualification would be to crush the beer-house keepers in many parts of the country. And he believed, that so long accustomed as the people had now been to these houses, it would be impossible to prevent the beer from being sold. It would be really monstrous to put down 15,000 beer-houses under 10l. and to allow 15,000 licensed victuallers' houses under 10l.

Mr. Parrott

said, he thought the Beer Act one of the best measures that had been adopted, and hon. Members who supported this bill, seemed to look rather at the few evils which were said to have arisen under the present system than at the many benefits it conferred on the labouring population.

The Committee divided on the question, that the blank in the first clause be filled up with the words, "ten pounds": —Ayes 76; Noes 103: Majority 27.

List of the AYES.
Attwood, W. Jermyn, Earl of
Bagge, W. Kemble, H.
Baker, E. Knatchbull, Sir E.
Bentinck, Lord G. Knight, H. G.
Bethell, R. Lascelles, W. S.
Brabazon, Sir W. Liddell, H. T.
Bruges, W. H. L. Lowther, Colonel
Buck, L. W. Lowther, J. H.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Lygon, hon. General
Chetwynd, W. Mackenzie, T.
Clerk, Sir G. Mackinnon, W. A.
Codrington, C. W. Manners, Lord C.
Cole, Viscount Marton, G.
Darlington, Earl of Miles, W.
Dungannon, Viscount Miles, P. W. S.
Du Pre, G. Noel, W. M.
Eastnor, Viscount Packe, C. W.
Egerton, W. T. Palmer, R.
Egerton, Sir P. G. Plumptre, J. P.
Estcourt, T. S. B. Polhill, F.
Evans, W. Pusey, P.
Fellowes, E. Rolleston, L.
Filmer, Sir E. Rushout, G.
Fleming, J. Sandon, Lord
Gore, O. J. R. Sanford, E. A.
Gore, O. W. Shaw, F.
Greene, T. G. Shirley, E. J.
Grimsditch, T. Teignmouth, Lord
Halford, H. Vere, Sir C. B.
Heathcote, Sir W. Verner, Colonel
Hector, C. J. Waddington, H. S.
Heneage, G. W. Walker, C. A.
Hodges, T.L. Welby, G. E.
Hope, hon. C. Williams, W. A.
Hope, G. W. Wodehouse, hon. E.
Hughes, W. B. Worsley, Lord
Hurt, F.
Inglis, Sir R. H. TELLERS.
Irton, S. Pakington, J. S.
Irving, J. Rushbrooke, Colonel
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Attwood, T.
Alcock, T. Baines, E.
Alston, R. Barnard, E. G.
Benett, J. O'Connell, J.
Bewes, T. O'Connell, M. J.
Blake, W. J. Palmer, C. F.
Bodkin, J. J. Parker, J.
Bowes, J. Parnell, Sir H.
Briscoe, J. I. Parrott, J.
Brocklehurst, J. Pechell, Captain
Brotherton, J. Philips, M.
Bulwer, Sir E. L. Pryme, G.
Burroughes, H. Rice, E.
Busfield, W. Rice, T. S.
Cayley, E. S. Rickford, W.
Clay, W. Roche, Sir D.
Collier, J. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Collins, W. Rundle, J.
Dashwood, G. H. Russell, Lord J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Salwey, Colonel
Duke, Sir J. Scholefield, J.
Ellis, W. Scrope, G. P.
Evans, G. Slaney, R. A.
Ewart, W. Smith, B.
Fazakerley, J. N. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Fenton, J. Stock, Dr.
Finch, F. Strickland, Sir G.
Fleetwood, H. Strutt, E.
Gibson, T. Sudden, Sir E.
Gillon, W. D. Tancred, H. W.
Goulburn, H. Thornley, T.
Grey, Sir G. Townley, R. G.
Hall, B. Troubridge, Sir T.
Hawes, B. Turner, E.
Hawkins, J. H. Verney, Sir H.
Hinde, J. H. Vigors, N.
Hindley, C. Villiers, C. P.
Hobhouse, T. B. Wallace, R.
Horsman, E. Warburton, H.
Hoskins, K. Ward, G. H.
Howard, P. H. White, A.
Howick, Lord Wilde, T.
Hume, J. Wilkins, W.
James, W. Williams, W.
Jervis, J. Wilmot, Sir E.
Langdale, hon. C. Wilshere, W.
Lushington, C. Winnington, T.
M'Leod, R. Winnington, H.
Marsland, H. Wood, C.
Molesworth, Sir W. Yates, J. A.
Morris, D. TELLERS.
Murray, A. Baring, hon. F.
Muskett, G. A. Steuart, R.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer

assured the House that he had brought forward his amendments in perfect good faith, and not with a view to lead to the abandonment of all legislation on the subject: if such had been his intention, he should have opposed this bill on its second reading. But after the decision the Committee had come to, what course was now to be pursued? He would not call upon the Committee now to discuss the clauses he had to propose, but would suggest that those clauses should be brought up and agreed to pro formâ, and that the Chairman should then report progress, and ask leave to sit again. In making this proposition, he was aware he laid himself open to the observation, that by this mode of proceeding he was substituting an entirely new bill for the one now before the House; but he was not without a precedent, for a similar course had been pursued by the hon. and learned Member for Huntingdon some sessions since. He, however, was in the hands of the Committee, but at present he should propose to negative this and the remaining clauses, to bring up his own clauses, and that the Chairman then report progress.

Mr. Cayley

recommended the hon. Member for Droitwich to leave the measure in the hands of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Goulburn

said, that the course proposed by the right hon. Gentleman was the only course that could now be pursued.

The first and remaining clauses negatived.

Viscount Sandon

then moved the clause above noticed.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

opposed the clause, on the ground that it would open the door to endless frauds. The beer-shop keepers would evade the law by allowing the beer to be drunk in their gardens or their neighbours' houses, and the whole country would be one scene of litigation.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 85; Noes 146: Majority 61.

List of the AYES.
A'Court, Capt. E. Fellowes, E.
Alford, Viscount Filmer, Sir E.
Attwood, W. Fleming, Admiral
Baker, E. Gore, O. J. R.
Bentinck, Lord G. Gore, O. W.
Bethell, R. Greene, T.
Broadley, H. Grimsditch, T.
Burr, H. Grimstone, E. H.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Hale, R. B.
Cantilupe, Lord Halford, H.
Cayley, E. S. Heathcote, Sir W.
Chetwynd, Major Hector, C. J.
Codrington, C. W. Heneage, G. W.
Cole, Lord Henniker, Lord
Cresswell, C. Herbert, S.
Darlington, Earl of Hillsborough, Earl of
D'Eyncourt, C. T. Hope, C.
Dungannon, Lord Hope, G. W.
Du Pre, G. Hughes, W. B.
Eastnor, Viscount Inglis, Sir R. H.
Egerton, W. T. Irton, S.
Egerton, Sir P. Irving, J.
Estcourt, T. S. B. Knatchbull, Sir E.
Liddell, H. T. Round, J.
Lowther, Colonel Rushbrooke, Colonel
Lygon, Colonel Shaw, F.
Mackenzie, T. Sheppard, T.
Mackinnon, W. A. Shirley, J. E.
Mahon, Lord Sibthorp, Colonel
Manners, Lord C. Sinclair, Sir G.
Maunsell, T. P. Stanley, E.
Miles, P. S. Talbot, C. R.
Neeld, J. Teignmouth, Lord
Noel, W. M. Thomas, Colonel
Norreys, Lord Thornhill, G.
Packe, C. W. Vere, Sir C. B.
Palmer, G. Vernor, W.
Parker, M. E. N. Waddington, H. S.
Parker, R. T. Welby, G. E.
Pease, J. Winnington, T. E.
Plumptre, J. P. Worsley, Lord
Pringle, A. TELLERS.
Richards, H. Sandon, Lord
Rolleston, Colonel Palmer, R.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Fenton, J.
Ainsworth, P. Finch, F.
Alcock, T. Fleetwood, Sir H.
Alston, R. Gillon, W. D.
Attwood, T. Gordon, R.
Bagge, W. Goulburn, H.
Baines, E. Grey, Sir G.
Baring, H. B. Harcourt, G. G.
Barnard, E. G. Hawes, B.
Beamish, F. B. Hawkins, J. H.
Benett, J. Hayter, W. G.
Berkeley, hon. C. Hinde, J. H.
Bewes, T. Hindley, C.
Blackstone, W. S. Hobhouse, T. B.
Blake, M. J. Hodges, T. L.
Blake, W. J. Hodgson, R.
Blennerhassett, A. Horsman, E.
Bodkin, J. J. Hoskins, K.
Bowes, J. Howard, P. H.
Bramston, T. W. Howard, Sir R.
Bridgman, H. Howick, Lord
Briscoe, J. Hume, J.
Brocklehurst, J. Hurt, F.
Brotherton, J. James, W.
Buck, L. W. Jervis, J.
Buller, C. Johnson, General
Bulwer, Sir E. L. Kemble, H.
Burroughes, H. N. Langdale, hon. C.
Busfeild, W. Lowther, J. H.
Callaghan, D. Lushington, C.
Clay, W. M'Leod, R.
Clements, Lord Marsland, H.
Collier, J. Martin, T.
Collins, W. Maule, hon. F.
Darby, G. Mildmay, P. St. John
Dashwood, G. H. Miles, W.
Douglas, Sir C. Molesworth, Sir W.
Duke, Sir J. Moreton, hon. A. H.
Ellis, W. Morris, D.
Euston, Earl of Murray, A.
Evans, G. Muskett, G. A.
Ewart, W. O'Connell, J.
Fazakerley, J. N. O'Connell, M. J.
O'Ferrall, M. Surrey, Earl of
Oswald, J. Tancred, H. W.
Paget, F. Thompson, Ald.
Pakington, J. S. Thomson, C. P.
Palmer, C. F. Thornely, T.
Parker, J. Troubridge, Sir T.
Parnell, Sir H. Turner, E.
Parrott, J. Verney, Sir H.
Pechell, Captain Vigors, N. A.
Philips, M. Villiers, C. P.
Pryme, G. Walker, R.
Redington, T. N. Wallace, R.
Rice, E. B. Warburton, H.
Rice, T. S. Ward, H. G.
Rickford, W. Westenra, hon. R.
Roche, Sir D. Westenra, J. C.
Rolfe, Sir R. M. White, A.
Rundle, J. White, Colonel H.
Russell, Lord J. Wilde, T.
Rutherford, A. Wilkins, W.
Salwey, Colonel Williams, W.
Scholefield, J. Williams, W. A.
Slaney, R. Wilshere, W.
Smith, J. A. Winnington, H.
Smith, B. Wodehouse, E.
Standish, C. Wood, C.
Stanley, E. J. Wood, Captain
Stansfield, W. R. C. Yates, J. A.
Stuart, Lord J.
Stock, Dr. TELLERS.
Strutt, E. Baring, F.
Style, Sir C. Steuart, R.

Clause rejected. House resumed.