HC Deb 17 June 1902 vol 109 cc913-52

As amended by the Standing Committee, further considered.


said he wished to move to insert a Clause providing that if the holder of any licence authorising the consumption of intoxicating liquor upon the premises refused to supply the reasonable demands of a traveller for refreshment other than intoxicating liquor, he should be liable upon summary conviction, for the first offence, to a fine not exceeding 40s., and for any subsequent offence of a like nature to a fine not exceeding £5. The object was, he explained, to compel licensed victuallers to supply refreshments other than intoxicating drinks to any person who demanded it. Many hundreds of young people now indulged in cycling, and many of these desired refreshment other than intoxicants or aerated waters. They preferred, in fact, a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of bread and butter, but they were constantly refused by licence holders. Hence this Clause. He submitted it to the Grand Committee but was unfortunately defeated on a division, although he got a considerable amount of support. As a fact, the Clause imposed no new obligations, but it was desirable to have power to inflict a penalty in cases of refusal. He was sure he had the sympathy of the Home Secretary, as well as of the hon. Member for the Burton Division of Staffordshire.

New Clause (Supply of non-intoxicant refreshment)—(Mr. Broadhurst)—brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."

SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)

hoped the Amendment would be favourably considered by the Home Secretary, for he could assure the right hon. Gentleman that magistrates in different parts of the country were desirous that publicans should be compelled to supply the reasonable demands of travellers in this respect. Bicyclists had found that beer was not a good liquor on which to travel, and the House should not discourage the demand for non-intoxicating refreshment. Relatives of his own who had been bicycling, or playing in football matches, had been refused such refreshment in indignant and supercilious tones, and had been told "This is a house for the sale of drink." The law which allowed a house to be kept open for the sale of intoxicating drink and did not insist upon the supply of other refreshment was a faulty law. The Home Secretary would find that in accepting this Clause he would have the support of the magistracy and of the public in general.

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

said when this clause was before the Standing Committee, the Home Secretary said the licensed victualler was not even bound to supply intoxicating liquor, his obligations differing in this respect from those of an innkeeper. He was in sympathy with his hon. friend on that matter, and he would like to know the reason for the difference. If a licensed victualler was legally entitled to refuse even beer to a traveller, what on earth was the use of having him at all? What was the duty of a licensed victualler in "merrie England"? He knew what it was in Ireland and Scotland, but he would like to be told if there were two kinds of licences in England.


said it must have been the experience of many Members that they were often unable to get even bread and cheese at public-houses, and some of the refreshment rooms at the railway stations were very little better than the public-houses in this respect. It was true that at many railway stations an excellent luncheon could be obtained, but he was sorry to say that the refreshment room at the Ipswich station was practically converted, he might say absolutely converted, into a drinking bar. To get a glass of whisky was easy enough, but it was difficult to obtain other refreshment that many travellers desired. He earnestly hoped the Home Secretary would take this matter into serious consideration.

MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)

said he thought the distinction drawn between innkeepers and licensed victuallers was a barbarous novelty, and that all licensed holders should be compelled to supply the reasonable requirements of travellers. The licensed victualler engaged a monopoly, and in return he was bound to perform certain services. He recently took some young friends, after a long walk, to an out-of-the-way public-house in the Isle of Wight. He asked for luncheon for them, but he was absolutely refused until he threatened to oppose the renewal of the man's licence. Such conduct, he submitted, was contrary to the spirit of the law.

MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)

said that on application to a magistrates' clerk he got confirmation of the Home Secretary's statement to the Committee upstairs that there was a distinction between a licensed victualler and an innkeeper, and he certainly considered it most desirable that that distinction should be abolished. Surely the House would approve that. Cyclists and other travellers ought to have no difficulty in getting a cup of tea.


The arguments in favour of the Amendment are largely drawn from personal experiences, and although such experiences are exceedingly valuable I suspect that an alteration of the law based on them would not be quite desirable in the general interest. Circumstances under which individual Members have met with scant courtesy required to be fully explained before they can be acted upon. My hon. friend the Member for South Tyrone has correctly stated what occurred in the Committee upstairs when the Bill was before them and when this Amendment was rejected by a very considerable majority. The position is just this—the licensed victualler is not compelled by his licence to supply anything at all. The proposal now is that he should be compelled to supply a thing he does not sell, and if he does not supply it he is to be liable to a criminal prosecution. [Laughter.] I notice that a different principle is to apply to the temperance hotel-keeper. He is not even to be compelled to supply what he professes to sell. I have been asked what is the difference between an innkeeper and the licensed victualler. Well, the latter carries on his business under statute, while the innkeeper is compelled by common law to supply to any traveller who applies for it reasonable food and lodging. I think to make a licensed victualler subject to the criminal liability proposed in the clause, while the innkeeper, who is not a licensed victualler, is left untouched, is to make a very serious alteration in the law; and however desirable some alteration of the liabilities of innkeepers or licensed victuallers may be when we are considering a general revision of the licensing laws, I demur altogether to the alteration being introduced by an Amendment to a limited measure of the kind now before the House. After all, hon. Members have the remedy in their own hands. They may oppose the renewal of the licence of a man who refuses to supply reasonable refreshments, and think the licensing authority would be right in taking the fact into consideration upon the question whether the licence should be renewed or not. On these grounds I deprecate the introduction of such an Amendment as this into the Bill.


said the distinction that existed according to the Home Secretary's interpretation of the law between the licensed victualler and the Innkeeper was one that should be removed. But this distinction had nothing to do with the question before the House at all. This licensed business was a monopoly of the most enormous value. It was a monopoly which the Government refused year after year to touch, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer preferred rather to tax the bread of the poor this year than to touch it. There was no monopoly comparable in magnitude and value to it, and he was going to say in its corrupting influence. The licensed trade enjoyed these privileges from the State and had no right to complain of any of the fresh obligations being placed upon them. He was quite sure this proposed clause would be to the advantage and convenience of the people of this country, and therefore asked the House to pass it.

MR. GOULDING (Wiltshire, Devizes)

said he thought the House was taken at a disadvantage in having to discuss an important Bill of this kind at such short notice, seeing that the great majority of hon. Members interested had not expected the Bill to come on. He warned those who were inclined to ruin the liquor trade that, much as they disliked the grain duty, the taxes lost by the ruin of the licensed victualler would have to be made Up in some such way as the grain duty. The licensed victualler was taxed out of all proportion to any other class of the community, and for this a distinct duty was laid upon him, and more should not be required off him. They had heard the experiences of various hon. Members in visiting public-houses. Well, he had always found that the temperance man was the most impatient and irrational man on the face of the earth. He expected the licensed victualler to supply him with all sorts of things he did not sell, and his orders were often given in the most incomprehensible manner. Altogether the temperance man seemed to be overcome with his own importance and authority; indeed, he was prepared to exercise authority over everything and everybody. He spoke as a frequenter of public-houses, and when going round his constituency he found, if he wanted a little refreshment, the public-house a much more genial place to enter than one of those temperance dens, where they found everyone in the place imagining themselves to be altogether of a superior character ready to pull down everything and to complain of everything. He went into a public-house and took his refreshment and enjoyed it after his day's work, and he there met good fellows who had done their day's work and were in good humour to talk to their Member. For that reason he went to the public-house, but he could not recollect a single occasion when he was refused food. He had gone into a public house times without number; he meant to continue to do so, and he thought he was as fit for work as anyone who frequented only temperance taverns. Hon. Members who required tea, eggs, and so on, must remember that it was not the duty of a publican to keep a kettle always boiling to supply temperance people. It would be a grievous wrong to inflict a penalty for these omissions unless they at the some time considerably reduced the licence duties. The hon. Member for Leicester had complained that lie was unable to obtain proper and necessary refreshment at railway bars. The hon.; Member had been most unfortunate in the bars he had visited, because usually there were delightful glass cases of sweetbreads and gingerbreads, which ought to satisfy the appetite of the most inveterate teetotaller, and he had found that when he ordered a glass of beer he could always get a sandwich with it. He therefore rejoiced that the Home Secretary had decided not to accept the. Amendment, but to continue to give the licensed victualler the same obligations to discharge which he had undertaken to discharge when he took out his licence, and which he had discharged uncommonly well up to the present day.

(9.35.) MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)

said the speech of the hon. Member for Devizes was very interesting and amusing, but it had extremely little reference to the Amendment. The hon. Member had told them about his habits and his constant visits to public-houses. He had told them that he had never asked for food and been refused, but he had not told them that he had ever asked for food.


I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but for the credit of the cuisine of the public-houses I must say that I have often asked for food and have always got it.


thought his hon. friend must have chosen his public houses very carefully. The purport of the new clause was that where it was not now necessary to provide such refreshments it should, in future, be necessary. Therefore, the fact that he had never suffered from being unable to get the food he required had really no relevance to the subject under discussion. The Amendment was a most reasonable one; it would effect a very desirable change in the law, and if the hon. Member for Leicester went to a division, he should certainly support him.

MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)

said it was his experience at public houses in the country that publicans were very much put about if they were asked to supply anything to eat. He belonged to the irrational class of people who believed that temperance ought to be promoted as far as possible, and being of opinion that the Amendment would be of material assistance to the cause of temperance he should vote for it. He was glad the Home Secretary had expressed his sympathy with the Amendment, and, although it might not be much use making any appeal, he thought the present was a very favour able opportunity for introducing a provision which had been long wanted. He had always voted against the extreme measures of teetotalism, because he recognised that the public-house was to a great extent the meeting-place of the people. But he wanted to see the public-house a place to which the teetotaler could go as well as the man who wanted a glass of beer. One would hope that with the advance of education, the younger people would desire to spend their evenings somewhat more arduously, but the fact remained that many a weary man was in the habit of meeting his friends in the only place now open to him, viz., the public-houses. At the time the Parish Councils Bill was under discussion he attempted to insert a provision to enable the councils to provide parish-rooms in which such men could meet without being obliged, as the price of enjoying the fellowship of their friends, to drink to the good of the house more than was good for them. That proposal was opposed by hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House, but he was glad to notice that the present Amendment would have something of the same effect. He wanted to see public - houses where teetotalers could have their drink. [An HON. MEMBER; So they can.] But in many places they would be unable to get what they wanted. Such a proviso as that now proposed would greatly help the cause of temperance, and he would be glad to see it inserted.

MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)

had not intended to take part in the debate, but, as one who had lived and been brought up among working people, and who knew the evils and miseries caused by drink, he felt bound to protest against the speech of the hon. Member for Devizes. That such a speech should be delivered, in which temperance places were described as "dens," and so forth, was monstrous and wicked. [Laughter.] He defied hon. Members who laughed to deny that the bulk of the misery among their own constituents was due to drink. The hon. Member had referred to his "good fill." It was the "good fill" which caused all the misery.


thought the hon. Member was going too far when he called a glass of beer a "good fill." What he really said was that he had a glass of beer and asked for what he wanted to eat.


said he was in the recollection of the House. What the hon. Member said was that he had a "good fill."


No. ["Withdraw."]


said he would withdraw the statement, although he was convinced that he was correct. If the hon. Member had seen as much as he had of the misery and poverty caused by drink, he would go into these public-houses less frequently. Reference had been made to the interference of temperance people, but what interference was there in trying to better one's follow men?

MR. GRETTON (Derbyshire, S.)

said that the Amendment was intended to secure travellers certain things in public-houses which the previous speaker maintained he could not get at the present time. This question had been debated very carefully before the Grand Committee, and, if he remembered rightly, the Amendment was defeated by a very large majority. On that occasion he met the hon. Member for Leicester with a proposal which he was still prepared to carry out. The Amendment raised an intricate point of common law, which would be better dealt with by a small amending Bill; and if the hon. Member would bring in such a Bill, he was prepared to put his name on the back of it. He had been in communication with the Cyclists Union on the matter, and knew their views. What they complained of was that the common law was so excessive in its penalties that it was extremely difficult to get a conviction under the law as it stood, and they suggested that the amount of the fine should be placed within the discretion of the magistrates, so that they might obtain a reasonable execution of the law, and secure that which the law intended they should have. The right hon. Gentleman was correct in saying that there was no obligation in law on a holder of a victualler's licence to supply intoxicating liquors. An innkeeper very often held such a licence, but he had full control over his inn, and need only supply shelter and refreshment to travellers who reasonably demanded it. This Amendment went a great deal too far, and, as it would complicate the law to a considerable degree, he should certainly vote against it.

MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)

The more this Amendment is discussed, the more its merits appear; and the hon. Member who has just spoken has given strong reasons why it should be carried. On the Grand Committee the hon. Member represented the liquor trade with great ability, persistency, and imagination. He now says, on the merits of this Amendment, that if an amending Bill were introduced, having the same object, he would gladly associate himself with it. It seems, therefore, that his only objection to the Amendment can be on the ground of its inappropriateness in the present Bill. But that is a matter of opinion. Some of us are under the impression that we shall not have another opportunity of amending and improving the licensing laws for some years, and, as a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, the hon. Member, being prepared to support the substance of the Amendment in another form, ought to vote in favour of it now.


My position is that the Amendment goes too far. The point which the hon. Member urged I should be glad to support, but I am not prepared to go so far as the words of the Amendment.


The Amendment simply asks for the licensed victualler to be required to supply reasonable demands for refreshment. That does not mean that a small innkeeper should rise to the menu of the hon. Member for Manchester, or that he should satisfy the tastes of hon. Gentlemen who are Members of the Amphitryon Club, noted for its twenty-two or twenty-four courses. Take a party of motorists twenty or thirty miles away from a well-established place of refreshment. Lady motorists often re quire tea, coffee, and eggs, and it seems to mo that licensed victuallers, as well as innkeepers, ought to be compelled to supply that class of refreshment. The Home Secretary has shown great tact and skill in his conduct of this Bill, and never more so than in his admission tonight that substantially he agrees with this proposal. But he says this is not the time nor the occasion. The right hon. Gentleman's hand wants forcing, and I should like to see him beaten in a non-Party division. If that were done, I am sure that no one would be more glad than the Home Secretary, except the First Lord of the Treasury, who is a motorist, and doubtless prefers a cup of good tea to a glass of bad beer. The hon. Member for Devizes made the kind of speech that one would expect a candidate to make in a district where nearly every other house that was not a public-house was a beer-shop, and the licensed victuallers' interest in that district is very strong. But I can assure the hon. Member for Devizes that the sensible licensed victuallers and the progressive innkeepers who are adapting themselves to the demands of cyclists and motorists will not thank him for his speech. I know something of public-houses, or at any rate the best side of them—which is the outside. The hon. Member opposite has practically said that the licensed victuallers' trade is non-progressive, and does not wish to adapt itself to the requirements of the public. The hon. Member for Devizes has told us that an inn is a place where you can got drunk, or immoderately the worse for liquor, and where hospitality is not extended either to man or beast.


The hon. Member is making a statement which is directly opposite to what I said. I said that I did not know of an occasion upon which I had passed a public-house where I could not get anything to cat in moderation, such as eggs and bread and butter.


Then let the hon. Member go down to any garrison town, like Alders hot, where the soldiers are practically driven into beer shops, and where it is impossible to get either tea, coffee, or bread and cheese. Anyone who hag lived in a garrison town and who has seen the difficulty that the soldier, the sailor, the tourist, and the traveller experience who want moderate refreshment, and who are not teetotalers, but who are driven to buy alcoholic drinks when they require other kinds of refreshment, must admit that this Amendment is a reasonable one. Many publicans, to their credit, are adapting themselves to the supplying of refreshments of the kind which this Amendment seeks to make universal—and why? We are not inflicting any injustice on the publican. If a publican had to choose between supplying six men with six quarts of beer at 4d. per quart, or supplying six men with six shilling teas, he would prefer the latter, because he would make more out of the teas. Some of the brewers may not like this proposal, which is not resented by the progressive publican who owns his own house, but is resented by the brewer who owns tied houses and who wishes the public-house to be a "boozing shop" only, and not a place of refreshment for man or beast. The publican who owns his own house invariably carries out what is proposed in this Amendment, and thus confers great benefit upon the whole community. What is an advantage voluntarily with some publicans ought to be made compulsory upon all, in return for the licence and the privilege and monopoly which the licence confers upon every innkeeper. At the time when rapid traction, motor cars, golf and cricket clubs, and walking excursions are taking vast crowds into the country districts, we ought to encourage the people to go into the country and into the rural districts, for this will not only help the country people and the shopkeepers there, but it will also help the innkeeper. For those reasons I intend to support this Amendment.


I do appeal to the House to come to a decision now upon this question. This point has already been debated for an hour, and we have some other very important questions to discuss before we can make much progress with this Bill.

(10.5) SIR E. W. GREENE (Bury St. Edmunds)

I cannot understand why the hon. Member for Battersea has made the assertion that brewers are against supplying other articles of refreshment besides beer. I have done a great deal of cycling, and "I must confess that whenever I have stopped and asked for tea I have always been able to get it. As for the brewer, I have the-fortune, or the misfortune, to be the chairman of a large brewery company, and only a month ago I ordered a circular to be sent out to every public-house belonging to the brewery company putting it before the publican that he should supply tea, or anything else that the people should call for, and I believe that as a rule the majority of publicans do this. The House must bear in mind that a demand for anything will always bring a supply. Wherever there are cyclists about, I am sure publicans will be found willing to meet their requirements. It is very hard, however, that they should be forced to do this when they already have heavy burdens placed upon them, and I thoroughly agree with the Home Secretary that we should not force upon the trade a heavier burden than they already have to bear.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I was astonished when I heard the Home Secretary get up just now and tell us that we were almost obstructing this Bill.


No, no.


At any rate, the right hon. Gentleman appealed to the House to have a division upon this point. The right hon. Gentleman was not in a majority during the first half hour of the debate, and then he was quite willing to encourage talk upon this subject. I am perfectly certain that the hon. Member for Leicester is too old a Parliamentary hand to accept the suggestion made by the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Derbyshire, who proposes that this question should be dealt with by an amending Bill. A clause in the hand is worth any amount of amending Bills in the bush, and I trust my hon. friend will go to a division on this question. I was surprised to hear that whereas an innkeeper is obliged to supply intoxicating liquor, a publican is not obliged to do so. If that is the law, the sooner we change it the better. I do not "bike," I do not like walking much, and I do not go much into public-houses; but supposing I were "biking," and I wanted some beer, how am I to know the difference between a public-house and an inn? I think that if a publican is granted a monopoly to supply a particular article, he should be obliged to supply that article. We go a, step farther, and say, that not only shall he be compelled to supply beer, but also tea, coffee, and other refreshments such as bread and cheese. The hon. Gentleman opposite says he thinks this is a desirable thing, but he objects to do it only in an amending Bill. Why he should not oblige the public by doing it now I do not know. I believe my hon. friend's Amendment will do more for the cause of temperance than a great deal of that with which my very hot temperance friends on this side of the House advocate, because the real reason why we are such a drunken people is that in public-houses practically nothing is consumed but beer and spirits. Many people who simply want light refreshments are unable to get anything but beer and spirits. In the public-houses in Germany where you buy beer and spirits you can sec the father sit down to his glass of beer, the wife to her tea, and the children to buns and ginger beer in Germany they bring their families into the public-houses, and this has a humanising effect. If you place upon every one of these public-houses the obligation of supplying other refreshments besides intoxicants as in Germany, I think you would find that large numbers who are now obliged to take beer would come in and take tea and other such refreshments, and they would take with them their families, and this would have a humanising effect. For these reasons I shall most warmly support the Amendment of my him friend.

MR. SEELY (Lincoln)

I think everybody who has listened to this debate must agree that this is a most important question, and I think it is one which ought to be the subject of a com promise. I think most people will be surprised to hear what was said by the Home Secretary, that licensed victuallers were under no obligation to supply either food or drink or anything else. It certainly seems unreasonable that when a man is given a monopoly to supply drink, he should be under no obligation to supply other refreshments. Practically by preventing eating houses from supplying drink you have prevented the existence of cafés and eating houses such as those which exist abroad, and which are pre vented from existing in England because a large part of their profits are made on intoxicating liquors. I think this is a great misfortune, and I do not think licensed victuallers can say that it is unreasonable that they should be under an obligation to supply food. The hon. Member for South Derbyshire expressed himself as being of the same opinion. He also expressed the view that this particular Amendment is very vague and wide, and is rather too serious an obligation to place suddenly upon all the licensed victuallers of this country. I should like to know if we can have some undertaking from the Home Secretary, or could the hon. Member for South Derbyshire suggest some Amendment which would get over the difficulty, and which would provide that those who are giving the monoply of supplying intoxicating liquors should be under the obligation to supply other kinds of refreshment. I should like to know if the Home Secretary would agree to support a measure brought in by the hon. Member for Leicester and the hon. Member for South Derbyshire. If the right hon. Gentleman would undertake to give time and consideration to such a Bill, I think that would get over the difficulty. I feel confident myself that if a proposal of this kind were adopted, it would have far more beneficial results in promoting real temperance than anything else which is proposed in this Bill, or in any other temperance reform which has been brought forward in recent years. I wish to press upon the Home Secretary the very great importance of this subject, for he now has an opportunity of dealing with a question which, I believe, will do more good in

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this country than any other proposal connected with temperance reform.

(10.14.) Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 154; Noes, 173. (Division List No. 233.)

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Chapman, Edward Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Remnant, James Farquharson
Charrington, Spencer John-tone, Heywood (Sussex) Renshaw, Charles Bine
Clive, Capt Percy A. Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop) Renwick, George
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth Richards, Henry Charles
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Lawson, John Grant Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Compton, Lord Alwyne Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Cranborne, Viscount Long, Rt Hon. Walter (Brist'l, S Ropner, Colonel Robert
Cripps, Charles Alfred Loyd, Archie Kirkman Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Dickson, Charles Scott Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Macdona, John Cumming Sharpe, William Edward T.
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph MacIver, David (Liverpool) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A Akers- M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Doxford, Sir William Theodore M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Duke, Henry Edward Majendie, James A. H. Spear, John Ward
Darning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Manners, Lord Cecil Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerst)
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Melville, Beresford Valentine Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton Stock, James Henry
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Fredk, G. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Fardell, Sir T. George Mitchell, William Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ
Finch, George H. Mooney, John J. Tollemache, Henry James
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire Tritton, Charles Ernest
Fisher, William Hayes Morgan, David J. (Walth'mst'w Walker, Col. William Hall
Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Morrell, George Herbert Webb, Colonel William George
Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Flower, Ernest Mount, William Arthur Whiteley, H (Ashton-und. Lyne
Foster, Philip S (Warwick, S. W Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Gr'h'm (Bute Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gardner, Ernest Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Garfit, William Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Wills, Sir Frederick
Gordon, Maj Evans-(Tr. H'ml'ts Myers, William Henry Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Newdigate, Francis Alexander Wilson-Todd. Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Nicol, Donald Ninian Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Goulding, Edward Alfred Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds Parkes, Ebenezer Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. (Stuart-
Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Gretton, John Pierpoint, Robert Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Hain, Edward Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Young, Samuel
Hall, Edward Marshall Pretyman, Ernest George
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Purvis, Robert
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Pym, C. Guy
(10.30.) MR. EMMOTT

had a new Clause on the Paper in the following terms:— Any reasonable costs, charges, and expenses which licensing justices may incur in supporting or defending any decision of theirs against which an appeal is brought, and which are not recovered from any other person, shall, in the case of licensing justices acting in and for any petty sessional division of a county, or acting in and for a municipal borough having a separate commission of the peace, but not having its own court of quarter sessions, be payable out of the county rate; and in the case of licensing justices acting in and for any municipal borough having a separate commission of the peace and its own court of quarter sessions, be payable out of the borough fund or borough rate. The said reasonable costs, charges, and expenses shall be taxed by the proper taxing officer of the court of quarter sessions, either in or out of sessions, or of the High Court of Justice, and the county treasurer or the borough treasurer, as the case may be, shall be entitled to attend such taxation, and to have seven days' notice given to him of the day appointed there for, together with a copy of the bill to be taxed.


This clause is not in order, because it proposes to place a charge upon the rates. That cannot be done on the Report stage of the Bill.


said the clause was put down as a substitute for Clause 19 of the Bill, and so would not really place a fresh charge on the rates. He desired to know whether that made any difference to the ruling.


A clause proposing a new charge upon the rates cannot be introduced on the report stage. There is a clause in the Bill which deals with' the question of the costs of the magistrates. If the hon. Member likes, he can move an Amendment on that, provided that he does not propose to increase the charge.

MR. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S. W.) moved to leave out Clause 4, which provided that— Where a licensed person is charged with permitting drunkenness on his premises and it is proved that any person was drunk on his premises, it shall be on the licensed person to prove that he and the persons employed by him took all reasonable steps for preventing drunkenness on the premises. The hon. Member said he thought the clause would be less objectionable if the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Southampton (which was to leave out the words after "him," and insert "did not knowingly suffer the said drunkenness to take place on his premises") were accepted.


was not prepared to accept that Amendment.


said the clause as it stood was most objectionable. The right hon. Gentleman on Monday night refused a clause which he moved, on the ground that it was introducing a new principle. But this Clause 4 introduced a principle never known to English law before. There was considerable discussion on the clause in Grand Committee. The clause as it now stood compelled a person who was accused of being guilty to prove himself innocent, and the old principle of English law that a man was assumed to be innocent till he was proved guilty was done away with. It proposed to put upon the publican and licence-holder the onus of proving that he, or somebody employed by him, took all reasonable steps to prevent drunkenness on his premises. If the clause were confined within the narrow limit of its exact words, it would not be open to much objection, but what he objected to was that the words would be strained. How was it going to be possible in some circumstances for the licence-holder to prove that somebody employed by him took all reasonable steps to prevent drunkenness on the premises? Supposing he was not on the premises at the time the offence was committed, he would have to rely upon somebody acting for him, to prove that that person took all reasonable steps. Lot it be remembered that the real punishment for the offence would not fall on the shoulders of the person who committed the crime, but would fall, in the shape of endorsement of the licence, or otherwise, upon the licence-holder. He believed the clause was against all English law and the principles of administration of justice in this country, and he, therefore, moved that it be loft out.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 5, to leave out Clause 4."—(Mr. Galloway.)

Question proposed, "That the words of the clause to the word 'took,' in line 8, stand part of the Bill."


What is the additional obligation cast upon the licensed victualler by this clause 1 At present he ought not to permit drunkenness on his premises. Very well, this clause pre-supposes before putting any further obligation upon the licensed victualler, that drunkenness has been proved to exist upon his premises. If drunkenness has been proved to exist upon his premises, then I think it is perfectly right and proper, having regard to the responsibility of the licensed victualler, and having regard to the great evil of drunkenness, to say that it should lie upon his shoulders to prove that he, and those employed by him, have taken all reasonable precautions to prevent drunkenness. We are only carrying out the intentions of the Royal Commission which inquired into these matters, when we ask Parliament to say to the publican who is charged with having permitted the drunkenness which has been proved to have taken place on his premises, that he must prove that he and his servants took proper, precautions for carrying out the law and preventing drunkenness.

MR. FLOWER (Bradford, W.)

thought that the speech of the Home Secretary was a complete justification for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Southampton. Let the House remember that in dealing with this question they were dealing with a class of persons who did not commend themselves altogether to the sympathetic feeling of the House but who, nevertheless, were entitled to receive from it justice. Lot the House see that they got that justice. The Majority Report of the Royal Commission on Licensing Law made a very interesting and important pronouncement on this point. They said that where a person was found drunk on licensed premises, or was observed leaving them in that condition, the licence holder should be required to prove that he and his employees were ignorant of the drunkenness, or if they knew it, they did not permit the offender to remain. The Minority Report added that where a person was found drunk on the premises, or was seen leaving the premises in a drunken condition, it should be incumbent on the publican to show that neither he nor his servants knew of the drunkenness or allowed the person to remain on the premises. He could not agree with the suggestion of his hon. friend the Member for South-West Manchester, to leave out the clause in its entirety, but he confessed he thought they had a right to ask the Home Secretary to consider, when Amendments to the clause were considered, whether he ought not to provide some reasonable measure of protection in the interest of the licensed holder, such as was suggested both in the Majority and Minority Report of the Royal Commission.

Question put, and agreed to.

(10.40.) SIR BARRINGTON SIMEON (Southampton)

proposed an Amendment to the clause, providing that it should lie on a licensed person to prove that he and the persons employed by him had not knowingly suffered drunkenness to take place on his premises. He said that in the clause there was nothing but vagueness and difficulty. Every difficulty was put in the way of the unfortunate public an. As the Clause stood, it required that the publican must have taken all reasonable steps. That was a difficult thing to do, for what one bench of magistrates thought reasonable another bench of magistrates might not think reasonable. The onus of proof was placed entirely on the publican, and taken away from the police, and the publican was subjected to vague obligations which he did not know existed, and which he had no opportunity of knowing existed. He asked why, in this matter, a publican should be placed in a different position with respect to the law from the proprietors of the New Gallery, the Crafton Gallery, or the Savoy Hotel, where balls were frequently held, and at which some young men might be idiotic enough to drink too much champagne. To make a distinction would be to establish one law for the rich and another for the poor, and he hoped the Government would not do that. He could not imagine why the Government should not accept the Amendment; but if they did not, all he could say was that it would be pressed to a division.

Amendment proposed— in page 2, line 8, to leave out from the word 'him,' to the end of Clause 4, in order to insert the words 'did not knowlingly suffer the said drunkenness to take place on his premises'—(Sir Barriugtou Simeon)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."


said that the Clause attempted to deal in a moderate way with one of the greatest curses with which we were afflicted. Any one who had had the experience which he had now had could not fail to know that a very large proportion of the violent crime of the country originated through persons coming out drunk from public houses. He said, without fear of contradictions that a great deal of crime was caused by drunkenness on the part of persons who must have been known by the publican or his assistant to be drunk when they were served. They got into a state of frenzy in which they were prepared to commit any crime. This was an attempt to put a stop to that great evil. The law as it stood at present—which was the law that the hon. Gentleman proposed by his Amendment to maintain—had been found to be inoperative and ineffective. It had been found to be perfectly impossible to prove against a publican that he had knowingly suffered drunkenness to take place on his premises, and therefore the law had remained a dead letter. What was it that the Government asked? It was that in cases where drunkenness was proved to have taken place upon licensed premises it should lie upon the shoulders of the licensed victualler to show that he had taken all proper precautions to prevent it. Having regard to the great privileges which were conferred upon licensed victuallers, the least they could do was to call upon them to prevent drunkenness, and to show that they had used all precautions in their power to put down what he had no hesitation in describing as an intolerable state of things. If the House adopted the Amendment, they would revert to a condition of the law which had proved to be ineffective. The Clause as it stood did not impose upon the licensed victualler any obligation which he was not perfectly capable of performing. He hoped the Government would receive the support of the House in their attempt to deal with this matter.

MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)

said he was very glad that the right hon. Gentleman had said what he had said. Any one who had held the office now occupied by the right hon. Gentleman was aware that drunkenness was the most fruitful source of crime in this country, and to bring home to the licensed victualler actual knowledge, was to impose on those who had the enforcement of the law an absolutely impossible obligation. All that the Clause proposed was that the publican should take all reasonable steps to prevent drunkenness. That was a duty which he could perfectly well discharge, and a burden not heavier than ought to be imposed upon him. He earnestly hoped the Government would stick to the Clause in the form in which it now stood.


said he wished to support the views of his hon. friend who had moved the Amendment. The Clause as it stood violated principles of justice which declared that a man should not be presumed to be guilty until his guilt was proved. He knew that the Home Office was well acquainted with exceptions to that principle of English law. For instance, a mine owner or a manager of a mine was held personally responsible for an accident which had happened in a pit, unless he could show that he had taken all proper precautions. That was reversing the ordinary rule of jurisprudence, but he thought Parliament ought to be very cautious in still further reversing a rule which was one of the safe-guards of the liberty of the people of this country. He should vote with his hon. friend for the Amendment.

MR. MARSHALL HALL (Lancashire, Southport)

said that on behalf of those who supported the Amendment, he wished to resent the suggestion put upon them that they were in any way the enemies of temperance, and the friends of drunkenness. He yielded to no man in his sympathy with temperance, and in the view that drunkenness was a grave offence. But if they were going to put a burden upon the licensed victualler which he could not bear, they ran the risk of doing him an injustice which would rebound upon the heads of those who did it. He believed the public were amply protected under the existing law, the doctrine of which was to hold the innocence of a man until he was found guilty. Under the Clause as it stood, the onus was put upon the publican of proving something which it was impossible for him to prove. The Amendment, on the other hand, asking a publican to prove something was reasonable. He was perfectly sure that if they treated the publican fairly, he would, in his turn, treat the public fairly, and the interest of the public would be looked after, and the cause of temperance would he safeguarded. He thought that when a reasonable Amendment like this was moved, it was the duty of the Home Secretary to accept it. There was a very strong feeling indeed on that side of the House among those who thought that if the publican was wanted to do the best he could on behalf of temperance, this Amendment should be passed.


said that his hon. and learned friend had apparently some little difficulty in reconciling his support of the Amendment with his zeal of the temperance cause, because he betrayed the real motive which actuated him and his hon. friend in declining to go to a division in support of the last Amendment and uniting their forces in support of the present Amendment. In its present form this Amendment was simply a revival of the old Amendment which the House had rejected without a division. The last Amendment proposed to leave the law exactly as at present by striking out Clause 4; and the present Amendment proposed to introduce words which, would neutralise that Clause. The Bill undoubtedly created a new statutory offence, which would be held to be committed by the licensed person unless he could show that he had taken all reasonable steps for preventing drunkenness on his premises. Was it not in the interests of temperance, and of the community at large to establish such an offence? When anyone considered the enormous importance of the conduct of the liquor trade in relation to social order and crime, it was not too much to ask the House to cast the duty on the publican of proving that he had taken all reasonable steps to prevent drunkenness on his premises. On these grounds he hoped the House would resist the Amendment.

(11.0) MR. RANDLES (Cumberland, Cockermouth)

said they were all at one in their desire to diminish drunkenness. The only difference between them was as to whether the Amendment or the Bill best secured the object in view. He agreed with the Home Secretary, and believed that the right hon. Gentleman would find a large body on that side of the House backing him up in his intention to stick to the Bill as it stood and carry it into law. He could not see how any Member, if he looked at the Amendment dispassionately, could say that it would be equally effective with the clause as it stood in the bill to diminish the evils that they all deplored. He hoped the House would give the Home Secretary every support in carrying the Bill into law, irrespective of Amendments moved by supporters of this Amendment on the one hand, or those who supported the Amendment just defeated on the other.

MR. H. C. RICHARDS (Finsbury, E.)

said if it were true that this Clause created a new offence, as was stated by the hon. and learned Member for South Leeds, he should like to know from the Home Secretary whether it was his desire to place upon publicans burdens which did not now exist. He had been sent to the House to support the Majority Report of the Royal Commission, and this Clause went far beyond either the Majority or Minority Report, and however good the intents of the Home Secretary might be, it was most unfair to the publican. He contended that the Amendment ought to be accepted in the interests of those who are anxious to see the spread of temperance. If the Clause went beyond what was recommended in both the Majority and Minority Reports, who on earth induced the Home Secretary to take this hostile action against the trade. It was not, he was sure, of the right hon. Gentleman's free will, but perhaps of some Parliamentary draftsman. They ought not to put a new offence on the publican, and so treat him differently from any other trader. He could not help thinking that this attack upon the publican was because of his political susceptibilities. Hon. Members opposite knew that he voted against them, and hence their hostility to him. The Government were pledged to the Majority Report of the Licensing Commission, and they ought not to commence operations by laying new burdens upon the publican.


said he thought his hon. friend had put his Amendment on the wrong basis. The whole point of the Bill was that they wanted to get at the root of the evil; they desired to deal with those who got drunk on licensed premises, and with those who enabled them to get drunk. Nobody in the House would contend that all publicans permitted drunkenness on their premises, but drunkenness should be stopped at any cost, and he thought that the Clause in the Bill as it stood, would enable the authorities to get at the bad publicans better than the Amendment would. The Amendment was that the publican had "not knowingly suffered the said drunkenness to take place on his premises." He could imagine a publican who had deliberately neglected his duty, and then tried to put the blame on his employees. That was the class of man they wanted to get at. The words in a Clause were that the publican should take all reasonable steps to prevent drunkenness on his premises; and he certainly thought that they were sufficient to safeguard the interests at stake, and to secure the end that was desired. If there were any choice between the words in the Amendment and the words in the Clause, he would say that the latter would be better, and therefore he saw no sufficient reason for voting for the Amendment.


said he merely wished to put two points to his hon.

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Cameron, Robert
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Beach, Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Allan, William (Gateshead) Bignold, Arthur Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.
Allhusen, Augustus H'nry Eden Bill, Charles Causton, Richard Knight
Ambrose, Robert Blundell, Colonel Henry Cautley, Henry Strother
Anson, Sir William Reynell Boland, John Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bolton, Thomas Dolling Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.
Asher, Alexander Bousfield, William Robert Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r
Ashton, Thomas Gair Brassey, Albert Channing, Francis Allston
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Broadhurst, Henry Chapman, Edward
Atherley-Jones, L. Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Charrington, Spencer
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Clive, Captain Percy A.
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Coghill, Douglas Harry
Bain, Colonel James Robert Bull, William James Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse
Balcarres, Lord Burdett-Coutts, W. Compton, Lord Alwyne
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Burns, John Condon, Thomas Joseph
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Caine, William Sproston Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Caldwell, James Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge

friends who intended to support the Amendment. Did they or did they not think that the publican ought to take all reasonable steps to prevent drunkenness on his premises? Any of his hon. friends who supported the Amendment would be taken as not thinking that a publican should take reasonable steps. [An Hon. MEMBER; What are reasonable steps?] The phrase was a common form in Acts of Parliament, and quite ordinary phraseology. The other point he wished to mention was that there would be very little difference in practice between the words in the Clause and the words in the Amendment. The chief difference was that the Amendment was bad draughtsmanship, and the clause was good draughtsmanship, because the Amendment suggested that the publican should be asked to prove a negative. He could not do that, because he could only say that he had taken such and such precautions, and given such and such instructions. The publican would go into the box, and state to the magistrates what steps he had taken, and they would decide whether they were reasonable steps or not.

(11.14.) Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 322; Noes, 52. (Division List No. 234.)

Craig Robert Hunter Holland, William Henry O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Cranborne, Viscount Horniman, Frederick John O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Crean, Eugene Hoult, Joseph O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Cremer, William Randal Howard, John (Kent, Fav'rsh'm O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Jacoby, James Alfred O'Malley, William
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Jebb, Sir Richard Claver house O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Delany, William Johnston, William (Belfast) Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Denny, Colonel Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Dickson, Charles Scott Joicey, Sir James Parkes, Ebenezer
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Dillon, John Jones, William (Carnarvonsh're Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n
Donelan, Captain A. Joyce, Michael Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden
Doogan, P. C. Kearley, Hudson E. Peel, Hn Wm Robert Wellesley
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Percy, Earl
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard
Duke, Henry Edward Keswick, William Pirie, Duncan V.
Duncan, J. Hastings King, Sir Henry Seymour Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Labouchere, Henry Power, Patrick Joseph
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm. Pretyman, Ernest George
Edwards, Frank Langley, Batty Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow Pym, C. Guy
Emmott, Alfred Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W. Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst'ne Lawson, John Grant Randles, John S.
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Layland-Barratt, Francis Rankin, Sir James
Faber, Edmund B. (Hams, W.) Leamy, Edmund Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Fardell, Sir T. George Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Rattigan, Sir William Henry
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Lees, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Rea, Russell
Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward Leigh, Sir Joseph Reddy, M.
Fenwick, Charles Leng, Sir John Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Ffrench, Peter Levy Maurice Redmond, William (Clare)
Field, William Lewis, John Herbert Reid, James (Greenock)
Finch, George H. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Renwick, George
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lough, Thomas Rickett, J. Compton
Fisher, William Hayes Loyd, Archie Kirkman Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Rigg, Richard
Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Lundon, W. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Macdona, John Cumming Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir Henry MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Roche, John
Flynn, James Christopher MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Roe Sir Thomas
Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W. Maconochie, A. W. Ropner, Colonel Robert
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Round, James
Furness, Sir Christopher M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Runciman, Walter
Garfit, William M'Arthur, William (Cornwall Russell T. W.
Gilhooly, James M'Kean, John Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Schwann, Charles E.
Goddard Daniel Ford M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Majendie, James A. H. Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Manners, Lord Cecil Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Markham, Arthur Basil Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Goschen, Hn. George Joachim Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Green, Walford D. (Wedn'sb'ry Melville, Beresford Valentine Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Middlemore, John Throgmort'n Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Curdon, Sir W. Brampton Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G. Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Hain, Edward Mitchell, William Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Moles worth, Sir Lewis Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside
Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Soares, Ernest J.
Harwood, George Mooney, John J. Spear, John Ward
Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants
Hayden, John Patrick Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Morrell, George Herbert Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Moss, Samuel Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Heath, James (Staffords., N. W. Mount, William Arthur Stevenson, Francis S.
Helder, Augustus Murnaghan, George Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Helme, Norval Watson Murray, Rt Hn. A Graham (Bute Stock, James Henry
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles- Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath Strutt, Hn. Charles Hedley
Henderson, Alexander Nicol, Donald Ninian Sullivan, Donal
Hickman, Sir Alfred Norman, Henry Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Higginbottom, S. W. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E. Nussey, Thomas Willans Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid Tennant, Harold John
Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.) Woodhouse, Sir J. I (Huddersf'd
Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Thomas, J A Gramorgan, Gower Whitmore, Charles Algernon Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Tollemache, Henry James Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Tomkinson, James Willoughby de Eresby, Lord Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Toulmin, George Willox, Sir John Archibald Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H
Tritton, Charles Ernest Wills, Sir Frederick Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.) Young, Samuel
Warr, Augustus Frederick Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts Wilson, John (Glasgow) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.
White, George (Norfolk) Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)
White, Luke (York, E. R.) Wodehouse, Ht. Un. E. R. (Bath
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Hope, J. F. (Sheffield. Brightside Remnant, James Farquharson
Austin, Sir John Houston, Robert Paterson Richards, Henry Charles
Bailey, James (Walworth) Hudson, George Bickersteth Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Banbury, Frederick George Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, V.)
Bond, Edward Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Sharpe, William Edward T.
Butcher, John George Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S Shipman, Dr. John G.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) MacIver, David (Livepool) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Thornton, Percy M.
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Morgan, David J. (W'lthamstow Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Flower, Ernest Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Walker, Col. William Hall
Galloway, William Johnson Myers, William Henry Warde, Col. C. E.
Gardner, Ernest Nannetti, Joseph R. Webb, Colonel William George
Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'r H'mlts Newdigate, Francis Alexander Welby, Lt. Col. A C E (Taunton
Gore, Hn G R C Ormsby-(Salop Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Ed'm'nds O'Dowd, John
Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Parker, Gilbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Barrington Simeon and Mr. Goulding.
Gretton, John Purvis, Robert
Hall, Edward Marshall Ratcliff, R. F.
(11.30.) MR. GRETTON

said that in the absence of his hon. friend the Member for South Salford, he desired to move the Amendment standing in his name. It referred to the system of endorsement. It was the custom among brewers, distillers, and publicans, to hold more than one licence; and there was some ambiguity in the Bill as to whether an entry in respect to any individual should apply to the whole of the licences held by him, or only to the licence in respect of which the offence was committed. If he had an assurance from his right hon. friend the Home Secretary, that the entry would only apply to the premises in respect of which the offence was committed he would be prepared to withdraw.

Amendment proposed— In page 4, line 20, after the word 'premises,' to insert the words:—'(4) The entry of a conviction in the register of licences, shall, in cases where the licensed person holds licences in respect of more than one set of premises in the licensing district, be so made as to relate only to the premises on or in respect of which the offence was committed.'"—(Mr. Gretton.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said he hoped his hon. friend would not press the Amendment. The entry on the register would be in respect of a particular licence; but it would be impossible to confine the effect of that entry to certain premises. Surely, if a man were guilty of conduct in regard to certain premises, which showed that he was not a fit person to have a licence, that should be taken into consideration if he applied for a licence for premises other than the premises in respect of which the offence was committed.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


said he desired to move the omission of Clause 9, though not in any spirit of opposition to the Bill. He regretted he was not able to raise the question in the Grand Committee; but he now asked the Home Secretary to drop the clause because it had nothing to do with the general principle of the Bill. The Home Secretary had opposed a previous Amendment on the ground that the Bill did not deal with the general question of licensing, and that, therefore, it was outside the proper scope, of the measure, fie acknowledged it was an omnibus Bill, but that clause was a passenger who had no business on the omnibus, and he, therefore, asked the Home Secretary to put him out. The question involved in the clause was one which dealt with the principle of licensing. It proposed to hand over grocers' licences to the magistrates, and to make them like all other licences. In doing that they would be taking a very serious step in connection with the licensing question. He approached the matter entirely from an impartial point of view. He had no interest in the trade, and did not care two straws about grocers personally; but he cared very much for the licensing question, which he considered was one of the greatest problems after the Education problem which lay before the House of Commons; and he objected to its being dealt with piecemeal now. The Bill before the House was not a proper Bill in which to attempt a partial solution of the licensing question Why did he call it a partial solution? Because the grocers' licences were the only licences which were now carried on under the principles of Free Trade. All the rest of the drink traffic had been handed over to the magistrates. What was the feeling of the masses of the people about the licensing problem? They felt very strongly that a great mistake had been made by past legislation in handing over that enormous monopoly, without securing any return to the community. He was not speaking from the temperance point of view, or from the point of view of the trade; but he thought hon. Members would agree that enormous profits had been handed over to a limited number of persons. He knew of premises which were worth £1,200, but for which, after the licence had been obtained, £1,000 was asked, and within three months they were sold for £5,000. They had been very foolish in handing over such a monopoly; and he maintained that if the trade received State countenance, it was a natural corollary that the State should claim some of the advantage. That being so, how unwise it was to hand over the one portion of the field of Free Trade to the magistrates. If the grocers' licences were handed over, they would immediately increase in value; high rents would be charged for the shops; and the consequence would be that the grocers would have to charge more for the liquor they sold. The Home Secretary now proposed to hand over those licences to the magistrates, although both the Majority and Minority Reports of the Royal Commission, on which he was acting, recommended a serious alteration in the licensing authority. Yet without altering that authority, the right hon. Gentleman proposed, without compensation or stipulation, to hand over the only bit of Free Trade that now remained. He was pleading only on the broad principle of the proper handling of the licensing problem. The way in which the liquor monopoly was walled round us was simply astounding; and when the people of England realised that the monopoly meant bad liquor and dear liquor, they would rise up against it. The liquor was not half as good as it should be, and was not served in the manner in which it should be served Would any hon. Member venture to state; that the present position of the licensing question was satisfactory? He asked the Home Secretary to hold his hand, because the particular portion of the field which was now left might offer them a chance of effecting an improvement, or of trying some great principle of licensing. They were asked to give; that up to a body which both the Majority and Minority Reports, and everyone who knew anything of the system, regarded as unsatisfactory. He was not a magistrate himself, but from his boyhood he had seen the working of the magisterial system in reward to licensing questions; and he said that the system was unjust, and often disgraceful. Men were put on the Bench because they were teetotalers or because they; belonged to the trade; and they were whipped up to support or oppose a licence, not on its merits, but because they were committed to one side or the other. Yet it was to such a tribunal, which was admittedly unsatisfactory, and which was often absurd and unjust, that it was proposed to hand over the remaining bit of freedom in the trade they had got. That was a serious step. Why was that bit of freedom reserved by Mr. Gladstone? It was not an experiment; and it was successful in doing what Mr. Gladstone claimed for it, namely, that it would improve the quality of the liquor sold in public houses enormously. There were now 10,000 grocers' licences, but a great many were merely wine merchants' licences. The right hon. Gentleman did not propose to interfere with wine merchants' licences, and he wished to remind the House of the absurdity of that. If a man sold liquor, and nothing but liquor, he was let off; but if, in addition, he sold bread, and candles, and groceries, he was to be fined. He wished the House to understand the practical working of the proposal. It required a town of between 30,000 and 40,000 inhabitants to keep a wine merchant going. Therefore, apart from the largo towns, if the clause were passed, the people would be driven into the public houses for their liquor. Was it wise to compel the people to go to a public house when they wanted a bottle of wine or spirits I Mr. Gladstone proposed his system because he said it would be a good thing if people were able to get liquor without having to go to a public house; yet it was now proposed by the Government that the people, except in the large towns, would be compelled to go to the public houses; and even in the large towns the wine merchants were merely the dependencies of the public houses. Again, he would remind his temperance friends that it would be better for temperance and for Sunday closing if people could be encouraged, under responsible conditions, to buy their liquor in bottle. There was no licensing arrangement which in forty years had produced so few scandals as the grocers' licences. There might be a case of abuse here and there, but was there any licensing arrangement which had worked so well during forty years. He, therefore, asked the Home Secretary to hesitate before he took that step. They should also consider the great difficulty of adding 10,000 more licences, all of which would probably have to be compensated in the ultimate settlement, which would be sought, not in popular veto, but in popular control. Why had the Home Secretary not seized upon the 30,000 beer licences which were granted before 1830. He dropped them because he found they were a monopoly, and that they would be extremely difficult to handle, He had no party feeling in the matter. He had no feeling for or against drink; but he felt it was a very grave problem, and that the House should be left as free a hand as possible. He, therefore, appealed to hon. Members to support the omission to the clause which was a stranger and an alien. Nothing else in the Bill would be affected, and no harm would be done. If these licences were handed over to the magistrates the control of the House over them would be gone, and could only be recovered after serious difficulty and at enormous expense. He earnestly begged the Home Secretary to consider the question of withdrawing the clause.

Amendment proposed:— In page 4, line 21, leave out Clause 9.—(Mr. Harwood.)

Question proposed, "That the words of the Clause to the end of line 25 stand part of the Bill."

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

said he desired to strongly support the Amendment. He was quite unable to understand why the Home Secretary had brought the clause into the Bill. As his hon. friend had just said, it was an alien, and, certainly, not calculated to facilitate the progress of the measure. He did not know of any question regarding which more ridiculous proposals were made, or on which such profound ignorance of the impulses and springs of human action prevailed than on the question of the liquor traffic. He maintained that the grocers' licence was a great preservative against drunken- ness. It kept people from the public house, and, at the same time, gave them that supply of drink to which they were quite entitled, if they desired it. Under the Bill wholesale wine merchants and wholesale spirit merchants were practically excluded from all control except that of the Inland Revenue. He thought that was quite right. His hon. friend the Member for the Spen Valley Division proposed that the wholesale wine and spirit merchants should be subjected to the control of the justices. What would happen? Any person who wanted to order a dozen bottles of champagne from his family merchant might one day find that that merchant had been disestablished and disendowed by some chance meeting of magistrates. That was a perfectly absurd proposal. The wholesale wine merchant was the wine merchant of the rich, the grocer was the wine merchant of the poor; and, therefore, the clause had the worst of all stigmas because it was class legislation. It did not interfere with the wholesale wine merchant, but did interfere with the grocer who sold a single bottle of spirits or wine to households in the lower middle class in the country. That was a temperate class. It was more temperate than the very poor, and more temperate than the rich. It was a class moderate in its demands, and decent and sober in its habits; yet it was that class that was going to be attacked. He had examined the question of drunkenness as a philosopher. [An HON. MEMBER laughed.] He did not know whether his hon. friend meant that he was speaking as an expert on the subject. He did not profess to speak as an expert; but he had examined the question apart from the shibboleths of Party politics, and the idea that the habits of the people could he changed in a day, or a year, or a generation, by coercive means. His opinion was that a great deal of drunkenness was the result of false good fellowship. Men went into a public house; one man stood a drink, and it was considered a part of good fellowship, decent feeling, and even good manners that his friends should return the compliment. Therefore, people in a public house were subjected, not merely to the temptation of an appetite for drink, but to the more subtle temptation of false good fellowship. All that could be avoided by the grocer's licence. A man who wanted liquor got it in either of two ways. He got it either from the public house (though it was not as good there as at the grocer's, or at the grocer's. If a man went into a public house he was liable to stop, and if he stopped he would be liable to lapse into taking more drink than he cared for. If he went to the grocer's, he could bring home his bottle of whiskey and drink it with his wife. [An HON. MEMBER; Oh!] He did not see any harm in a man taking a drop of whisky with his wife. He would prefer him to take it with his wife than with any other lady. He took as much as he wanted under the supervision of the domestic deities, and was less liable to take as much as he would in a public house. One of the reasons given for interfering with grocers' licences was that they increased drunkenness among women. There were, of course, women who got liquor in grocers' shops which appeared as tea; but there were also women who drank chloral at chemists', and women who got drunk at confectioners', where they went to purchase jam tarts and oyster patties. The fact was, that a woman who had a craving for drink would get it no matter what obstacles were placed in her way.

It being midnight, further proceeding on consideration, as amended (by the Standing Committee) stood adjourned till Thursday.