§ MR. WEDGWOOD (Newcastle-under Lyne)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for Crewe, as Church Estates Commissioner, whether the lessee of some eight-four acres of land at Shepherds Bush, of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are the owners, has successfully applied to the justices for licences to sell beer, wine and spirits thereon; if so, can he say to what extent facilities for obtaining such liquors will be afforded in consequence; whether the lease contained any restrictive or prohibitive covenant with regard to such sale; if so, upon what grounds the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have refrained from prohibiting this sale; if not, upon what grounds this customary clause was omitted; and whether the Commissioners will, if possible, reconsider their decision with a view to preventing such sale from taking place after the current year.
§ MR. TOMKINSON (Cheshire, Crewe)
The Commissioners understand that the licensing justices have granted a provisional licence for the sale of beer, wine and spirits in buildings to be erected on about 126 acres of land at Hammersmith held from the Commissioners for the purposes of an exhibition, as to forty-two acres on a short tenancy only. The licence is for a period of nine months only in the year 1908. It will be for the 42 licensing justices to determine what restrictions they will place upon facilities for sale. The agreements under which the land is held from the Commissioners contained no restriction or prohibition of the sale of wine, beer and spirits, so long as the land is used for exhibition purposes. The Commissioners did not consider it practicable to prohibit any application by the lessee for a licence and would not regard the insertion of a prohibitory clause as customary in lettings for such purposes as proposed. The Commissioners have no power to vary the terms upon which the lettings have been effected. It will rest with the licensing authorities to determine whether a fresh licence shall be granted after the expiration of the temporary licence provisionally approved by them.