§ MR. SUMMERS (Huddersfield)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that about two years ago a Census was taken of the public houses and beer houses in the Parliamentary Borough of Burnley, which proved that, out of 177 houses of this description, 165 were "tied houses," whilst only 12 were free; whether there is reason to believe that a similar state of things exists in other boroughs and counties in the United Kingdom; and whether, if the Inland Revenue Department possesses no information on this subject, he will cause inquiry to be made?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEK,) St. George's, Hanover Square
No, Sir; I have no information as to the Census to which the hon. Member refers, and I have no knowledge whether the state of things said to exist in Burnley applies to the rest of the United Kingdom. As at present advised, I am doubtful whether officers of the Inland Revenue have a locus standi to institute an inquiry into what is a matter of private contract.