HC Deb 29 June 1904 vol 137 cc35-90

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]

Clause 1:—

Amendment again proposed— In page 1, line 7, after the words 'ill-conducted' to insert the words 'or for not having provided suitable refreshment'."—Mr. Herbert Roberts.)

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

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

said he understood that the Solicitor-General desired to substitute the following words for those in the Amendment under the consideration of the Committee— (2) "If the justices of a licensing district refuse to renew an on-licence on the ground that the holder of the licence has persistently and unreasonably refused to supply suitable refreshment (other than intoxicating liquor) the justices shall be deemed to have refused the licence on the ground that the premises have been ill-conducted. He could only say that he hoped that the hon. Member for West Denbighshire would not withdraw his Amendment in favour of that of the Government; the substitution would be" entirely unsatisfactory, and would give one test as to the bona fides of the Government in proposing it. They said that they intended to give power to the justices to take away a licence. This was the important point. They said the licence could be taken away under certain conditions. What did the Home Secretary say upon the subject the previous night? He said that to take away a licence under such circumstances would be to place upon the licensee an absolutely intolerable penalty; but, if the Amendment were to be taken as a really working Amendment, this was what he now intended to do. The fact of the matter was he knew perfectly well that the introduction of the word 'persistently" made all the difference, because they would never be able to get evidence and prove it. By refusing the original Amendment they would be decidedly crippling the power of the magistrates. The magis- trates now had power to refuse a licence in the event of reasonable refreshment not being supplied and he admitted that they had identically the same power under the Bill providing compensation were paid; but what would be the position if the compensation fund were exhausted, as it easily might be? There were many districts in the country in which there were a very large number of licences indeed and in which it was necessary to make a very large reduction at the earliest date. Under the Bill it was possible that the annual levy would be capitalised and a good many of these houses done away with. What would be the position of the licences that remained after they had exhausted their compensation fund? They would be in the position of the 1869 beerhouses. They could not be taken awayexcept under the conditions of Clause 1 and under the condition which the Solicitor-General had put down in his Amendment. The Amendment was a most important one, because they had to consider whether they were going to give 1869 terms to a large number of licences in the country. He sincerely trusted the hon. Member would persist in his Amendment; if he did, he for one should certainly vote for it.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said the Committee seemed to be agreed as to the desirability of carrying some Amendment on this point, and he would, therefore, confine his observations to the suggestion of the Solicitor-General. He hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would improve his Amendment by withdrawing the word "persistently." That was the word to which they took most exception. The Government had put two very strong expressions in their Amendment "persistently" and "unreasonably." Surely the latter was quite enough. If the publican desired to prove that the refreshment was demanded at an unusual hour or that he had run out of the articles asked for, it could not be laid down that he had acted unreasonably. He was bound to say that in his opinion the Government had gone a good way to meet the Amendment proposed from that side of the House, and he hoped that they would go a step further, and drop the word "persistently."

SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)

was of opinion that the Solicitor-General's Amendment would afford a basis on which this point could be discussed, but it did not remove the difficulty he had. Personally he thought the word "persistently" was open to very serious objection. The Amendment before the Committee was only an illustration of a considerable number of other cases in which the effect of Clause 1 was not merely to safeguard licensees against having their property taken away, bat to relax the disciplinary jurisdiction which had hitherto been exercised by the justices. If they took away the right to suppress licences without compensation, they must make it perfectly clear that the right to obtain compensation was limited to the cases in which it was wished that compensation should be given. If the Government insisted on the present wording of the clause, they must not merely say that the refusal to provide refreshment was misconduct, but they must say a great many more things. They must use such words as would enable that kind of pressure which in the public interest had always been exercised to continue to be exercised in the future.


declared that the aim of the supporters of the Amendment was already secured under the Innkeepers' Liability Act. He noticed that there were eighty-eight pages of the Amendments to the Bill, and he ventured to assert that anyone going through them could reduce the number of the Amendments which really required discussion to eight. He protested against the delay which was occasioned by the discussion of this Amendment and similar Amendments, the sole object of which was to wreck the Bill.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)

said the hon. Member who last spoke evidently was not aware of the circumstances which led to Progress being reported on the preceding night. It was the debate which had then been going on for some hours which made it absolutely necessary for the Solicitor - General to bring in his Amendment. He thought the word "persistently" in the Solicitor General's Amendment was very objection able as fettering the discretion of the magistrates, and that Clause 8, which dealt with definitions, was the wrong place to introduce it. If it was inserted in Clause 8, they would be practically giving a definition of the word "ill-conducted," and limiting the discretion of the justices as to what was or was not misconduct. They must not be content with a partial definition; they must, if they mentioned one point, enumerate other actions which would amount to misconduct, otherwise there was a danger that the Courts of Law would consider themselves fettered in this matter. As the general feeling of the House of Commons was clearly in favour of this Amendment, he trusted that the Government would agree to deal with the point in the clause now under consideration.


appealed to the Committee to bring the discussion to an end. He thought everybody would admit that the pledge given by his right hon. and learned friend had been honestly met by the Amendment which he had put down to Clause 8. He did not believe that hon. Gentlemen opposite concurred with the criticisms of the hon. Member for Barnstaple when he attacked the bona fides of the Government; indeed, he did not think the hon. Member himself would seriously question the bona fides of his right hon. and learned friend. The hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down said that Clause 8 was not the place for the Amendment, and suggested that when a case came before the licensing magistrates or before quarter sessions some lawyer would be found to get up and say that the Government had intended in Clause 8 to give a complete and exhaustive definition of what constituted misconduct. Well, he put no limits to what might be urged by counsel in various cases; but no tribunal of any description, in reading Clause 8 as his right hon. and learned friend proposed to amend it, would for a moment suggest that the whole area of misconduct was exhausted by it, or was intended by the Government or the House to be exhausted by it.


said there was a rule in law that general words were very often limited by special words following after, and then the principle of ejusdem, generic was applied.


said he was not qualified to contend with the hon. and learned Gentleman upon matters which were purely legal; he admitted the premises, but wholly denied the conclusion. That any Court would suggest that this question of misconduct was fully explained, limited, and exhausted b a provision about soda water and bread, was as a proposition which the hon. and learned Gentleman would hardly entertain. He did not believe the danger was a genuine one. The Government were clearly of the opinion that the Amendment would be better on Clause 8, and he hoped, therefore, the Committee would proceed to the next Amendment.

SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)

thought nobody would dispute that the Solicitor-General had acted with perfect bona fides in putting down his Amendmemt to meet the particular Amendment that was under discussion yesterday. But in the course of that discussion it was discovered that a very serious point underlay this Amendment, of which the Amendment was only an illustration. What had given real life to the debate, and caused the intervention of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham and the hon. and learned Member for Stretford, was the fact that the clause was doing what it was understood the Bill was not intended to do. The first clause as it stood destroyed the elasticity of discretion which the magistrates had had hitherto. That elasticity could not be restored by giving a special bit of elasticity on a special subject in another clause. Such a proposal seemed to him not only inadequate, but positively dangerous. The first question which would arise would be, what was meant by misconduct? and he would ask the Committee to look at that from a common sense and not a lawyer's point of view. What they wanted was some elasticity of interpretation; they wanted the magistrates, in the matter of misconduct, to retain the elastic discretion they now possessed. The real difficulty which confronted them could only be dealt with on the first clause.


said he could not in the least follow the arguments of the hon. Baronet. Could they possibly find wider words than "ill-conducted." There was no kind of conduct which they did not cover. The hon. Baronet talked of the want of elasticity, but he defied him to ransack English and Scotch dictionaries and to find a larger and more elastic term than that. For his own part, he could not help thinking it was a great pity that the Government did not stand by these words, because he held that they left a most complete and most elastic discretion to the justices. The reasonable refusal of refreshment would not be ill-conduct, but unreasonable refusal was certainly covered by those words; and if a licensing justice chose to hold that the unreasonable refusal of refreshment was ill-conduct, he would have a right to refuse to renew the licence. Again, he did not think that Clause 8 was the proper place at which to insert such an Amendment in the Bill. He had not had time to carefully consider the Amendment of the Solicitor-General, but he must say he thought it was open to the serious objection that it imposed far too heavy a penalty for what, after all, might be a very small offence. Still he feared that a lower penalty could not be imposed in that Bill. It was a misfortune that an inappropriate penalty should be introduced. He would suggest that if hon. Gentlemen opposite wanted to leave the licensing justices in full enjoyment of their full authority, the words "ill-conduct" would suffice to cover any case. If hon. Gentlemen would take his advice— and he did not suppose they would on either side—both the hon. Member for West Denbighshire and the Solicitor-General would withdraw their Amendments.

MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)

feared that the Committee were getting away from the main point. The one object they had in view in bringing forward that Amendment was to ensure that there were adequate opportunities of securing at wayside inns refreshments other than intoxicating drinks. They wanted to have it provided that innkeepers should be bound by law, under a penalty, to provide coffee, tea, and other light refreshments. Why could not the Government agree to that? It would be equally good for the motorist as the cyclist. Why should not the Prime Minister when out motoring be enabled to get a cup of tea at a wayside inn? What was necessary was greater freedom of choice in the matter of refreshments when travelling along the King's highway. He was prepared to admit that the Solicitor - General had more than fulfilled his pledge of the preceding night. He had not merely considered the matter as he promised to do, but he had placed on the Paper an Amendment. Now, he asked, would the hon. and learned Gentleman and the Prime Minister agree to delete the word "persistently"? The keeping of that word in would destroy the value of the Amendment. Supposing a man travel-ling with his wife, his mother, or his sweetheart, was refused a cup of tea, how; would it satisfy his thirst to be told that if the innkeeper refused it on two or three more occasions he would lose his licence. He would not be satisfied, but, on the other hand, he might suffer harm by being compelled to take drinks for which he had no liking. Why not agree to cut out the word "persistently"? The Solicitor-General, having got some distance on the road to reason and justice in this matter, should complete his journey by removing the obstacle presented by that word.

MR. LLOYD - GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

said he did not quite agree with the hon. Member for King's Lynn. He thought it was desirable that the Solicitor-General should put on the Paper the words he would move to add to Clause 8. He was not dissatisfied with the words save in regard to "persistently." There were some other matters which would have to be dealt with later on, but when he remembered what happened in connection with promises made during the progress of the Education Bill, he was afraid that the "later on" might not arrive. He thought the Solicitor-General wanted to meet their views, and as he could do it without in the slightest degree imperilling the Bill or the power of the magistrates, he would ask why the Scotch precedent should not be followed, and the words "without prejudice to other "powers" be inserted. He thought words of that kind ought to be introduced so as not to exclude the power of the magistrates in regard to other misconduct. He did not agree with his learned friend that it would exclude cases of drunkenness on the premises, but to prevent the possibility of any misinterpretation why not give the magistrates power to make bylaws on this subject. It seemed to him that the Scotch precedent was an excellent one. It gave the magistrates power to make by-laws in regard to the supply of provisions. They had a list of the public-houses in their district before them, and they would say that it was unfair to ask that certain public-houses should supply all kinds of refreshments, taking into consideration the fact that there would be no demand for them. In other cases the licensees would be called upon to provide reasonable refreshment. That would have the advantage of keeping the control of the magistrates over the public-houses. It was important not merely in regard to refreshments, for the publicans would know that if they did not conduct themselves in such a way as to commend themselves to the approval of the Licensing Bench, the Bench would, in that way, be able to bring pressure on them. He had not seen magistrates go out of their way to exercise unfair pressure on the occupiers of public-houses. Quite the reverse. It was really important if they were to have these houses properly conducted that the magistrates should have that power. The Scotch law gave the power to the magistrates to select public-houses and to give them a schedule of the kind of refreshments they ought to provide. That was what they wanted inserted in this Bill.

MR. DISRAELI (Cheshire, Altrincham)

said that all on that side of the House were not unanimous in agreeing with the Amendment of which the Solicitor-General had given notice. There was a strong opinion that this question was altogether outside the scope of the Bill, the object of which was to reduce the number of licensed houses and to give compensation for that reduction. If they put an obligation of this stringent character upon publicans, it would have the effect of making their lot harder than it was at the present time. The publican's calling was a very difficult one, and he protested against the present proposal having even the sentimental sanction of the Government.

MR. WHITTAKER (Yorkshire, W.R., Spen Valley)

said he agreed to some extent with the hon. Member who had just spoken that it was an extraordinary thing that they were discussing refreshments, such as tea and coffee, on the clause of the Bill dealing with compensation. He thought that arose from the way in which the clause had been drafted. The clause did not state what were the cases in which compensation ought to be given; on the other hand it stated the cases in which the magistrates could refuse the renewal of licences. In that case, it was necessary to give all the cases in which a licence could be refused other than on the ground that the licence was not required. They understood that compensation was to be given on the ground that a licence was not required. They were satisfied that as the Bill now stood compensation would be given for the refusal of licences on other grounds than that, and if that were to be guarded against they must have all kinds of protection to preserve the power of the justices in other cases that would come within the limit of the words "ill-conducted." There was unsatisfactory management which could scarcely be called ill-conduct. The failure to supply refreshments was not a case of ill-conduct. There were other cases in which they ought to have the power to refuse to renew a licence and not to give any compensation. He thought the Government could do better by defining positively those cases in which compensation should be given and using some such words as "compensation should be given when a licence was refused solely on the ground that it was not required in the neighbourhood." The ingenuity of the Government would enable them to draft words that would fulfil that object. Failing that, there was a number of Amendments on the Paper which they were bound to discuss. The proper way out of the difficulty, he ventured to submit, was to make it clear that compensation was to be confined to cases where the refusal to renew a licence was on the ground that the licences were in excess of the number required in the neighbourhood.

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

said he would make an appeal to the Prime Minister on this matter. At Question time the right hon. Gentleman said that the progress of the Finance Bill might be promoted if the Committee would get on with this Bill. He would point out that if the right hon. Gentleman would accept the Amendment now before the Committee he would save the discussion of two pages of Amendments. He asked the Prime Minister simply to carry out the statement which was made on the First Reading of the Bill. It was stated then that the whole object of the Bill was to provide compensation when renewal of licences was refused solely on the ground that the public-houses in the neighbourhood were in excess of the number required. If the right hon. Gentleman would carry out that promise which was made by the Home Secretary he would greatly facilitate the work of the Committee in dealing with the first clause. It could not be said that there was any danger of the magistrates refusing licences or inflicting too great penalties for small offences, such as refusing refreshments, because their action was always subject to appeal to quarter sessions. There had never been a single case where a licence had been removed for one refusal to supply reasonable refreshments. He thought that was a matter which the local magistrates should be left to deal with. One of the most serious points in the whole Bill was the method of proceeding by exclusion instead of inclusion. It took away the power of the magistrates to bring pressure to bear in the case of ill-conduct on the part of the licensee. If the procedure suggested by the hon. Member for the Spen Valley Division and the hon. Member for Leeds were adopted they would get over the whole of the difficulty.

MR. AUSTIN TAYLOR (Liverpool, E. Toxteth)

said the Amendment only assumed importance because it raised the general question as to how far the words used in the first clause would limit the absolute discretion of the justices. He regretted the attempt made in the Amendment to further define what was already sufficiently defined in the first clause, and he equally regretted the Amendment of which the Solicitor-General had given notice. He wished to give the Prime Minister a concrete instance of those minor matters which could not be called statutory offences, but had been made the subject of reform in Liverpool and other large centres. He would instance the case of what was called the "long pull" at Liverpool. There it was the practice at certain licensed houses to give a quantity of drink beyond that which was ordered.


said he thought the hon. Member was discussing the subject of some future Amendment.


said that he was trying to give an illustration of the kind of pressure which magistrates had been able to bring on the trade and to which the trade had loyally responded.


said he thought that subject would be relevant to a subsequent Amendment dealing with "undesirable practices."


said he would not give additional illustrations, but would content himself with emphasising the need for further consideration by the Government of the exact wording of the first clause. No doubt the absolute discretion of the magistrates must be modified if the principle of compensation were conceded; but there was no need to go so far as to weaken their legitimate control over the trade.

MR. JOSEPH WALTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Barnsley)

said that it was of the highest degree of importance that the obligation resting on innkeepers to provide a supply of food as well as liquor to travellers should not be weakened; and it appeared to him that the Amendment put down by the Solicitor-General weakened the present authority of the licensing authorities in that respect. It was widely recognised that there was great laxity on the part of innkeepers in the fulfilment of this particular obligation of supplying food as well as intoxicating liquors. A few days ago he took a lovely country walk, and, having gone a reasonable distance, he thought he was sure to pass an hotel where he could get a comfortable luncheon. He came to one where there was a large notice-board outside, saying that luncheons were provided on the shortest notice; teas always ready; and pleasure parties catered for. He went in, and asked if he could get luncheon. The bar was full of people drinking, and the waiter said, "We have nothing in." He said, "Cannot you give me a bit of bread and cheese?" "No," was the answer, "we have nothing, but if you cross the river, and go a little bit further on, you will find a hotel, and perhaps you might get something to eat there." He crossed the river; and reached that other hotel. In the politest manner possible he asked the lady in charge whether he could have some luncheon. She said, "Unfortunately, we have not anything in." He happened to see through an open door some people having a meal, and he said, "Cannot you give me a little of what these are having? "And the reply was, "We have only enough for ourselves." Thereupon he said, "You call this an hotel Surely you can supply me with some sort of food, however light it may be!" Then the landlord came upon the scene, and said, "We are not in the habit of being spoken to like that. I am quite able to do without custom such as yours." That was his morning's experience within a few miles of the great University centre of Oxford. If he were in the position of the right hon. Member for Oxford University he should feel it his duty to have a representation made in regard to such cases as that at the next brewsters sessions. What was wanted was that the public rights should be protected in connection with this Bill, and that travellers, in a reasonable way, should be able to get food as well as intoxicating liquors in every inn in the land. Everybody recognised that intoxicating liquors taken without food had a much greater effect than they had if taken with food, and, therefore, in all seriousness, he contended that the whole influence of the House should be directed to see that to a greater extent than at present food should be taken with intoxicating liquors; but that did not weaken the strength of his contention, that what was needed in connection with any reform of the licensing laws was that the authority of the licensing justices in regard to this most important matter should be strengthened by this Bill and not weakened. Therefore he supported the Amendment.

COLONEL PILKINGTON (Lancashire, Newton)

said that the powers of the licensing justices in various parts of the country were regulated by a number of practically unprinted by-laws on which they acted. The local magistrates had all a slightly different procedure. He did not know whether, under this Bill, power might be given to the local authorities to make by-laws in

regard to procedure in such cases, which by-laws should be confirmed by the Home Office or the quarter sessions. That would be a great advantage as a large number of the Amendments on the Paper could be regulated by these by-laws, which would show where the power of the local magistrates should stop and where the higher powers began.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 180; Noes, 265. Division List No. 181.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) M'Kenna, Reginald
Ainsworth, John Stirling Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Allen, Charles P. Flavin, Michael Joseph Markham, Arthur Basil
Ashton, Thomas Gair Flynn, James Christopher Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.)
Atherley-Jones, L. Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Barlow, John Emmott Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Furness, Sir Christopher Murphy, John
Benn, John Williams Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Newnes, Sir George
Black, Alexander William Goddard, Daniel Ford Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Blake, Edward Grant, Corrie Nussey, Thomas Willans
Boland, John Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick) O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Brigg, John Griffith, Ellis J. O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Connor, James (Wicklow,W.)
Burke, E. Haviland Hain, Edward O'Doherty, William
Burns, John Harcourt, Lewis V.(Rossendale O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon,N.)
Burt, Thomas Harcourt,RtHn.SirW(Monm'th O'Malley, William
Buxton, Sydney Charles Helme, Norval Watson O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Caldwell, James Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Parrott, William
Cameron, Robert Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Partington, Oswald
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Holland, Sir William Henry Paulton, James Mellor
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Cawley, Frederick Horniman, Frederick John Perks, Robert William
Channing, Francis Allston Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Philipps, John Wynford
Churchill, Winston Spencer Jacoby, James Alfred Pirie, Duncan V.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Joicey, Sir James Power, Patrick Joseph
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Price, Robert John
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Jones, William(Carnarvonshire Priestley, Arthur
Cremer, William Randal Jordan, Jeremiah Rea, Russell
Crombie, John William Joyce, Michael Reddy, M.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Kearley, Hudson E. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Cullinan, J. Kennedy, VincentP.(Cavan,W. Reid, Sir R. Threshie(Dumfries
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Kilbride, Denis Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Kitson, Sir James Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Delany, William Labouchere, Henry Robson, William Snowdon
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Lambert, George Roche, John
Bobbie, Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Roe, Sir Thomas
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barratt, Francis Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Boogan, P. C. Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington) Russell, T. W.
Bouglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Leigh, Sir Joseph Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Duncan, J. Hastings Leng, Sir John Schwann, Charles E.
Dunn, Sir William Lewis, John Herbert Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Edwards, Frank Lloyd-George, David Seely, Maj. J.E.B.(Isle of Wight)
Eli bank, Master of Lough, Thomas Shackleton, David James
Ellice, Capt. E. C (SAndrw'sBghs Lundon, W. Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Lyell, Charles Henry Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Emmott, Alfred Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Sheehy, David
Evans, Sir Fran. H.(Maidstone) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Shipman, Dr. John G.
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Slack, John Bamford
Farquharson, Dr. Robert M'Crae, George Sloan, Thomas Henry
Fenwick, Charles M'Hugh, Patrick A. Smith, H. C(North'mb.Tyneside-
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Trevelyan, Charles Philips Wilson, Henry J.(York, W.R.)
Soares, Ernest J. Wallace, Robert Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Stanhope, Hon. Philip James Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh. N.)
Sullivan, Donal Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Woodhouse,Sir J.T(Hudderst'd
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Yoxall, James Henry
Tennant, Harold John Wason, JohnCathcart(Orkney)
Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen,E.) White, Luke (York, E. R.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan,E.) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.) Broadhurst and Mr. Mans-
Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) field.
Tomkinson, James Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Toulmin, George Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Hickman, Sir Alfred
Aird, Sir John Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Hobhouse, Rt Hn H (Somers't, E
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hogg, Lindsay
Anson, Sir William Reynell Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hope, J.F.(Sheffield,Brightside
Arkwright, John Stanhope Davenport, William Bromley- Horner, Frederick William
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn Hugh O, Denny, Colonel Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Arrol, Sir William Dickinson. Robert Edmond Houston, Robert Paterson
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dickson, Charles Scott Howard, Jn.(Kent,Faversham)
Austin, Sir John Dickson-Poymler, Sir John P. Howard, J.(Midd., Tottenham)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Hudson, George Bickersteth
Bain, Colonel James Robert Doughty, George Hunt, Rowland
Baird, John George Alexander Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Hutton, John (Yorks., N.R.)
Balcarres, Lord Doxford, Sir William Theodore Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Baldwin, Alfred Duke, Henry Edward Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Farrell, James Patrick Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh.
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop)
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Fincu, Rt. Hon. George H. Kimber, Henry
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Bignold, Arthur Fisher, William Hayes Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Bill, Charles Fison, Frederick William Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks., N.R.
Blundell, Colonel Henry FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)
Bond, Edward Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Flannery, Sir Fortescue Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Boulnois, Edmund Flower, Sir Ernest Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.
Bousfield, William Robert Forster, Henry William Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Bowles, Lt.-Col.H.F(Middlesex Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W.) Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Galloway, William Johnson Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Brassey, Albert Gardner, Ernest Long, Col.CharlesW.(Evesham)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Garfit, William Long, Rt.Hn.Walter(Bristol,S.
Bull, William James Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Lowe, Francis William
Butcher, John George Gordon, Hn.J.E.(Elgin & Nairn) Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Campbell, Rt.Hn.J.A.(Glasgow Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'r H'lets) Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth
Campbell, J.H.M.(Dublin Univ. Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Macdona, John Gumming
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Maclver, David (Liverpool)
Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire Graham, Henry Robert M'Fadden, Edward
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Malcolm, Ian
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury Manners, Lord Cecil
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Greene,Sir E.W(B'rySEdm'nd's Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury) Maxwell, Rt Hn. Sir H.E (Wigt'n.
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A (Worc. Greene, W.Raymond (Cambs.) Melville, Beresford Valentine
Chapman, Edward Grenfell, William Henry Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Clive, Captain Percy A. Gretton, John Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Coates, Edward Feetham Groves, James Grimble Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gunter, Sir Robert Milvain, Thomas
Coddington, Sir William Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Mitchell William (Burnley)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hare, Thomas Leigh Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Harris, Dr. Fredk. R.(Dulwich) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Moore, William
Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim,S.) Heath, James (Staffords., N.W. Morpeth, Viscount
Crean, Eugene Heaton, John Henniker Morrell, George Herbert
Morrison, James Archibald Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Tollemache, Henry James
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Robinson, Brooke Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Muntz, Sir Philip A. Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Tuff, Charles
Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute) Round, Rt. Hon. James Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Royds, Clement Molyneux Valentia, Viscount
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Vincent,Col.Sir C.E.H(Sheffield
Myers, William Henry Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Walker, Col. William Hall
Newdegate, Francis A. X. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Walrond,Rt.Hn.Sir William H.
Nicholson, William Graham Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Wanklyn, James Leslie
Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.) Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles Webb, Colonel William George
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Welby, Lt.-Col.A.C.E(Taunton
O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.)
O' Dowd, John Sharpe, William Edward T. Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington Shaw-Stewart, Sir H.(Renfrew) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Peel, Hn.Wm. Robert Wellesley Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Williams, Colonel R.(Dorset)
Percy, Earl Simeon, Sir Barrington Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Pilkington, Colonel Richard Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Skewes-Cox, Thomas Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H(Yorks.)
Plummer, Walter R. Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Spear, John Ward Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Purvis, Robert Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Pym, C. Guy Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskir Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Rankin, Sir James Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Ratcliff, R. F. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes. Young, Samuel
Reid, James (Greenock) Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Younger, William
Remnant, James Farquharson Stock, James Henry
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Stone, Sir Benjamin TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Renwick, George Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Alexander Acland-Hood and
Richards, Henry Charles Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Thorburn, Sir Walter
MR. J. H. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)

said he wished to move to add after "ill-conducted," "or are remote from or difficult of police supervision." The question of police supervision came up before the Royal Commission; and a considerable amount of interesting evidence was given on it. He was quite content to found himself on the Reports of that Commission. The Majority Report, which was signed by eight members of the licensed trade, said that strict supervision of licensed houses should be maintained; and the Minority Report stated that it was difficult to over-rate the importance of strict supervision. Evidence was given showing that in country districts there were houses which could not be approached by a policeman without his being seen for a distance of three miles. What effective police supervision could be exercised in a case of that kind? The Chief Constable of Plymouth stated that there were public-houses in that town where the upper rooms were let to several tenants. In one house there were twenty-one persons. He added that the police could have no effective supervision over them. A clergyman from Devonport also gave evidence. They were told that the clergy were not to have any say in this Bill; but the duties of a clergyman led him into the lowest districts in the great towns; and the clergy had special opportunities of knowing the state of affairs. That witness said that families lodged in the smaller public-houses; that they were mostly drunken families; and that if they were not drunken when they came they very quickly became drunken. This class of house constituted one of the great evils with which magistrates had to deal in connection with the licensed trade, and in some parts of the country they had dealt with it very effectively. In Liverpool, for instance, the magistrates called upon the licensed victuallers to close a large number of back and side entrances, which made the houses difficult of police supervision. The licence-holders did not see their way to comply with the request, whereupon the magistrates intimated that the record of every house would be carefully examined, and the result was that at the next licensing sessions undertakings were given that the back and side entrances complained of should be closed. As a consequence, police supervision had become infinitely more effective, and he believed this course of action was one of the causes of the astounding decrease in the convictions for drunkenness in Liverpool, the number having dropped from 16,000 to 4,000 per annum. That was not merely a decrease on paper. Committees appointed by municipalities all over the kingdom had borne testimony to its reality, and responsible persons well acquainted with Liverpool declared it to be an infinitely more sober city. This power of enforcing effective police supervision would practically cease to exist under the Bill as it stood. It had been urged that the loss of licence would be too heavy a penalty for disobedience to such an order, but there was no likelihood of the magistrates acting harshly in the matter, past experience having shown that they never adopted strong measures unless an overwhelming case had been made out against a particular house. It would be absolutely impossible for a county licensing committee to inspect particular premises as the local justices had done for the purpose of ascertaining whether they could be effectively supervised, and he submitted that it was far better that the power should remain in the hands of the local justices as at present. Respectable publicans would not be injured in the least degree by this Amendment; it would affect only those who were not willing to comply with the reasonable requests of the magistrates. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 7, after the words 'ill-conducted to insert the words 'or are remote from or difficult of police supervision.'"—(Mr. J. H. Lewis.)

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

MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W.R., Keighley)

said he could not help thinking that the Government had made a slip in leaving out of the Bill the words of this Amendment. One of the first things that a Licensing Bench asked the police when a licence was applied for was whether the house was suitably situated and constructed for effective police supervision. For thirty years he had had a good deal to do with the blocking up of backdoors and side entrances. There were only two grounds in the Bill on which licences might be refused, but he was informed there were no fewer than twenty-four different grounds on which licences had been endorsed. In all well-regulated districts the principle of the Amendment had been acted upon already, and it would be a very great deprivation of power if it were left out of the Bill. He was very strongly of opinion that the Amendment should be introduced in some form or other, and if the right hon. Gentleman was not prepared to accept it as it stood, he hoped he would be able to give a promise to deal with the matter with the other items which were now being taken out of the hands of the licensing magistrates.


said the hon. Member for Flint Boroughs had given very good reasons, not for the acceptance of the Amendment, but for the abolition of some of the houses which were difficult of police supervision. But though he agreed with much the hon. Member had said with reference to the evil complained of, he could not agree, on the ground either of equity or of efficiency, with the method by which he proposed to deal with it. He would have thought these houses were just those in respect of which compensation ought to be paid. They were presumably in the same place as when the licence was granted, and it was through no misconduct on the part of the licensee that their removal was now desired; therefore, if the licence was to be taken away, he thought there was a clear title to compensation. As to efficiency, the licensing justices would have a much freer hand in dealing with these houses if they knew they could award compensation. Judging from the speeches that had been made by experienced chairmen of quarter sessions, he was convinced that they would exercise their powers much more drastically if they felt that by so doing-they would not be inflicting any individual hardship. He desired to see these houses reduced, and he was certain that object would be largely secured under the provisions of the Bill with regard to compensation. The hon. Member had also stated that the quarter sessions would be unable to deal with these houses so efficiently as the old brewster sessions. But with regard to ill-conducted houses, the brewster sessions would have all the power they had hitherto possessed. With regard to the action of quarter sessions, they would have to act upon the report of the local justices. At the present moment, in any of these cases in which brewster sessions acted, an appeal lay to quarter sessions. He was very sorry he could not accept this Amendment.


said that the Home Secretary's argument seemed to be based upon the idea that the only houses the licences of which would be refused would be those which were well managed and against which there was no complaint, and that the licence would be taken away solely because they were remote and difficult of police supervision. He could not imagine that any bench of magistrates would withhold the licences of houses on those grounds. Ill-conducted houses remote from police supervision were a most unsatisfactory class of houses, and should not be entitled to compensation on refusal of renewal of licences. The Bill, however, provided that compensation should be given in those cases. In the case of a house that had been mentioned the road could be seen for three miles, and the publican might be up to all sorts of tricks with impunity when he could have such long notice of the visits of the police. It was well known that this sort of thing was going on, but sufficient evidence could not be obtained owing to the difficulty of supervision. Now the justices could refuse the renewal of a licence on the ground that it was difficult of police supervision, but they would not refuse it if it was a house with a good reputation. Was it suggested that a magistrate would, in cold blood so to speak, refuse the licence of a well-managed house because it was some distance from police supervision? He was sure that magistrates would not refuse a licence to a house with a good character, no matter how remotely it was situated.


said that there was one very important point raised by this Amendment, and it was the effect of non-compliance with the order of the jus- tices in certain cases. This Amendment dealt with two classes of houses, one where the house was remote from police supervision, and the other where it was difficult of police supervision. Under the Act of 1902 a very salutary provision was inserted in Section 11 which gave the justices power to call for various alterations and plans of what they thought ought to be done in reference to the structure of the house. Sub-section 4 of that section provided that in the case of any application for the renewal of a licence the licensing justices might require a plan of the premises to be produced, and order such alterations to be made as they thought reasonably necessary for the proper conduct of the business in that part of the premises where intoxicating liquors were sold. No other order could be made in regard to those particular premises for five years, fines being provided for in case of non-compliance with the order. Licensing magistrates had adopted the practice of calling for the plans of the houses where they thought structural alterations were necessary. Supposing such an order were made and it was not complied with, would disobedience to any such order constitute ill-conduct of the house? Where there was misconduct in the management of licensed premises the justices in the Court below could refuse the licence, and no compensation would be payable. He desired to know the intention of the Government in regard to this point. Would licensed premises be regarded as ill-conducted if the licence-holder declined to obey the order of the justices for structural alteration? He thought it was doubtful whether that would constitute misconduct. In such cases of wilful disobedience the licence-holder ought to be placed in this position, that when he asked for a renewal the magistrates should have the right of saying, "No; you have disobeyed our order, and therefore we will refuse to renew your licence." In a case of that kind the holder ought not to be entitled to compensation. If compensation were to be given at all, it should be in a congested area, and where there was no particular reason why the licence of a house should be taken away, except that the justices wished to reduce the number. If a house were so remote that it was not necessary at all, and served no public purpose, the licence-holder was not entitled to compensation; and the justices in the Court below should be able to refuse renewal without reference to the quarter sessions. Everything turned upon that. He hoped the Solicitor-General would state whether, in his view, this case constituted a disqualification.


reminded the hon. Member opposite that, in the case of the tin mine he had mentioned, if the owner had paid into an insurance fund he would undoubtedly have got compensation. He strongly supported the argument of his right hon. friend the Home Secretary. This Bill would deal with the cases of remote public-houses, and those hon. Members who had had a great deal to do with county work knew that it was an exceedingly difficult thing for the county police force to supervise all these remote public-houses. These remote public-houses might be divided into two classes, badly-conducted and well-conducted. If a house was badly-conducted, it would go under by the action of the magistrates; if it was well-conducted this Bill would remove the difficulty.

MR. McKENNA (Monmouthshire, N-)

said he was sure that members of the Government would drop a tear to think that the "Sharpe v. Wakefield" decision would be the law no longer. If this Amendment were not accepted that decision would no longer stand. As the law now stood, the Court of quarter sessions, after hearing the evidence, could refuse to renew on the ground of the remoteness of the premises from police supervision; that remoteness was under the existing law sufficient ground for non-renewal of the licence. If this Amendment was not accepted they would depart from that decision. The objection to this Amendment put forward by the Home Secretary was that the true ground for compensation under this Bill was where a licence was taken away owing to no fault of the holder. If that was so, why did he not say so in the Bill? If the Committee understood that the intention of the Government was to compensate only the holders of licences who were deprived of their licences through no fault of their own, that would be, on the face of it, an equitable reason, assuming that the grounds adopted by the Government were accepted. If the Home Secretary would act upon the statements made by himself, the Prime Minister, and the Solicitor-General, and formulate them in clear and intelligible words, he would get through with this measure very much more quickly. It was because the Committee had to protect the public rights against the brewers' claims that hon. Members were compelled to introduce Amendment after Amendment in order that the justices or other authorities should not be unduly limited in the exercise of their discretion.

THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Edward Carson,), Dublin University

said he was greatly afraid that if they adopted the suggestion of the hon. Member who had just sat down, they would bring upon themselves a great many more Amendments than they had at the present moment. He did not for a moment suppose that the trade would object to a sweeping clause of that kind—that compensation was to be paid in every case where a licence was withdrawn through no fault of the holder. That would be a very easy method of legislation, but it would take up too much time to state the numerous objections which would be raised to any such sweeping words as those suggested. His right hon. and learned friend opposite had put to him a Question as to what would happen if the magistrates made a certain order for the improvement of premises and the order was disobeyed. He did not think that question really arose on the question of misconduct at all. What it did arise upon was the question of structural deficiency of the premises. These words had been left as wide as possible. The words were "structurally deficient or unsuitable," and what really would happen would be this. He would like the Committee to see how well the law gave power to the magistrates in these cases, and that none of the matters would happen which the mover of the Amendment seemed to anticipate from the passing of the Bill. What were the powers of the magistrates in relation to this matter—in the first place, as the hon. Member had pointed out, they had power under the Act of 1892 to impose a penalty of twenty shillings a day for every day the alteration remained unexecuted after a specified time. He thought that very few of the men they were dealing with would last long if they went on incurring a penalty of twenty shillings a day. It would put an end to the question of compensation, and it would put an end to the public-house in a very summary way. Although this matter was dealt with in a subsequent part of the Bill, still it was germane to the question now before the Committee. If premises were structurally deficient or unsuitable after the magistrates had made an order for alterations, the magistrates, when the man came before them, would be able to say. "You have not obeyed our order. Your premises are structurally deficient, or structurally unsuitable. We have given you a chance, and we will now take away your licence on that ground." If they took it away there was an appeal but no compensation would be paid in such cases. The mover of the Amendment said the local magistrates were much better judges of the question of the structural alterations that might be necessary than quarter sessions. But the position would be exactly the same after the Bill was passed as it was now.

In regard to the other matter raised by the Amendment, were they going, because premises were "remote from or difficult of police supervision," to

deprive the licence-holder of compensation? Supposing a man got a licence at a time, say, when there was a police barrack near it, and that it was thought more convenient to have the barrack elsewhere, or that it was decided that the police force should be less than it was before, and if the licence-holder had done nothing to bring himself within the provisions of the Bill which would deprive him of compensation, surely it was not unfair to say that if he subscribed to the insurance fund he ought to get compensation. Might he say to the hon. Member that this very Amendment seemed to him to be an illustration of how necessary it was to have some such scheme as this. The hon. Member had described to the Committee numbers of these houses which he said it was practically impossible to supervise from their situation or otherwise, and, if that was so, how did it come that with absolute discretion vested in the magistrates these houses had continued to exist? Simply and solely because the magistrates had not felt that they should take away these licences when there was no fault on the part of the licensees. If the house was very remote and not a public convenience the compensation would be very small. He submitted, therefore, that this was not a reasonable Amendment.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 176; Noes, 258. (Division List, No. 182.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Buxton, Sydney Charles Dunn, Sir William
Ainsworth, John Stirling Caldwell, James Edwards, Frank
Allen, Charles P. Cameron, Robert Elibank, Master of
Ambrose, Robert Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Ellice,Capt E.C(SAndrw'sBghs
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cawley, Frederick Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)
Asquith,Rt.Hn.Herbert Henry Channing, Francis Allston Emmott, Alfred
Atherley-Jones, L. Condon, Thomas Joseph Esmonde, Sir Thomas
Barlow, John Emmott Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Evans, Sir Fran. H. (Maidstone
Barran, Rowland Hirst Craig, Robert Hunter(Lanark) Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Cremer, William Randal Farquharson, Dr. Robert
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Crombie, John William Fenwick, Charles
Bell, Richard Crooks, William Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)
Benn, John Williams Cullinan, J. Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Black, Alexander William Dalziel, James Henry Flavin, Michael Joseph
Blake, Edward Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Flynn, James Christopher
Boland, John Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)
Brigg, John Delany, William Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Broadhurst, Henry Dobbie, Joseph Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Doogan, P. C. Furness, Sir Christopher
Burns, John Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Gladstone,Rt.Hn.Herbert John
Burt, Thomas Duncan, J. Hastings Goddard, Daniel Ford
Grant, Corrie Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Roe, Sir Thomas
Grey, Rt Hn. Sir E. (Berwick MacVeagh, Jeremiah Runciman, Walter
Griffith, Ellis J. M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Samuel, Herbert L. (Ceveland
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill M'Crae, George Schwann, Charles E.
Hain, Edward M'Kenna, Reginald Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Harcourt, Lewis V.(Rossendale M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Seely,Maj.J.E.B. (Isle of Wight
Harcourt,RtHn.Sir W (Monm't Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Shackleton, David James
Harwood, George Markham, Arthur Basil Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Hayden, John Patrick Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh) Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Sheehy, David
Helme, Norval Watson Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose Slack, John Bamford
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Moulton, John Fletcher Sloan, Thomas Henry
Holland, Sir William Henry Newnes, Sir George Soames, Arthur Welesley
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Norman, Henry Soares, Ernest J
Horniman, Frederick John Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Nussey, Thomas Willans Sullivan, Donal
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Joicey, Sir James O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.
Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea) O'Malley, William Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Jones, William(Carnarvonshire O'Mara, James Tomkinson, James
Jordan, Jeremiah O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Toulmin, George
Joyce, Michael Parrott, William Wallace, Robert
Kearley, Hudson E. Partington, Oswald Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan,W. Paulton, James Mellor Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Kilbride, Denis Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) White, Luke, (York, E.R.)
Kitson, Sir James Perks, Robert William Whiteley, George (York, W.R.
Labouchere, Hqnry Philipps, John Wynford Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Lambert, George Power, Patrick Joseph Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Price, Robert John Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Layland-Barratt, Francis Priestley, Arthur Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.
Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington) Rea, Russell Wilson, Henry, J. (York, W. R.
Leigh, Sir Joseph Reddy, M. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Leng, Sir John Reid, Sir R. Threshie(Dumfries Yoxall, James Henry
Lloyd-George, David Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Lough, Thomas Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Lundon, W. Robson, William Snowdon Mr. Herbert Lewis and
Lyell, Charles Henry Roche, John Mr. Trevelyan.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Brassey, Albert Davenpart, William Bromley-
Anson, Sir William Reynell Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Dickson, Charles Scott
Arkwright, John Stanhope Butcher, John George Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A.(Glasgow Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.
Arrol, Sir William Campbell, J. H. M.(Dublin Univ. Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon
Austin, Sir John Cautley, Henry Strother Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cayzer, Sir Charles William Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Duke, Henry Edward
Baird, John George Alexander Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart
Balcarres, Lord Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r
Baldwin, Alfred Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A ( Worc. Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r Chapman, Edward Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Clive, Captain Percy A. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Chrissch. Coates, Edward Feetham Firbank Sir Joseph Thomas
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Fisher, William Hayes
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Coddington, Sir William Fison, Frederick William
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Coghill, Douglas Harry FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks Cohen, Benjamin Louis Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. Flower, Sir Ernest
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Forster, Henry William
Bignold, Arthur Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Foster, Philip S.(Warwick, S. W.
Bili, Charles Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Galloway, William Johnson
Blundell, Colonel Henry Crean, Eugene Gardner, Ernest
Bond, Edward Cripps, Charles Alfred Garfit, William
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.
Boulnois, Edmund Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin & Nairn
Bowles, Lt. -Col. H. F. (Middlesex Cubitt, Hon Henry Gordon, Maj Evans (T'rH'mlets
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon MacIver, David (Liverpool) Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Goulding, Edward Alfred M'Fadden, Edward Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) M'Hugh, Patrick A. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Green, Walford D.(Wednesbury Majendie, James A. H. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Greene, Sir EW(B'rySEdm'nds Malcolm, Ian Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Manners, Lord Cecil Samuel, Sir Harry S.(Limehouse
Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs. Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Gretton, John Maxwell, Rt Hn. Sir H. E (Wigt'n Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Groves, James Grimble Melville, Beresford Valentine Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Gunter, Sir Robert Middlemore, John Throgmorton Sharpe, William Edward T.
Hall, Edward Marshall Mildmay, Francis Bingham Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Hare, Thomas Leigh Milvain, Thomas Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th Mitchell, William (Burnley) Skewes-Cox Thomas
Harris, Dr. Fredk. R. (Dulwich Molesworth, Sir Lewis Spear, Jahn Ward
Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)
Heath, James (Staffords, N. W. Moore, William Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset
Heaton, John Henniker Morrell, George Herbert Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lanes.)
Helder, Augustus Morrison, James Archibald Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taagart
Hickman, Sir Alfred Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Hobhouse, Rt Hn H(Somers't, E. Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Stock, James Henry
Hogg, Lindsay Muntz, Sir Philip A. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham(Bute Stroyan, John
Horner, Frederick William Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Houston, Robert Paterson Myers, William Henry Tollemache, Henry James
Howard, John (K'nt., Faversham Newdegate, Francis A. N. Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Nicholson, William Graham Tritton, Charles Ernest
Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N. Tuff, Charles.
Hudson, George Bickersteth Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Valentia, Viscount
Hunt, Rowland O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Vincent, Col Sir C. E. H(Sheffield
Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) O'Doherty, William Walker, Col. William Hall
Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Dowd, John Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred. O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N. Warde, Colonel C. E.
Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Parker, Sir Gilbert Webb, Colonel William George
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Welby, Sir Charles G. E.(Notts.
Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh Pemberton, John S. G. Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Percy Earl Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Kimber, Henry Pierpoint, Robert Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
King, Sir Henry Seymour Pilkington, Colonel Richard Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Plummer, Walter R. Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks. N. R. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Lee, Arthur H.(Hants., Fareham Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Lees, Sir Elliot (Birkenhead) Pym, C. Guy Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rankin, Sir James Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Llewellyn, Evan Henry Ratcliff, R. F. Wyndham, Rt. Hn. George
Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Reid, James (Greenock) Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Remnant James Farquharson Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Young, Samuel
Long, Rt, Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Renwick, George Younger, William
Lowe, Francis William Richards, Henry Charles
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth Ritchie, Rt. Hon Chas. Thomson Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Robertson, Herbert (Hackney and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Macdona, John Cumming Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
MR. HERBEET ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

said that the Amendment standing in his name raised a point of considerable importance. It was— In page 1, line 7, leave out 'or are,' and insert 'or that undesirable practices or methods of trading having been carried on in or in connection therewith or that the premises are insanitary or.' The effect of Clause 1 as it now stood was to reduce the discretion of the local licensing justices to the level of their discretion in regard to the ante-1869 beer licences. The best way for him to explain the reasons for moving this Amendment was to mention three or four "undesirable practices" as to which there could be no doubt, and to ask the Solicitor-General whether the phrase in the Bill "ill-conducted" would cover these practices and give the licensing justices the power to refuse a licence without compensation. First of all, there was defective management as distinguished from ill-conduct. Then I there was the irregular opening of licensed premises. It might be easily argued that these points were not covered by the phrase "ill-conducted." Next, there was offering attractions to induce customers to patronise a public-house, such as giving the "long pull," giving free drinks at Christmas, etc. These were the kind of "undesirable practices" which the licensing justices had, during the last few years, considered grounds on which they were permitted to refuse licences. The Royal Commission had brought before them a great deal of evidence as to the existence of these undesirable practices, especially in regard to music and dancing, which necessarily led to undesirable consequences, and the "long pull," which was still resorted to to a very large extent all over the country. It was of the utmost consequence that every effort should be made to widen, as far as possible, the discretion of the licensing justices, and the object of his Amendment was to secure that.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 7, to leave out the word 'are,' and insert the words 'that undesirable practices or methods of trading have been carried on in or in connection therewith or that the premises are insanitary or.'"—(Mr. Herbert Roberta.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'are' stand part of the clause."


said that in the absence of any satisfactory explanation from his right hon. friend the Solicitor-General, he should feel obliged to support the Amendment. The real position was that they were attempting to define the grounds on which magistrates could refuse licences without compensation. At present the magistrates had absolute discretion, always provided it was judicially exercised. It was now proposed to limit the grounds on which they could refuse a licence without compensation. The first ground was that the licensed premises was ill-conducted; but there were other practices which, although not statutory offences, did not make for the good conduct of a public-house. In Liverpool and other large centres the licensing magistrates, with the assistance of the trade— and the trade was perfectly willing to co-operate—had been able to bring about certain reforms. There was the case of the "long pull." He had no practical experience of it himself; but he believed it meant giving extra measure in order to unduly stimulate the drinking propensity, especially in the case of women. The magistrates were able to put a stop to that practice. The sale of drink to children was now a statutory offence; but before it was, the magistrates in certain centres exercised pressure and put a stop to it. He wanted to know from the Solicitor-General whether the magistrates would, in future, be in a weaker or in a similar position as the result of this clause. The declared intention of the Government was to compensate those who lost their licences through no fault of their own; but they ought to know if, in carrying out that object, the disciplinary power of the magistrates over the trade would be weakened. He hoped that a satisfactory explanation would be given, as many Unionists, in the House and out of it, felt very strongly on the matter.


said that the real question was that the power which the magistrates at present exercised for the better conduct of public-houses would be taken away from them. Let the Committee consider such practices as giving sweets to children, or giving away free drinks. At present the magistrates could say that unless such practices were stopped they would consider very carefully the renewal of the licence. That power was now to be taken away; and the licence-holder could snap his fingers at the magistrates. He was sorry that no explanation was given as to why the clause was not drafted the other way round. Many Unionist Members had informed him that, in their opinion, the first clause should provide that where a licence was not renewed on the ground that there were too many licences in the neighbourhood compensation should be given. He could not understand why the Government made no response to that suggestion. He had heard that the Bill was originally drafted in that way, but that it was altered. It was due to the Committee that a clear reason for the change should be given. The argument of the Home Secretary when he introduced the Bill was that it would be unfair to pick out a particular house and suppress it without compensation, although it might be no worse than the other houses in the locality. That, as far as it went, was a sound argument if they went in for compensation at all; but the Government ought to consider whether the clause should not be restored to its original form.

SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

said that they were told by the Government that there was no intention of interfering with the discretionary power of the magistrates. The only objection he saw to the Amendment was that it was unnecessary, as its purport was included in the phraseology of the Bill. But, on that point, the Committee ought to have the assurance of the Solicitor-General. He himself thought that the word "ill-conduct" embraced all the practices which had been described. If the Solicitor-General would assure the Committee that that was so, then, he thought, the hon. Gentleman might withdraw his Amendment. He was speaking on the assumption that the Government did not mean by the phraseology of the Bill to limit, in any way, the discretionary power now possessed by the magistrates.


said he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University. The matter was of extreme importance. The object of the Amendment was to enable the magistrates to exercise pressure. There were only two ways of putting on pressure. One was by the infliction of penalties, which they were precluded from proposing because it would be outside the scope of the Bill; and the other was the method which at present existed, namely, the right of the magistrates to refuse a licence. They had two categories, one the refusal of a licence with compensation, the other the refusal of a licence for an offence without compensation. The second category disinclined justices to act, on the ground that it would be harsh treatment to deprive a man of his licence without compensation. Accordingly, there was no remedy left in connection with the practices which they wished to discontinue except the extreme remedy of forfeiting the licence. That was the position. The Amendment did not propose anything unfair or arbitrary. The existing powers with regard to discontinuance of licences were to be divided between quarter sessions and the licensing justices. But if there was no intention of interfering with the disciplinary jurisdiction of the local magistrates, why should not this matter be left with the licensing justices with an appeal to quarter sessions? The powers of pressure with respect not of statutory offences, but of such matters as child service, would be entirely taken away from the magistrates by the peculiar construction of the Bill. With regard to the particular Amendment before the Committee, "undesirable practices" might cover matters which would not strictly come within the term "ill-conducted." As to "undesirable methods of trading," if some such words were not inserted the magistrates would certainly lose their power of insisting upon proper conditions with regard to the tenure of the house, the tying of a house, or matters of that kind. Whatever else was done, the Committee ought to reserve to the magistrates the power of pressure which they at present possessed, subject to appeal to quarter sessions.


submitted that the way in which the Bill had been drafted would effectively prevent magistrates unjustifiably placing public-houses in the class to which compensation would be paid. The Bill stated in black and white certain grounds in regard to which if a licence was refused no compensation would be forthcoming, therefore the magistrates would have to place those cases in the class to which compensation would not be paid.


The Bill does not say that the magistrates "must"; they can do as they like, and that makes all the difference.


Not at all.


Surely the Solicitor-General does not maintain that wherever there is ill-conduct, structural deficiency, or question concerning the character or fitness of the proposed licence-holder, the magistrates are bound to take away the licence?


said that what he meant was that if the magistrates came to the conclusion that a licence ought to be taken away on any of the three specified grounds, the Bill was so framed as to amount to a direction to the magistrates to give no compensation. It left no loophole for magistrates to take the course feared by the hon. and learned Member. He agreed that the disciplinary powers of the magistrates ought not to be taken away, and he denied that they were being taken away by the Bill. There could hardly be a wider term than "ill-conduct," and it was for the magistrates to decide what came within the term. Whether "lax management" was of a sufficiently serious kind to be called "ill-conducted" and the other matters referred to by the hon. and learned Member, would all be left to the magistrates to determine. At present if a complaint of lax management was made, the magistrates would probably warn the licence-holder that unless matters improved they would take serious notice of the complaint at the next licensing sessions, and there was nothing whatever in the Bill to prevent a similar course being followed in the future. Whether the offering of attraction—the provision of music, and so forth—came within the term "ill-conduct" would all be for the magistrates to determine.


Are we to understand that there would be no appeal from the magistrates' construction of "ill-conduct"?


There would be an appeal to quarter sessions.


And beyond that?


Certainly not.


Except by special case, I suppose?


There might be that, no doubt.


They would not be bound to give their reasons.


Nor would they for misconduct. They would say "We refuse the licence on the ground that the premises have been ill-conducted, and they would not be bound to give any reasons. As a matter of fact, the disciplinary power of pressure would be much greater than at present because if a licence-holder failed to come up to the view of the magistrates he would run the risk of losing the whole of the compensation to which he had contributed. Therefore, the power, instead of being weakened, would be greatly strengthened.


said he wished to know if the words in the clause "ill-conducted" meant that the premises had been ill-conducted in the opinion of the magistrates. This ought to be made clear by a definition clause. As the section was drawn, "ill-conducted" was purely in relation to the premises, and had no bearing whatever in regard to the trade. The Solicitor-General knew very well the class of offence he had in his mind—where the licensed premises had been used as a resort for betting men or harbouring persons of ill-fame, and instead of being used for refreshment by the public had, by the permission of the owner, been "ill-conducted" in ways which conflicted with good order and due observance of the law. He was sure that the Solicitor-General would not say it was an extravagant suggestion. Obviously certain methods of trading, which all regarded as objectionable, would have nothing to do with "ill-conduct," as, for instance, the "long pull," which was an objectionable method of trading. It might also include the employment of certain persons in the service of a licensed person, not only children, but also the employment of barmaids. In Glasgow they regarded the employment of barmaids as highly objectionable. Proper regulation of the staff, the prohibition of objectionable methods of trading by offering inducements to drinking, and unfair competition—none of these fell within the meaning of the expression "ill-conducted," confined as it was to the premises. Therefore, he wished to challenge the earnestness of the Solicitor-General by asking him to see that this very serious doubt was removed by placing in a definition clause the exposition of this section which he had just given. If the right hon. Gentleman would boil down into a phrase the speech he had just delivered the point of the A end ent would be met.

MR. CORBETT (Glasgow, Tradeston)

said he felt quite sure that the Committee would accept the interpretation given by the Solicitor-General upon this point, and he hoped it would be carried out. The hon. Member for Liverpool had alluded to what had been done in that city in carrying out the regulations made by the magistrates, which had greatly improved the conduct of the trade there and had reduced drunkenness by one-third. At Liverpool the disciplinary powers of the magistrates over the ordinary public-houses were complete, and they had brought about a great improvement. But in regard to the ante-1869 beerhouses, the Liverpool magistrates complained that they could do nothing, because they had not the same wide discretion over these particular houses as they had over the conduct of other houses. He hoped that the Government would place words in Clause 1 which would give justices a discretionary power of determining what was "ill conduct," as mentioned in the clause. The proposal to do away with barmaids had been mentioned by the hon. Member for South Leeds. It was treated sometimes with a certain kind of scorn in quarters with no experience of the system of employing barmaids. The system had been done away with in many countries, and he ventured to think that if the time came in England when this occupation was done away with, as it had been in Glasgow, people would look back, with wonder upon the time when such occupation was carried on by young women. Barmaids were in many instances kept at work from ninety to ninety-five hours per week, and a more dangerous and more injurious occupation it would be very difficult to imagine. It was a very great thing that the magistrates, in the exercise of their discretion in Glasgow, had been able to make a valuable experiment in this direction, and he hoped ultimately it would be followed in other parts of the country.

MR. LAWRENCE (Liverpool, Abercromby)

said that the disciplinary powers of the magistrates should be preserved was quite plain. He thought the clause as it stood seemed at first sight to be open to the criticisms passed upon it by the hon. and learned Member opposite. By the insertion of the word "conduct" later on, he thought the discretionary power of the magistrates would remain intact.


said the Solicitor-General had endeavoured to soothe, and to some extent had soothed, the apprehension entertained with regard to the effect of this clause by giving a very wide interpretation to the words "ill-conducted." He wished to ask the Home Secretary if he would do something to make it quite clear what the Committee intended by inserting, somewhere, the words "in the opinion of the justices." If those words were inserted, they would at any rate strengthen the interpretation suggested by the Solicitor-General.


trusted that the Home Secretary would in no way alter this clause. The Committee ought not to forget that all these legal subtleties were not of the slightest use to the common or garden magistrate, and he was one of them. There was not a single crime in the calendar which this clause did not cover. If they kept adding these legal subtleties, it would take three sessions to get the Bill through. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would insist upon the clause standing intact.


said the difficulty felt on both sides of the House was one apparently which the Government was anxious to meet, and he thought words could be inserted which would meet their views. The difficulty arose from the fear that "ill-conducted" was too strong a term. He suggested that if the Home Secretary would introduce some word or words which would make the expression "ill-conducted" less rigid, such as "lax management" or "badly conducted," it would meet the wishes of Members on that side of the Committee.

SIR JOHN KENNAWAY (Devonshire,) Honiton

said he had listened with very great satisfaction to the statement of the Solicitor-General; and, as both sides were in practical agreement on this matter, he thought they might ask the Home Secretary to undertake that words should he inserted which would carry out the assurance of the Solicitor-General.


said he trusted I the Home Secretary would respond to the appeal which had come not only from the Opposition side of the House but also from his own side, to do something to meet the case which had been placed before the Committee. He was afraid the words suggested by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwick, "in the opinion of the magistrates," did not make any substantial alteration in the meaning of the clause. The words "ill-conducted" were too strong to cover the various difficulties suggested by his hon. friend. Take such a case as had recently arisen in Liverpool of sailors' advance notes. That was a case in which it would not be "ill-conduct" or an offence against the law, but at the same time it was a practice that ought to be put an end to, and the magistrates ought to have the requisite power to do so. "Free drinks" was another case. The hon. member for Halifax had mentioned a case of serious assault out side a public-house which very nearly led to murder, That case was the result of a big féte which a publican had given, when there were free drinks to everybody. That, again, was a practice the magistrates should have power to put an end to. Surely the Home Secretary could give an undertaking to introduce words covering cases of this character, so that the magistrates would know the class of case they had to deal with without compensation.

MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)

said he wished, speaking as a magistrate, to say how much he appreciated the friendly language used with reference to the preservation of the disciplinary powers of the magistrates. He felt certain that it was a matter of the highest importance, and on the question of substance there was no difference between the two sides of the House. That the Government regarded this matter as one of the highest importance was shown by the fact that they had given what they considered a full catalogue. The question was whether that catalogue was wide enough to include all the cases which might arise. The Solicitor-General had expressed the opinion that the words "ill-conducted" would cover those cases contemplated by the present Amendment and a great many other things of the same sort. If the right hon. Gentleman were on the Bench he would give effect to that opinion, but his opinion now given would not be even quotable when a case came before the Court. It could in no way bind anybody, and therefore one must rely on one's own judgment as to the way this would be construed by the Judges before whom cases might come. He suggested for the consideration of the Solicitor-General the words "or any reasonable requirement of the magistrates is not complied with" as making it quite clear that the disciplinary powers of the magistrates were preserved.


said he was disposed to agree with the Solicitor-General that the words were at present, sufficiently large to meet all the cases, but at the same time he was disposed, for the sake of greater security, to press upon him that it would be desirable to accept the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwick and add the words "in the opinion of the magistrates," which, he thought, would meet the whole case. As the clause at present stood, what would come before the Court would be misconduct, and what would come before the High Court of Justice was what was misconduct, and the interpretation there might differ widely from that of the magistrates. If, however, they put in the words "in the opinion of the magistrates," the High Court would be bound to say: "This is misconduct in the opinion of the magistrates"; and they would not be able to go behind that. He considered there could be no possible objection to the acceptance of these words.

SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

said it was proposed to introduce into the Bill a definition of the ordinary powers of the magistrates. The object of the Bill was to enable the number of public-houses to be reduced in the public interest, and to give compensation when that was done for reasons other than the misconduct of the licensee. He was anxious that the discretion of the magistrates in regard to discipline and the conditions of licences should not be impaired, but he considered it undesirable that Parliament should introduce catalogues which could not be complete, and which might open the door to many dangers.

MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)

agreed with the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken that it was dangerous to make definitions, conditions, and qualifications in the way proposed, but thought that was a criticism which he ought to apply to the authors of the Bill. The whole scheme of this first clause was to take the present unfettered discretion of the justices and reduce it to a mere shadow of its former self. He understood the object of the mover of the Amendment to be to reinstate, as far as was possible consistently with the object of the Bill, the justices in their discretion. He was inclined to share the opinion that under the term "ill-conducted" the practices referred to in the course of the debate might very likely be held not to be included. It was not safe, if the House really wanted matters of this kind to be taken into account by the justices, to let the Bill pass with this vague phrase. Matters of this kind ought to be dealt with in a rational and sensible way, and a course which would save a great deal of time would be if the Government consented to introduce words which would elucidate the interpretation of "ill-conducted." He would suggest that the clause should run "ill-conducted, or that the licensee has failed to comply with any reasonable requirement made by the justices." He thought that that would cover all cases of misconduct, and would enable the licensing justices to retain a large share of the beneficent power which they now possessed of controlling licences.

MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)

said hon. Members on both sides of the House had listened with interest and sympathy to the explanation of the Solicitor-General; but the request now was that he should make clear what was not so clear. This was all they asked. It was evident to him, but there were legal luminaries in the House to whom it was certainly not clear and to whom it appeared susceptible of a construction other than that which the right hon. and learned Gentleman placed upon it. They asked him very respectfully and earnestly to introduce into the Bill phrases and alterations which would satisfy those who were pleased with his interpretation of the word "ill-conducted" but were not satisfied with the form in which it was expressed.


said he did not like the phrase "ill-conducted." It seemed to him that better words would be "that the licensed premises and the trade thereof have been unsatisfactorily conducted."

MR. EDWARDS (Radnor)

said that there seemed to be a general feeling on both sides of the House that something should be done in the direction of the Amendment. The hon. and gallant Member for West Clare said that the Amendment should not be accepted because the magistrates would not be bothered with legal subtleties. Why, that was the very reason why the Committee should accept the words suggested in the Amendment. It was very necessary that such practices as were referred to in the Amendment should be stopped. In the Act of 1872, six or seven reasons were given for closing a public-house on account of malpractices, and since that time there had been an immensely increased competition in the business of licensed houses, and that competition led licensed holders to do things which ought not to be done in the way of enticing trade. It was to contend with that new state of things that the Amendment had been proposed.


urged that the best course would be for the Government to state in what cases compensation should be given. It was the duty of all hon. Members to offer assistance in carrying out the views expressed on both sides of the House, and he suggested the addition after "ill-conducted" of the words "or that any other requirement or condition which the justices may in their discretion make or impose has not been complied with or observed." He thought these words would carry out the wishes expressed on both sides of the House.


said he thought that the Bill would go through much more quickly if words were inserted preserving the power of the local justices, except in cases where a public-house was abolished because it was not required.

MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)

said the House was in an extraordinary position. The Solicitor-General said the word "ill-conducted" was subject to one interpretation, whilst legal Gentlemen of the greatest ability on his own and the other side of the House thought it was capable of a different interpretation. Why did the Government treat the House with silence when there was absolute agreement on this point on both sides of the House? He did not know whether the Solicitor-General or the Home Secretary was in charge of the Bill because they went in and out of the House continually and did not hear the arguments. The Solicitor-General had been out of the House twice.


said that he had only been out of the House once, and that it was absolutely impossible for one who had other duties to discharge to remain the whole time in the House.


who rose again amid loud cries of "withdraw," said he would certainly withdraw if the Solicitor-General said he had only been out once. Proceeding, he said that the discussion had been confined very largely to legal Gentlemen. Some took one view and others another view as to the interpretation of the word "ill-conducted," and he thought a very simple arrangement, seeing that hon. Members on both sides of the House were in agreement, would be for the Government to accept some words to save all this discussion. The suggestion of the hon. Member for Berwick to insert the words "in the opinion of the magistrates" met entirely the view of hon. Members on that side of the House. If it were made clear that it was to be "ill-conducted" in the opinion of the magistrates, what clearer definition could they have. As legal gentlemen differed, some of whom might be Judges in time to come, why in the name of creation did the Government, if it wanted to facilitate the passing of the Bill, maintain an absolute silence in regard to the suggestions made.

MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

said in order to meet the point he thought they were entitled to have the opinion of the Government upon it. They had had a most business-like discussion and there was almost a common agreement that some words should be introduced such as those suggested by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Devonshire, which would be agreeable in all quarters. They were drifting into the position in which the House found itself on the previous night and no time was being gained. He hoped the Solicitor-General would be able to give to the House some actual words which would carry out the evident sense of the House on the matter.


said he had really nothing to add to the statement of the Solicitor-General. Surely the case was quite plain. The Government were of opinion that a mans' licence might be taken away without compensation for misconduct; they were not of opinion that it ought to be taken away without compensation for something which was not misconduct. The word "misconduct" was a wide word. [Several Members: It is not the word used.] "Ill-conduct" was a wide word. It would have to be interpreted by the magistrates, with, of course, an appeal to quarter sessions; and he did not think the wording of the Bill in this particular could be improved. What some Members were tacitly driving at was that a man should be liable to be deprived of his licence for something which was not ill-conduct. [Opposition cries of "No, no!"] Others, no doubt, would like to see the Government embark in an endless attempt to define. That might suit other objects which they had in view, but it certainly would not improve this Bill as a measure of licensing reform or help the magistrates to carry out their duty. If they did mean to increase the number of offences under the Licensing Acts it should be done by a separate Bill. He would now suggest that a decision should be taken on the matter.


said the right hon. Gentleman had spoken with great lucidity, and they now clearly understood that the Government offered a blank negative to all the suggestions offered, as much from their own side of the House as from the other, to meet a difficulty which, except the Prime Minister himself, no one had denied was a real one. Now the Prime Minister came in at the end of the debate and said that although the Bill contained a phrase which in all probability would not be held to cover certain practices, and although there was a general agreement that they were practices which ought to be covered, yet on behalf of the Government he refused to insert words to meet the wishes of the Committee. He would leave the situation there.


said he did not think the Prime Minister quite appreciated the suggestions which had been made during the debate. He was quite sure that the Government did not intend to speak with two voices on the subject. The Solicitor-General had spoken quite sympathetically on behalf of the Government with reference, to preserving the disciplinary powers which the magistrates at present had. The Prime Minister had put it to the Committee that the Amendment would mean very heavy penalties for slight offences. That was not the situation. At present the magistrates had power to impose reasonable requirements upon an applicant for renewal. They desired that that power should be preserved, and they understood from the Solicitor-General that the Government regarded that as a desirable object. He himself had suggested a form of words which would make it clear; and he ventured humbly to suggest that the Prime Minister had not quite appreciated the situation when he spoke. He did not desire to press the Government at that moment, but the matter was one which ought to have their serious attention. The last words of the Prime Minister might, he thought, lead to some misunderstanding as being apparently out of concord with what the Solicitor-General had previously said. They did not desire to penalise the licence-holder, but only to ensure that the magistrates would have power to impose reasonable requirements.

SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

said he thought it was very unfortunate that the Prime Minister should have intervened without having heard the discussion. The Committee had practically agreed that words should be inserted to preserve the discretion of the magistrates, and he hoped that arrangement would not be upset.


said as the Prime Minister had only just come into the House and had not heard the discussion, he thought it would be well if they went through it again.


Order, order! The hon. Gentleman will not be entitled to repeat arguments.


said that he would not repeat arguments; but would refer to the obstruction of the Government which would prevent the Bill getting through the House. The Government would not take the view that any business man would take as to the meaning of the words under discussion. They were told, without going into the question of the employment of barmaids, which was debated at considerable length, that very considerable evils arose in many districts as the result of betting. Great evils resulted from betting, and he, therefore, should be prepared to vote for the Amendment.

MR. J. F. HOPE (Sheffield, Brightside)

said he thought the best course would be to let the words in the clause stand, and, if on further consideration it became apparent that the object sought for was not covered by them, the matter could be brought up again on the definition clause and words adopted which would satisfy the general sense of the House. It seemed to him a matter of some importance; but. unless the Government could find words at once to satisfy the general sense of the Committee, it would be better, for the present, to stick to the words in the Bill.


said he hoped that the Government would introduce words which would give effect to the Solicitor-General's interpretation of the clause.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 268; Noes, 190. (Division List No. 183.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cripps, Charles Alfred Howard, John(Kent Fave'sham
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Cross, Herb. Shepherd(Bolton) Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil
Allhusen, Augustus Hnry Eden Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Hudson, George Bickersteth
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hunt, Rowland
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. HughO Davenport, William Bromley Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Arrol, Sir William Dickinson, Robert Edmund Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dickson, Charles Scott Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Austin, Sir John Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Kenyon-Slanley, Col. W. (Salop
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C. Kimber, Henry
Bain, Colonel James Robert Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph King, Sir Henry Seymour
Baird, John George Alexander Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow
Balcarres, Lord Doogan, P. C. Lawrence. Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Baldwin, Alfred Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Lawson, John Grant(Yorks, NR
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lees, Sir Elliot (Birkenhead)
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W(Leeds Duke, Henry Edward Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christch. Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Lock wood, Lieut.-Col. A.R.
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Beach, Rt. Hn Sir Michael Hicks Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (BristolS.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lowe, Francis William
Bignold, Arthur Fisher, William Hayes Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Bill, Charles
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fison, Frederick William Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Bond, Edward FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Boulnois, Edmund Flower, Sir Ernest Lyttelton Rt. Hon. Alfred
Bousfield, William Robert Forster, Henry William Macdona, John Cumming
Bowles, Lt. Col H. F (Middlesex Foster, Philip S. (Warwick S W. MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Bowles, T. Gibson( King's Lynn Galloway, William Johnson Maconochie, A. W.
Brassey, Albert Gardner, Ernest M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Garfit, William M'Fadden, Edward
Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.) Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Majendie, James A. H.
Bull, William James Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Malcolm, Ian
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets Manners, Lord Cecil
Butcher, John George Goschen, Hn. George Joachim Martin, Richard Biddulph
Goulding, Edward Alfred Massey-Main waring, Hn. W. F.
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A.(Glasgow Graham, Henry Robert Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E(Wigton
Campbell, J.H.M.(Dublin Univ Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Melville, Beresford Valentine
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Green, Walford D(Wednesbury Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Cautley Henry Strother Greene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'nds Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.
Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Milvain, Thomas
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.) Molesworth, S r Lewis
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gretton, John Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich Groves, James Grimble Moore, William
Chamberlain, Rt Hn.J.(Birm. Gunter, Sir Robert Morgan, David J.(Walthamstow
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc. Hardy, Laurence(Kent Ashford Morpeth, Viscount
Chapman, Edward Hare, Thomas Leigh Morrell, George Herbert
Charrington, Spencer Harris, F. Lever ton (Tynem'th Morrison, James Archibald
Clare, Octavius Leigh Harris, Dr. Fredk. R. (Dulwich Morton, Arthur H. Alymer
Clive, Captain Percy A. Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Coates, Edward Feetham Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Cochrane Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Heath, James (Staffords. N.W. Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute
Coddington, Sir William Heaton, John Henniker Murray, Charles J. (Coventry
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Helder, Augustus Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath
Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C. R. Henderson, Sir A.(Stafford, W.) Myers, William Henry
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hickman, Sir Alfred Newdegate, Francis A. N.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hogg, Lindsay Nicholson, William Graham
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hope, J. F.(Sheffield Brightside Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Horner, Frederick William Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Crean, Eugene Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry O'Brien, Patrick Kilkenny)
O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary N.) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool Valentia, Viscount
Parker, Sir Gilbert Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Vincent, Col. Sir CEH (Sheffield
Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Walker, Col. William Hall
Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesly Samuel, Sir Harry S (Limehouse Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Percy, Earl Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles Wanklyn, James Leslie
Pierpoint, Robert Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Warde, Colonel C. E.
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. Webb, Colonel William George
Plummer, Walter R. Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunton
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Sharpe, William Edward T. Whiteley, H.(Ashton und. Lyne
Pretyman, Ernest George Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Simeon, Sir Barrington Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Skewes-Cox, Thomas Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Rankin, Sir James Smith, H C( North'mb Tyneside Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Ratcliff, R. F. Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand) Wodehouse, Rt.Hn. E.R.(Bath
Reid, James (Greenock) Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Remnant, James Farquharson Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Richards, Henry Charles Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Stock, James Henry Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Stone, Sir Benjamin Young, Samuel
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Stroyan, John Younger, William
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Thorburn, Sir Walter TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter Thornton, Percy M. Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Round, Rt. Hon. James Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Royds, Clements Molyneux Tuff, Charles
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Abraham, William (Cork, NE. Dobbie, Joseph Jacoby, James Alfred
Abraham, William (Rhondda] Donelan, Captain A. Joicey, Sir James
Ainsworth, John Stirling Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea
Allen, Charles P. Duncan, J. Hastings Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Ambrose, Robert Dunn, Sir William Jordon, Jeremiah
Ashton, Thomas Gair Edwards, Frank Joyce, Michael
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herb. Henry Elibank, Master of Kearley, Hudson E.
Atherley-Jones, L. Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Barlow, John Emmott Evans, Sir Francis H.(Maidstone Kennedy, Vincent P.(Cavan, W.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Kilbride, Denis
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Eve, Harry Trelawney Kitson, Sir James
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Farquharson, Dr. Robert Labouchere, Henry
Bell, Richard Farrell, James Patrick Lambert, George
Black, Alexander William Fenwick, Charles Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Blake, Edward Flavin, Michael Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)
Boland, John Flynn, James Christopher Layland-Barratt, Francis
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington
Brigg, John Freeman-Thomas. Captain F. Leigh, Sir Joseph
Broadhurst, Henry Furness, Sir Christopher Leng, Sir John
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lewis, John Herbert
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Goddard, Daniel Ford Lloyd-George, David
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Lough, Thomas
Burke, E. Haviland- Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick) Lundon, W.
Burns, John Griffith, Ellis J. Lyell, Charles Henry
Burt, Thomas Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Buxton, Sydney Charles Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Caldwell, James Harcourt, Lewis V. (Rossendale M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Cameron, Robert Harcourt, Rt Hn Sir W(Monm'th M'Crae, George
Cawley, Frederick Harmsworth, R. Leicester M'Kean, John
Channing, Francis Allston Harwood, George M'Kenna, Reginald
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Hayden, John Patrick Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Markham, Arthur Basil
Cremer, William Randal Helme, Norval Watson Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Crombie, John William Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Cullinan, J. Hobhouse, Rt Hn H.(Somers't, E Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Dalziel, James Henry Holland, Sir William Henry Morley, Rt. Hon John(Montrose
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Hope, John Deans (Fife, West Moss, Samuel
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Horniman, Frederick John Murphy, John
Delany, William Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Newnes, Sir George
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Norman, Henry
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Roe, Sir Thomas Toulmin, George
Nussey, Thomas Willans Rose, Charles Day Trevelyan, Charles Philips
O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Runciman, Walter Tritton, Charles Ernest
C'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Russell, T. W. Wallace, Robert
O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Walton, John Lawson(Leeds, S.)
O'Doherty, William Shackleton, David James Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
O'Dowd, John Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Shipman, Dr. John G. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Parrott, William Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Partington, Oswald Slack, John Bamford Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Sloan, Thomas Henry Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Perks, Robert William Soames, Arthur Wellesley Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Pilkington, Colonel Richard Soares, Ernest J. Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)
Pirie, Duncan V. Spear, John Ward Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Power, Patrick Joseph Stanhope, Hon. Philip James Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Price, Robert John Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Wilson, J. W (Worcestersh. N,)
Priestley, Arthur Sullivan, Dona I Woodhouse, Sir J T. (Huddersf'd
Rea, Russell Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Yoxall, James Henry
Reddy, M. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Thomas, Abel(Carmarthen, E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Herbert Roberts and Mr.
Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr) Emmott.
Robson, William Snowdon Tomkinson, James

Question put, and agreed to.

MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham),

who had on the Paper an Amendment to leave out "or are structurally deficient or unsuitable," and to insert "or that the applicant has failed to comply with an order for structural alterations under Section 11, Sub-section 4, of The Licensing Act, 1902," said that as, in consequence of the decision just taken, he was unable to move the whole of his Amendment, he proposed merely to move to omit the words "structurally deficient or." Under the Licensing Act of 1902, when application was made for the renewal of a licence, the petty sessional Court might require the submission of plans, and direct certain structural alterations to be made, from which order there was an appeal to quarter sessions. That being the case, he submitted that the necessity for including structural defects as a ground for the refusal of a licence without compensation had practically disappeared. Although it would have been more satisfactory to have made the matter perfectly clear by the insertion of the words he originally proposed to move, he thought it would be sufficient, in view of existing legislation under which an order for structural alterations could be made, to allow the matter to take the course enacted by the Act of 1902. If a licence-holder had had no opportunity given him of remedying the structural defects, the reasonable discretion of the magistrates might very well be left as at present. He did not think that structural defects per se, where no order had been made for alterations, should be made a ground for refusal to renew. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 7, to leave out the words 'structurally deficient or.'"—(Mr. Heywood Johnstone.)

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


pointed out that the Solicitor-General had declared the intention of the Government to be not to diminish the disciplinary jurisdiction of the magistrates. At present, the magistrates could exercise that disciplinary jurisdiction in respect of structural defects. By the present Amendment the discretion of the magistrates would incontestably be diminished; therefore he submitted that its acceptance would be wholly inconsistent with the statement of the Solicitor-General.


said he laid special stress upon these words, which he considered were absolutely necessary in order to carry out the intention of the Government.

MR. H. D. GREENE (Shrewsbury)

said he desired to move the Amendment standing in his name on the Paper. The licence-holders desired that this question should be submitted to the Government, and he hoped a fair and favourable hearing would be given to their application. It was felt that it was not clear in the clause, as it was at present worded, whether "unsuitable" was to be "structural unsuitability" or not. The word "structurally" did not appear in connection with "unsuitable." If the word "structurally" governed "unsuitable," of course that would partly meet his case. What was felt by those who held licences was that, unless this point was made quite clear, there might be an interpretation given to those words by justices which might be made a pretext for getting rid of licences without compensation. There were houses which had been in existence for a good many years, the suitability of which had never been submitted to the justices. On the other hand, there were houses the plans of which had been submitted to the justices and which had been passed by them. Then there was another class which might be called upon to rectify any deficiency in that part of the premises where the trade was carried on. The Act of 1902 only dealt with rectifying these deficiencies. When they came to structural suitability that enlarged the scope of the matter very considerably. Structural suitability applied to the whole of the structure, and it might happen that the justices, as a pretext for getting rid of a house, would say, for example, that there ought to be suitable accommodation there for sleeping and stables for cyclists and motorists, and possibly lavatories and out-houses. It might be that some of these houses had been built upon plans approved by the justices, and yet if they desired to get rid of the licence they night seize upon this pretext and say that the house was unsuitable in the particulars he had mentioned and the licence in this way might be taken away without compensation. "Unsuitable" was a relative term, and it might be that the unsuitability referred to the position of the house. The magistrates might say that public-houses ought not to be kept at the corner of streets, or that a larger house ought to be erected. On the other hand, they might say that licensed houses should only be in front streets and not in back streets. Therefore it was possible that they might have houses closed without compensation because these new views had arisen in the minds of the justices. He thought there was a good deal of force in the apprehensions felt by those who owned these licences, and to protect their interests they felt that it was necessary that the word "structurally" should be inserted before the word "unsuitable." If that word were introduced it might go part of the way towards meeting the objections of those who were afraid that they might be deprived of the benefit of their premises on the ground of "unsuitability" when the magistrates were really influenced by some other consideration. He thought, however, that when the justices themselves had prevented a house from being made structurally suitable by the tenant, it would be a very unjust course to turn round on the tenant and deprive him of his right of compensation on the very ground that the house was structurally unsuitable.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 7, to leave out the words 'unsuitable or.'"—(Mr. H. D. Greene.)

Question proposed, "That the worn 'unsuitable' stand part of the clause."


said that under the existing law the magistrates had discretionary power to refuse the renewal of a licence because the premises were unsuitable. If they were unsuitable for the trade they ought not to be licensed, and surely it would be an attempt to fetter unduly their wide discretion in the interests of the public to say that the justices should issue licences to premises which they admitted were unsuitable. The hon. and learned Member for Shrewsbury had pointed out that the words "structural deficiency" might indicate different things. There was first the unsuitability arising from structural causes. He should have thought it was clear that if the licensed premises were ill-adapted, or if they were structurally deficient or unsuitable for the trade, the justices might in their discretion, subject to appeal to quarter sessions, refuse to renew a licence. Secondly, supposing there was a house structurally adequate but, owing to gross neglect on the part of the tenant, owing to its filthy condition and the lack of proper care, was unsuitable, surely these reasons were just as important for refusing a licence as "structural deficiency," and therefore the real question was whether the premises were suitable or not. If they were not suitable the magistrates ought to have the power to refuse the licence. It was not the kind of question that ought to be left to the administrative committee at quarter sessions to decide whether compensation should be given under these circumstances. It should be disposed of by the justices on the spot.


said the Amendment would mean that the magistrates would have no power in the future over licensed premises which came into the market. Practically it would mean that the justices would have no power to refuse a renewal if the Amendment were passed. The Bill had, therefore, come to a very curious stage. The brewers were not content with what they had got, but came to the House of Commons and asked to have words excluded from the Bill which would enable any bad, rotten, or defective building to be used as licensed premises over which the justices would have no power whatever. If the words "structurally deficient or unsuitable" were left out all the power in the hands of the magistrates would be gone. He hoped the Government would say at once that they were not going to weaken the power of the magistrates, but leave in their hands the discretionary power they had at present of refusing licences if the premises were deficient and unsuitable for the purposes of the business. He hoped the Government would give an answer at once to this question, for by so doing they would expedite the progress of business.


said it was impossible for the Government to accept a proposal to leave out the word "unsuitable." For the purposes of police supervision, for instance, it might be necessary to order certain doors of a house to be closed. It was also often necessary, in connection with premises which were not structurally deficient for business, to order that the drinking part of the premises should be shut off from the other parts. That was structural unsuitability, and not structural deficiency, having reference to the carrying on of the business. It was necessary that they should retain in the hands of the magistrates all those rights which gave them a disciplinary power over licensed premises.


said he was glad that this word was going to be retained, and that was quite right from the point of view of the Government. The Solicitor-General had also put a construction upon the word "unsuitable" in this connection with which he agreed. The word "unsuitable" was governed by the word "structurally," and therefore nothing but structural unsuitability would be hit by those words. There was, however, one danger of which the hon. and learned Member for Leeds had given an illustration. Supposing the premises were kept in such a dirty, insanitary state as to make them unsuitable and undesirable for the carrying on of the trade. As the law now stood the magistrate could say, "If you do not put your premises right you shall not have your renewal." Under this Bill the magistrates could not say that unless the word "ill-conducted" had the very full significance which the Solicitor-General seemed to attribute to it. He did not think it was safe to rely on the construction which the Judges would put upon the expression "ill-conducted."

And, it being half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress to sit again this evening.