§ MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will inquire into the circumstances under which extensions of time for the nights of the 4th, 6th, and 8th of August were granted to Mr. George Sanger, of the "Hall by the Sea" public-house at Margate, by the Borough Bench; whether he is aware that, in the first instance, the Bench granted the extension for the 4th and 6th of August, and refused it for the 8th of August, but that subsequently, on the 1st of August, they granted the extension for the 8th of August, on the ground that some time ago an agreement or understanding was come to between the Justices and Mr. Sanger that all applications made by him for extensions; of time should be granted; whether such an agreement or understanding, if it exists, is legal; whether he is aware that the numerous grants of extension of time to Mr. Sanger have given great dissatisfaction in Margate to the inhabitants and to the other licensed victuallers; and whether ho can take any steps in the matter?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fife, E.
The Report which I have received from the Justices is as follows:—For some years past it has been the custom to grant extension of time during the season to the "Hall by the Sea" (Mr. Sanger) and to the Royal Assembly Rooms, the two premises having a similar class of entertainment, on Saturday till 11.45 p.m. and on Monday till 12 p m, the occasion being an extra concert and ball; and also on Wednesday till 12 p.m., the occasion being a juvenile ball. At the Petty Sessions on July 25 last the usual application was made by Mr. Sanger, of the "Hall by the Sea" (through his solicitor), for the usual extensions 551 of time—namely, on July 28 (Saturday), July 30 (Monday), and August 1 (Wednesday). The Justices granted the application for July 28 and July 30, but refused the application for August 1. At the Petty Sessions of August 1 the application for extension of time for August 1 was renewed and granted by a Bench of Justices differently constituted to the Bench on July 25. On each occasion there were eight Justices present, and on the first occasion there were four of the Justices in favour and four against the application. No agreement has ever been come to by the Justices and Mr. Sanger that all applications made by him for extensions of time should be granted; but Margate, being a season town, the applications have not been refused, as there have been no complaints against these two places of entertainment.No doubt any such understanding, if it existed, would be illegal. The Licensing Justices state that they are not aware that these extensions have given great dissatisfaction in Margate. I have no jurisdiction to interfere with the discretion of Justices in the exercise of their licensing powers.