MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether it was in accordance with the wishes of the publicans or in the interest of public order that the Chief Commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, in response to a memorial, recently changed the hour of opening for certain public houses in the vicinity of the Dublin Corporation markets from 4.30 a.m. to 5.45 a.m.; (2) whether the Chief Commissioner of Police has granted a new exemption order in favour of five publicans who had forfeited the early opening privilege allowing them to open henceforth at 4.30 a.m.; (3) whether he will state why these publicans had been deprived of the privilege now restored; and (4) whether it is his intention to make any change in the exemption order of those traders who never forfeited their early licences, but who are now forced to keep their houses closed till 5.45 a.m., while their competitors who had forfeited theirs are allowed to open at 4.30 a.m.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
It was at the request of a deputation of publicans that the Chief Commissioner of Police made the change mentioned in the first paragraph. The reply to the second paragraph is in the affirmative. These publicans had been deprived of the privilege of early opening in consequence of breaches of the law. The publicans opening at 5.45 a.m. have been informed by the Chief Commissioner that if they found that it would be for the advantage of their customers that the earlier opening hour of 4.30 a.m. should be restored, he would be prepared to revert to this latter hour.