§ Order for Second Reading read.
MR. H. BERKELEY
I rise, Sir, to move the second reading of the Sale of Beer Bill. I am not about to make a speech. I rely entirely on the Report of the Committee. I think that the convenience of the public requires this Bill; the Committee was of that opinion, and if any Gentleman objects to the Bill, I hope he will take his objection on the third reading, and allow it to pass the second reading now.
§ MR. HORSFALL
said, he was aware that the Bill was brought in on the recommendation of the Committee, and he only rose to express his regret that the Committee should have come to the decision which they had on such ex parte evidence. The whole case had been heard on the part of the publicans, and nothing had ben heard on the part of the public. He believed a large mass of evidence was offered and was rejected, and under those circumstances he could only express his regret that the Committee should have made the recommendation which they had, He did not, however, intend to move the rejection of the Bill.
§ MR. I. BUTT
said, he wished to ask a question with regard to one of the provisions of the Bill. If, as he understood, it was founded on the Report of the Committee, one of its provisions appeared to him to be essentially at variance with the Report, and he wished to know whether it was accidental or intentional. The Report recommended that public-houses should be closed to one o'clock on Sundays, then open till three, then closed till five, after which they were to be open till eleven, but by the Bill as it was printed, it appeared to him, that public houses might be open the whole day on Sunday until three o'clock. He wished to know if that was intended or not?
§ MR. COBBETT
said, that as one of the Committee, he wished to say that if the provision was as the hon. and learned Gentleman had stated it was entirely accidental. The recommendation of the Committee was that public-houses should be closed from twelve o'clock on Saturday night to one o'clock on Sunday, when they were to be open till three, then to be closed till five, and then opened till eleven, and that was intended to be the provision of the Bill. With reference to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Horsfall) who said that the case of the publicans had been gone into by the Committee, and the case of the public had not been considered, he could assure the hon. Member that the case of the publicans had been carefully excluded by the Committee. They from the first took the arrangement of the case into their own hands, with the view to its being conducted as they thought it should be; and they called before them the principal magistrates and the Commissioners of police, who, with one or two exceptions, were the only persons examined, and the case of the publicans was not entered into, it being intended that the examination should go only into the case of the public.
§ MR. FREWEN
said, he wished to inquire whether any practical good would arise from going on with the Bill, which, would most likely be rejected in another place on the ground that it altered a Bill passed last Session, which could not be said to have had a sufficient trial.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he wished to say one word with reference to what had fallen from the hon. and learned Member for Youghal (Mr. I. Butt). With all deference to the hon. and learned Member's legal knowledge, he thought that the Bill would not interfere with the Act by which public-houses were closed during the whole of Sunday morning There was another provision of the Bill which he thought should be considered in Committee—that which gave an appeal from the conviction of a magistrate. That was not recommended by the Committee; and it was doubtful whether such an appeal should be given, when it was not given in other Acts relating to the same subject.
§ Bill read 2°.