HC Deb 09 March 1891 vol 351 c482
MR. ROWNTREE (Scarborough)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been drawn to the continued and excessive drinking at public houses disclosed by the evidence in the inquest on the late Whitechapel murder, in which Sadler was described by two witnesses as "very drunk, and the deceased woman was stated to be half dazed with drink;" if it is correct that 2,309 persons were apprehended during the year 1889 for drunkenness in the Whitechapel police district; how many of the holders of licences in that district were proceeded against for permitting drunkenness during that year, and with what results; and if he will consider whether steps can be taken either to make the law, or the administration of the law in the Metropolis, more efficient in checking drunkenness?


Yes, Sir; I gather from statements made before the coroner that the man Sadler had been drinking excessively from house to house. The figures quoted in the second paragraph are correct. There was one case where proceedings were taken for permitting drunkenness, and this was dismissed by the Magistrate. The Commissioner of Police assures me that every effort is made for the efficient enforcement of the law, and the figures quoted show that the police are not inactive. But the hon. Member is doubtless aware that there are great difficulties of proof in cases where publicans are charged with permitting drunkenness, and I do not think those difficulties will he removed by alteration of the law.

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