HC Deb 17 March 1863 vol 169 cc1552-4

moved for leave to bring in a Bill for closing Public-houses on Sundays. The hon. Member said, he would defer entering into an explanation of the details of the measure until the Motion for the second reading.


said, it would be contrary to justice, and entirely opposed to the feelings of the people of this country that accommodation should not be afforded for supplying refreshments at public-houses on Sundays. Though he was opposed to improper drinking and riotous conduct on Sundays, yet he thought the Bill now sought to he brought in for entirely closing public-houses on Sundays would be fraught with such injustice, especially to the poorer classes, that he should take the somewhat unusual course of opposing its introduction.


stated, that having been communicated with by the hon. Member who proposed to introduce this Bill, he told him, that as it was unusual to oppose the introduction of a Bill, he should offer no opposition to the Motion for leave to bring in the Bill; but he gave the hon. Gentleman no hope that he would assent to the Bill on the second reading. Subject, therefore, to the understanding that he must not be supposed to give any sanction to the measure, he was willing to assent to its introduction.


hoped the hon. Member (Mr. Packe) would not persevere in opposing the introduction of the Bill, which had been asked for by thousands of the most worthy, the most intelligent, and the most religious of the population. It was in principle the same as that which had been applied in Scotland, where it had been found to succeed thoroughly—and not merely to have succeeded, but to have received almost the universal assent of the people and even of the publicans. Perhaps the Bill might require some amendment, but that could he done in Committee.


begged to give notice that in the very improbable event of this Bill being read a second time, he should, on its going into Committee, move the addition of a clause including every club in London on the Sunday in its provisions.


said, he was surprised at the opposition to the Bill. It appeared to him that the law was most inconsistent. The sale of bread and meat and necessaries of life on Sundays was prohibited; but the public-houses were thrown open to the people, where they might purchase intoxicating liquors. He could not understand that system of legislation. In his constituency the Bill had the support not merely of a large portion of the people but of the publicans. He should certainly vote for the Motion for leave.


said, he would not persevere in dividing the House on the question of leave.

Question put, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill for closing Public-houses on Sunday,"

And there being several voices in the negative,

The House divided:—Ayes 141; Noe3 52: Majority 89.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. SOMES and Mr. PEASE.

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