MR. SHIRESS WILL&c.) (Montrose,
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate if his attention has been directed to the fact that a keeper of a public house, called the Black Horse Inn, in Montrose, having applied for an extension of his licence to an upper flat of the same building previously unlicensed and entirely separated from the inn, the licensing authorities omitted to give any public notice of the application by advertisement, and further that, on the meeting of the Court in April last, although no one appeared in support of, or to ask for, such licence, the Magis- 281 trates granted the same; whether, in all such cases of application for extension of licence to portions of the same building not previously licensed, public notice by advertisement is necessary under the statute; whether it was lawful for the Magistrates to grant the application in the absence of the applicant or anyone representing him; and whether, in the circumstances, there is any remedy or redress open to persons who were desirous of opposing the extension of the licence to the upper flat, and who, but for the absence of public notice of the application, would have opposed the same?
§ *THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. P. B. ROBERTSON,) Bute
I am informed that the premises in question have been for a long period licensed as a public house, and not as an inn, as the name would lead one to suppose. The original premises, which consisted of two storeys, were burnt down last year. The present holder of the licence re-built the house, but only asked for a certificate for the lower part of the premises. Finding this insufficient, he applied last April for a certificate for the whole building, and the Magistrates, looking to the fact that the original building was of two storeys, rightly or wrongly treated this application as one for renewal and not for a new certificate. The Licensing Acts do not appear to require public notice to be given in cases of renewal to the same holder, nor are applicants required to attend unless required by the Court to do so. If the view taken by the Magistrates is correct, there does not appear to have been any illegality. In these circumstances, I am not aware of any mode of testing the validity of this licence except possibly by action in a Court of Law.