HC Deb 09 May 1901 vol 93 cc1194-5

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if his attention has been called to a case which was tried at the Birmingham Police Court, on 24th April last, in which a beerhouse keeper was summoned and convicted for permitting drunkenness on his licensed premises; whether he is aware that it was proved in evidence that five young girls, whose ages were 12, 14, 15, 15, and 16 respectively, were found drunk on such premises; and whether, having regard to the fact that this is not an isolated instance of young children being served with intoxicating liquor, he can promise on behalf of the Government that they will give facilities for passing into law this session the Intoxicating Liquors (Prevention of Sale to Children) Bill.


I have nothing as yet to add to the answers I have given on more than one occasion in regard to this private Bill. As regards the very shocking case to which the hon. Gentleman calls my attention, I have not had any opportunity of finding out whether the facts are correctly represented in the question, but I have no reason to doubt that they are. I may perhaps point out to the hon. Gentleman that I do not think the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Children Bill would do much in such a case, because the man had already committed an offence against the existing law, and had been punished under the existing law.

MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)

May I ask whether, having regard to the anxiety which exists as to the fate of this Bill, the right hon. Gentleman can possibly say if he will be in a position to state before Whitsuntide what he will do?


I do not think it has ever been usual, and I do not think it is convenient, to state at so early a period of the session the course the Government propose to take with regard to a private Bill.