HC Deb 28 March 1890 vol 343 cc172-3
SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to a case at the Derby Borough Court on Thursday 20th March, when two publicans were summoned for supplying liquor to a drunken man, Alfred Hall, who died shortly after, and in whose case the verdict was "death from apoplexy, caused by excessive drinking;" whether the magistrates, having come to the unanimous decision that both of the defendants were guilty, fined one of them 40 shillings, and the other one 20 shillings, without endorsing either of their licences; and if this be correct, whether he will consider the expediency of legislating to provide more efficient measures for preventing this class of offences?


I am informed by the Justices that the facts are as stated. The defence of the landlords was that it was not noticeable to them or to their servants that the deceased was the worse for drink, and they gave evidence themselves and called witnesses to prove that the man was not drunk. The magistrates considered the case proved; but, having regard to the previous good character of the defendants, and to the fact that they did not know the deceased was drunk, they did not endorse their licences. I think the discretion of the Justices can be safely trusted in such cases; and I do not see any necessity for an amendment of the law.


Is it not the duty of a publican to know when a man is drunk?

[No reply.]