§ MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether his attention has been called to complaints that, whilst publicans in Long ford are compelled by statute to close their shops and not to sell drink except to bona fide travellers, the Military canteen is kept open for such sale and free admission granted to all civilians who apply, with the result that several convictions for drunkenness on Sundays have recently been obtained by the police; and, whether he will cause such representations to be made to the War Department as will prevent this competition between an unlicensed canteen and a licensed publican, and also prevent the violation of law which the Sunday Closing Act was designed to enact?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
I am informed that it is not the fact, as alleged in the Question, that several convictions for drunkenness on Sundays have recently been obtained by the police at Longford, because of drink supplied in the Military canteen 1427 there. A few months ago a man under the influence of drink was observed coming from the direction of the military barrack on Sunday and a conviction was obtained against him, but this appears to be the only recent case, and there was no evidence that this man got the drink at the canteen. The presence of civilians in the canteen is absolutely for bidden both on Sundays and other days. No representations on the subject have been made to the War Office, but if the practice exists it will be promptly stopped.