HC Deb 16 June 1890 vol 345 c1046

I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether it is true, as stated in some news papers, that the Government have ex pressed their willingness to appoint a Select Committee next year to inquire into the subject of compensation; and whether the Government will consider the advisability of withdrawing those clauses in the Local Taxation Bill which provides that payments may be made by the County Councils for the extinction of licences, and postpone the consideration of the subject until after the Select Committee has reported?


A large section of the Government's supporters are desirous that a Committee should care fully examine the licensing question, and notably some proposals of the noble Lord the Member for Paddington. The Government are perfectly willing, if the House should desire it, to appoint a Committee for this purpose, and, as far as they are concerned, they will afford facilities for the inquiry. It is, however, quite impossible for the Government to postpone the consideration of the clauses referred to until the Report of such a Committee is issued. I can only say, in regard to the Bill before the House, that it does not refer to the question of compensation in the sense which I attach to the word. It rather gives power to Local Authorities, if they wish, and not otherwise, to enter into negotiations for the purchase of licences, and it does not—I say it with all respect to those who differ from me—touch the principle of compensation.