HC Deb 13 June 1882 vol 270 cc976-7

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that three applications for confirmation of new certificates for grocers' and publicans' licences, set down for consideration at a meeting of the Joint Licensing Committee of Peterhead on May 15th, not being granted in consequence of there being no quorum of the Joint Committee, the magistrates present granted an illegal certificate authorising the applicants to sell liquor at their own risk, and on that certificate the Excise authorities have provisionally accepted the Licence Duty, and permitted the persons to sell liquor as if licensed according to Law; and, whether, when provisionally accepting the Duty, the Excise officials granted licences on unconfirmed "new certificates," in contravention of the provisions of the Publicans' Certificates (Scotland) Act; and, if not, under what authority the Excise officials have in these cases connived at the selling of excisable liquors by unlicensed persons?


I am informed that the Confirmation Court at Peterhead, which did not consist of the full quorum, confirmed, so far as they had the power, the certificates in the three oases referred to, which certificates had been unanimously granted by the Licensing Court. This, however, was subject to the applicants accepting the risk of an objection, on the ground of the incompleteness of the Court. The Excise have not granted licences in any of the cases; but, in accordance with their usual practice, and not in contravention of any Act of Parliament, they informed the applicants that if they thought proper to deposit the Licence Duty and to sell on their own responsibility, pending the full confirmation, they would not be interfered with so far as the Revenue was concerned.