HC Deb 17 August 1893 vol 16 cc408-9
SIR C. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the fact that, by Section 6 of "The Public Houses (Hours of Closing) (Scotland) Act, 1887," it is provided that any person holding a licence for the sale of Excisable liquors in Scotland who shall contravene the terms of the certificate granted to him under this Act shall be guilty of an offence involving the penalties and forfeitures provided by the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, or any one of them, for breaches of the terms, provisions, and conditions of certificates; whether, in defiance of this provision of the law, the Board of Inland Revenue, under date 1st January, 1893, has in- structed its officers in Scotland to permit publicans, who have received the permission of the Magistrates, to sell at the usual place of business beyond the hours mentioned in their certificate; whether ho is aware that such a breach of the terms, provisions, and conditions of 10 o'clock certificates was sanctioned in Arbroath on the night of the 6th July last; and on what authority the Board of Inland Revenue acted when it suggested and countenanced this breach of the Licensing Law of Scotland?


The instruction referred to is, no doubt, a paragraph in the "Instructions relative to Licences" issued by the Board of Inland Revenue, and has been in force for a number of years. It is incorrectly described in the question as an instruction to permit publicans to sell beyond the hours mentioned in their certificates. It is merely an instruction that publicans who have the permission of the Magistrates to sell beyond the hours prescribed by law at their usual place of business do not require occasional licences. This is a statement of the law, and is founded on the provisions of the Act 26 & 27 Vict., c. 33, section 19. It is understood that the Magistrates of Arbroath, on the occasion of the Royal Wedding on the 6th July last, authorised the publicans in the town to keep their premises open till 11 p.m.; but this extension of time was not in any way suggested by the Board of Inland Revenue, who were not concerned in the matter.


But is not this instruction entirely contrary to the Act of Parliament, and ought not the Inland Revenue to administer the law?


The Inland Revenue Authorities should be the last people to do anything contrary to the law. If my hon. Friend wishes to try a test case he is at liberty to do so.


I shall raise the question on the Estimates.

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