HC Deb 21 January 1897 vol 45 cc197-8
SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)

I beg to ask the Attorney General whether he has made inquiry into the conditions under which the sale of liquid is carried on within the precincts of the House, and is able to state to the House the results of his inquiry. The hon. Member, in putting the Question, pointed out that there was a misprint on the Paper. The word "liquid" should read "liquor." [Laughter.]


In accordance with the promise I gave to the hon. Baronet I have carefully looked into the matter, and have taken the best advice on the subject, and I have come to the conclusion that the sale of intoxicating liquors as at present carried on in the precincts of the House is not in accordance with the law. [Loud laughter.] I am, however, clearly of opinion that the provisions of the Licensing Acts cannot be applied, and are wholly unsuitable to the circumstances of the case. [Renewed laughter.] I am in communication with my right hon. Friends the Home Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to what steps had best be taken. My present opinion is that a short Act should be passed exempting the Houses of Parliament from the operation of the Licensing and Excise Laws. [Laughter.]


asked if the Government would find time this Session to pass that Act?


desired to know whether, pending the passing of that Act, they were to be allowed to have liquors served.

[No answer was given.]