§ MR. COX
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the injustice done by five Magistrates of the county of Middlesex, sitting in Special Sessions, to a Mr. Weston, not only in refusing him a "Gladstone" Wine Licence for the Retreat Tea Gardens at Kentish Town, but also in refusing to give the grounds of their objections when called on so to do by the Counsel of Mr. Weston, to enable him to appeal to Quarter Sessions; and whether he will bring in a Bill next Session making it compulsory on Magistrates refusing applications for such Licences to state their reasons for refusing to grant the same?
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
Sir, a short statement of this case was placed in my hands a few days ago by the hon. Gentleman. I can only state in answer to his question, what the law as to granting Wine Licences is. By the Act of 1860 (23 &c 24 Vict. c. 27, s. 13), on an application for a Wine Licence for the first time being made to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, the Supervisor of Excise for the district is required to send notice of the application to the Justices of the Petty Sessions, stating that the licence will be granted after thirty days, unless the justices send a written notice that they object to its being I granted on some or one of the grounds specified in the Act. It is further provided; that no such objection shall be sent by the justices until they shall have heard what the applicant has to say against the objection, unless he refuses or neglects to attend before them on a summons, which summons must state the grounds of objection. Mr. Weston, therefore, must, I presume, have been summoned and the ground of objection stated to him before the notice of objection was sent to the Excise by the magistrates. It does not appear that there is any appeal to the Sessions in the case of a first application, the appeal being limited to an objection to the renewal of a licence already granted. The Act was one brought in by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I cannot give any assurance as to a Bill for altering its provisions.