HC Deb 04 August 1905 vol 151 cc249-50

To ask the Lord-Advocate whether he is aware that the local authorities in Scotland are interpreting Section 82 of the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1903, which makes provision for closing ice cream and aerated water shops at hours fixed by the town councils, as applicable to immigrants only, and not to natives; whether he is aware that they are compelling foreign shopkeepers in Partick and other towns in Scotland registered under that section to close at ten p.m., and are allowing Scotch traders to keep open and sell aerated waters till twelve o'clock; whether he is aware of a decision of Baillie London, in Wishaw Police Court on 24th July, giving effect to these views and finding a complaint against a Scotch trader who sold aerated waters after ten p.m. not proven because she was Scotch, and of a decision of Baillie Orr, in Airdrie Police Court on 25th July, in which he fined an Italian, who supplied a fizzing drink after ten p.m., £1 because he was an Italian; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this partial administration of the law.

(Answered by Mr. Scott Dickson.) The hon. Member has been misinformed as to the administration of the Act. I have inquired into the matter, and find that no discrimination whatever is made against foreigners or immigrants. The statute, so far as I can ascertain, is being administered with perfect impartiality, and there is no ground for my interference.