§ COLONEL SIR H. VINCENT
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that considerable irritation has been caused by the efforts of the police, acting apparently under the direction of the local authority, to induce and incite those in charge of the sergeants' mess and the canteen established for the benefit of the Sheffield and Leeds Artillery Volunteers, recently encamped near Lancaster, to break the law and sell intoxicating liquor to them in civilian dress without a licence; and whether he will, should the matter come under his official cognisance, cause the local authority to be informed that such practices are undesirable, and only sanctioned in aggravated cases in the Metropolitan Police District, and that the end in view might have been as readily achieved by a reminder to the officer commanding of the requirements of the statute?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. J. COLLINGS, Birmingham, Bordesley)
The matter has not been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State, otherwise than by the Question of my 911 honourable Friend, and is hardly one in which he would feel justified in interfering with the discretion of the local authority. I may say that the practice of the Metropolitan Police in cases of this kind, where they have reason to believe that liquor is being sold on unlicensed premises, is to inform the Inland Revenue authorities.
§ MR. TOMLINSON (Preston)
May I ask whether some arrangement cannot be made by which the police can be induced to act in concert with the commanding officer of a battalion in such matters?
§ MR. COLLINGS
That is a matter purely for the discretion of the local authorities, and one in which the Home Office cannot interfere.