HC Deb 02 June 1863 vol 171 cc246-7

said, some time ago he presented a Petition, professedly signed by Licensed Victuallers in Hull, in favour of closing public-houses on a Sunday. The Licensed Victuallers of that town had instituted an inquiry into this Petition, and they contended that of 176 signatures to the Petition ninety-four were those of beer-house keepers, some of whom were deceased or had left their premises; seven, of those who died some time ago; fifteen, who left their premises in 1862; thirty-two were genuine signatures; eighteen were doubtful, having been called on and not seen; two were not known, and seven were false signatures. He (Mr. Somes) bad also instituted an inquiry, and he found, on reliable authority, that although it was mentioned in the note that accompanied the Petition that it was from licensed victuallers, eighty-four signatures were those of beer-house keepers; seventy-six were licensed victuallers; nine had wine licences; one signature was supposed to be that of a servant; one was unknown; one house from which a signature had been obtained had four occupants in twelve months, and two of the people who signed the Petition had gone away and left no address. He should say that the Petition was got up in 1862, in anticipation of some measure for closing public-houses on Sundays. It was merely for that purpose, and not in favour of his (Mr. Somes's) Bill. He mentioned this matter because he did not wish to deceive the House.