§ (1) Exciseable liquors may be supplied or sold in a registered club to any member thereof only on the days on which, and during the hours within which, exciseable liquors may be supplied or sold in public-houses within the burgh or county or county licensing district, as the case may be, in which the said club is situated, and at no other time.
§ (2) Exciseable liquors may be supplied or sold in a theatre or other place of public 429 entertainment, whether erected before or after the commencement of the Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1903, only on the days on which, and during the hours within which, exciseable liquors may be supplied or sold in public-houses within the burgh or county or county licensing district, as the case may be, in which said theatre or other place of public entertainment is situate, and at no other time:
§ Provided that nothing in this Section contained shall authorise any supply or sale of exciseable liquors which would otherwise be illegal.
§ (3) This Section shall take effect as from the passing of this Act.
§ Mr. WILLIAM YOUNG
I beg to move, to leave out Sub-section (1).
In the event of this Sub-section being retained and the Bill becoming law, it would prevent the sale in private clubs of exciseable liquors on all week-days after ten p.m., and on Sundays and public holidays, and likewise in the event of a resolution being carried it would terminate such sales altogether. I have been a consistent, and, I believe, sincere supporter of the Temperance Bill for Scotland because, like the majority of Scotch Members, I believe a very great deal of good is likely to result when this measure has been passed into law—and further, because I know that the main principles embodied in the Bill adopted by the Government have the acceptance and approval of a vast majority of the people of Scotland. This Sub-section, at any rate, did not form a part of the original Bill, and while I give place to no one in my desire to see this measure placed upon the Statute Book, I feel rather strongly that to introduce this innovation which was not in the original measure is, to say the least of it, going beyond the bounds of reason and common sense. The effect of this innovation is to place registered clubs in the same category as public-houses. Not only that, but it will place private and well-conducted clubs in a much less advantageous position than even licensed hotels. There may exist clubs in Scotland as well as in England which deserve to be placed in the same category as public-houses. If they do exist all I can say is there are ample provisions and powers in the Bill to control and regulate such clubs as may abuse their privileges, because the renewal of file certificate for licence may be refused 430 should the authorities find any reasonable cause for such action.
The proposal that, because there may be a club here and there which abuses its privileges, all well-conducted and respectable clubs should be penalised, and their members refused what, at any rate, has always been considered part of the amenities of a social club, is to me almost absurd and preposterous, and I do not think such a proposal merits for one moment the consideration of fair-minded or reasonable people. I am a supporter of the main principles of this Bill as it was originally introduced, but I fear if extremists are to have entirely their own way, and if they are allowed to encroach more upon the liberty of the subject, Scotland may become not a very tolerable place to live in. This proposal was only introduced at a very late stage of the Committee. Some hon. Members opposite voted for this Subsection, I suppose, because they thought it might help to wreck the Bill and make it unworkable. Every recognised club, or, at any rate, the principal clubs of Scotland, representing many thousands of people, have protested against this Subsection. If hon. Members opposite now vote for the retention of this Sub-section I do not envy the reception they are likely to receive from clubs when they next go to Scotland. If this principle is introduced into Scotland no doubt temperance reformers will agitate for the same principle being applied to England, and more especially to the clubs in London; and if they do so I sec no reason why it should not be applied to what had the reputation of being the best club in England—namely, the House of Commons itself. If we had such an innovation here I fear that the process of legislation would be even dryer than it sometimes is under existing conditions. No hon. Member of this House is prepared to go further than I am in demanding for working men equal opportunities, but surely it is carrying this principle too far to say that those who belong to well-conducted clubs should be penalised and restricted simply because others have not taken advantage of circumstances in order to better their position. I cannot see that the retention of this Sub-section, dealing with registered clubs, can in any way further the main object of this Bill or assist in any way the real cause of temperance in Scotland, which I feel sure we all have at heart.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I beg to second the Amendment.
431 I claim that even a British Member has a right to intervene at this stage, even in regard to a Scotch Bill. I am not so much enamoured by legislation of this kind, but at the same time surely the club question may be said to concern England and Wales as well as Scotland. I think English Members are prepared to defend the rights of innocent associations like clubs, and they must intervene to prevent a Sub-section like this being placed upon the Statute Book. I understood my hon. Friend to suggest that if he did not intervene at this point we should be threatened with legislation dealing with the clubs of England, and that remark met with a cheer of recognition on the opposite side of the House. I trust to have the support of all lovers of freedom in this House on both sides in voting against this Sub-section. That is something with which the House is so unfamiliar that I think it is desirable that I should occasionally make a plea of this kind on behalf of the freedom of the individual. I do it most frequently in regard to Bills proposed from the opposite side of the House, and threatened legislation with regard to clubs in England emanates from the other side. I hope when any such proposal is made I shall be able to rally the forces of the hon. Member opposite in the cause of individual freedom and against the vested interests of the trade. I can understand this proposal will be opposed by extremists on both sides, but I will deal with the extreme temperance reformers in a moment. I claim at once that clubs are on an entirely different footing from public-houses run for private profit. The club, as a rule, springs into being to meet the natural wants of that kind by joint co-operative movement. The public-house invariably springs into existence by a desire to make a profit out of the supply of intoxicating liquor, and the more it is supplied the bigger the profit. Many-people, those who are not teetotalers, join clubs and take their intoxicating drink there because there is no pressure put upon them. They may sit in a club one, two, or three hours, and no one comes round to ask them if they have got enough, which is very frequently done upon licensed premises.
Another reason why people frequent clubs is that they avoid the sometimes persecuting attentions of landlords. When an election comes round there inevitably follows a large drift of men from the public-house into the club—men 432 who have been annoyed by the politics pressed upon them when they have asked for a glass of bitter. It would not surprise me if the representatives of the trade in the House united, as they have done before this Session, with the temperance extremists in order to defeat the moderate section of the community. I would appeal to the representatives of the trade present to take a more generous view. I believe some of them at any rate are capable of it. I would like to ask them, if they are sincere in their complaint that legislation has been oppressive, how they can expect the community to have any sympathy with them if they wish to impose more restrictive legislation still on clubs not run for private profit? Surely if one fox loses its tail it has no business to persuade the other to lose its tail, or to use the Government and Parliamentary machinery to cut off its tail! Many publicans and brewers who complain of oppressive legislation are ready to vote that the same oppressive legislation, but in a more intense degree, shall be applied to these associations and clubs, and I would appeal to them to allow nobler motives to prevail.
§ Mr. BOOTH
It is all very well for the hon. Baronet to say they have nothing to do with this Clause, but they have deliberately put upon the Order Paper a Bill for England which goes much further than this. [HON. MEMBERS indicated dissent.] Indeed, it is the trade Bill. Their supporters in this House have introduced it, and I do not think the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. S. Roberts) will deny it is distinctly a licensed victuallers' Bill. I quite agree that sometimes some of the temperance legislation may seem a little harsh upon the trade from the business or commercial standpoint, and I have done what little I could to ease that, but when we come to the clubs surely even the representatives of the trade present will see the vast difference. I do not at all agree with my hon. Friend who suggests this is being moved—it may have been moved, but it certainly is not being seconded—with any desire to specially favour the rich man in his club. There are many more working men members of clubs in Scotland than rich members, and I believe when the Subsection was introduced in Committee it was introduced as a checking move on working men's clubs rather than on middle-class clubs. I therefore hope the House 433 will not think it class legislation in that sense. Clubs are naturally the home of the male sex of the community. Women have taken to the hammer, but they have not yet taken very much to clubs. A combination of men in a club should, I think, appeal to most people.
If the bogus club and the drinking club were aimed at, I should be in entire sympathy with the proposal. There are many publicans, no doubt, who, under the Scotch Temperance Bill, will consider they have a grievance, because it is an undisguised fact there are in their neighbourhood clubs which are nothing more or less than public-houses without the supervision and restraint which attaches to licence holders. I grant there are clubs of that sort, but a law has been passed dealing with them, and what we want is correct administration and not mere legislation. I think the legislation on the Statute Book is sufficient to deal with clubs if the law is properly administered. I would make an appeal to the temperance men in this House. They may consider I have given undue importance to the principle of individual liberty, but at the same time I am not averse to the Scotch Temperance Bill, as I have proved by my votes in the Lobby. There is no doubt the temperance movement in Scotland is in advance of England, and it does seem to me the experiment of this Bill might very well be tried in Scotland, which is more ripe for it than England. If it succeeds in Scotland, then their case will be stronger for introducing it in England. To that extent I am in sympathy with them, as I think any democratic Member will be. I want to ask them, however, whether they think they will carry in any parish of importance a no-licence Resolution if they keep in this Sub-section relating to clubs? What would it mean? It would mean voters who might be willing to try the experiment of a small complete prohibition area—
§ Mr. BOOTH
Upon themselves. I am putting the case for the deletion of the Sub-section. I would put it to the temperance workers whether, if they wish to see this in operation in certain districts in Scotland, they will not achieve their object more surely by leaving out this Subsection. It means they would have the solid and organised opposition of these clubs and the opposition of independent men to whom the club seems quite an inoffensive thing to a no-licence vote. I 434 would, therefore, ask him whether they think they are furthering their cause by introducing a Sub-section of this kind, which, to my mind, is foreign to the general purposes of the Bill. Surely if we come to legislate upon clubs, we must do it in a general way by a special Act of Parliament, after the whole thing has been carefully considered. It is a question surrounded with the greatest difficulty. The question of dealing with licences has been thrashed out again and again year after year, but public opinion is not completely formed on the question of clubs, and I venture to say the great bulk of the Members of this House have not finally made up their minds as to the kind of legislation we ought to have to deal with clubs. I would, therefore, appeal to the temperance reformers themselves if they wish to put this into operation, whether they are not more likely to succeed if they leave the clubs alone. If I am not mistaken, they were not in the original Bill. I am not therefore appealing only on behalf of the clubs, which I do sincerely but also in the interests of the Bill having a fair opportunity of contributing to our information and enlightening us as to what an experiment of this kind means in the British Isles. In that interest as well as in the interest of the clubs I appeal to the promoters of the Bill to allow the deletion of the Sub-section.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
My hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract was right in saying this was not originally in the Bill. It was inserted I think after a rather brief debate in the course of the proceedings in Committee. It had not been in any of the previous forms of the Bill. My right hon. Friend, the Lord Advocate, did not express acceptance of the Sub-section on the part of the Government. On the other hand, he opposed it. I think it is advisable this Sub-section should not be inserted in the Bill. It has been the invariable practice to deal separately with clubs in legislation, and it is done even in this particular Bill. If hon. Members will look at the last two pages of the Bill, they will see we have inserted a series of important provisions dealing with clubs, and not dealing with them on the same basis as public-houses. Clubs have never been put on the same basis as public-houses; they have always been dealt with separately. There are in the Bill extremely important provisions making it more easy to put down unsatisfactory clubs and more easy to prevent 435 licences being granted or renewed to such clubs, all of which provisions were passed in the House without a single Amendment or a single word of objection. I do not think we ought to depart from the usual practice of dealing separately with clubs. If you carry these provisions, it is not merely that you affect the hours during which drink may be sold in clubs, but you put clubs at a disadvantage as compared with hotels, which nobody has attempted to justify. Why should a man who happens to reside in a club for a week-end not get the same advantages or disadvantages, however you may consider them, as he could obtain next door in an hotel. What is the object of shutting up the residential clubs in the interests of the hotels?
I would like to call attention for a moment to the effect of this Sub-section as it stands, because it is a peculiar Subsection, and I do not think its effect is fully appreciated. It provides that liquor may be only sold in clubs on the days on which and during the hours within which exciseable liquors may be supplied or sold in public-houses, not within the licensing district provided in this Bill but within the borough or county, or county licensing district as the case may be in which the club is situated. The effect of that will be rather curious. If it happens that the borough and licensing district, the district under this Bill, are co-terminous, then in a no-licence area you will not be able to obtain any drink in any club, but if on the contrary you have in the county or borough districts in which you have prohibition, and others in which you have no prohibition, then you will be able to get what drink you want in the club. Surely that is very absurd. I am therefore opposed to this Sub-section on two grounds. First of all, it is departing from the practice of dealing with clubs separately as we have always done in legislation before, and as we are doing under this Bill; and, secondly, I do not think it is fair to put clubs at a disadvantage as compared with hotels. I have received innumerable representations, which seem to me reasonable in character from clubs of all kinds. I have had one from the Carlton Club. I do not mean the Carlton Club near this House. I mean the one in Glasgow. I do not know what its political complexion is. It is a working men's club, and these clubs represent all kinds of opinion and classes of society. I venture to assert that they 436 all have a strong and reasonable objection to this provision.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
As I have said on similar Clauses in various licensing Bills which have been before this House, this type of Section is to me the touchstone of the reality of these Bills. If they are genuine Bills the promoters will not seek merely to make experiments on other people, but will be content to include themselves, and the acceptance by the Government of the Motion for the deletion of this Sub-section shows to me conclusively the hypocrisy of the whole history of the Bill. It is idle for the hon. Member for Pontefract to tell us that in clubs there are no inducements to drink. Let me quote again what I have done before in this House, the case of an excellent working men's club in London, the balance sheet of which shows a payment in the course of one year of £4,000 for alcoholic liquors, and receipts to the amount of £6,000, thus showing a profit of £2,000 on that item. The club is a well-conducted club, it is affiliated to some hundreds of clubs in and about London, and out of its profits it has been able to engage the very best music hall artistes for the recreation of its members on Sunday mornings. If the hon. Member for Pontefract went there on a Sunday morning, do you think he would not be expected to contribute towards the upkeep of the establishment by taking some small liquid refreshment, or would he sit perfectly dry and still?
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Can it for one moment be seriously suggested that there can be any defence for allowing these clubs right and left to be open on Sundays, and at the same time closing the public-houses? It is all very well to talk about equality of opportunity and the liberty of the subject, but it is only so long as you are oppressing people who have no club to go to, who possibly cannot afford to belong to a club, and have in consequence to resort for their refreshment to licensed houses, that you indulge in language of that kind. These clubs can be found in Scotland as well as in England, and if any such provision as this had been introduced into an English licensing Bill what possible chance do you think there would have been of the Government remaining in office for a single day? What would the trade unionists say if every one of their clubs were shut up? What would hon. Gentle- 437 men opposite say if the National Liberal Club were shut up in this way? It shows the sham and hollowness of the whole thing. There are certain extremists who think that if you take away from men the opportunity of getting alcohol on Sunday, or before or after certain hours on weekdays, you are going to do good to the cause of temperance. It may be so or not. But if you are introducing a Bill on these lines you should make it apply to everybody, unless you are out for the purpose of catching votes. If you are out for that and not for the cause of temperance, if you are out for the sake of injuring a trade which you believe votes contrary to you at every election, then I say delete this Sub-section and you will have your reward.
§ Mr. BARNES
Complaints have been made that the Government have shown themselves obdurate and indisposed to accept any Amendments. I think those complaints have been well-founded, and I am sorry that the Government have now started on the opposite course and in the wrong place. As one who was instrumental in getting this Bill amended upstairs and in securing the insertion of this Section to which objection is now taken, I can only say that if I can get anybody to tell with me I shall take a Division against the Government. I have heard the speech of that genial Sassenach the Member for Pontefract, and I gather he objects to the Sub-section because the freedom of the individual is trenched upon by it. But it is too late in the day to talk about the freedom of the individual, and especially is it too late to do so after we have been discussing for two days a Bill which prevents an individual going to a public-house before ten o'clock or getting liquor after ten o'clock at night. What will happen as a result of striking out this Sub-section? Immediately this Bill becomes operative, if it ever does, and of that I am doubtful—I think it will only be waste-paper—but if it ever does become operative, clubs will spring up and take the place of public-houses everywhere. It is for that reason, and also because I want the Bill to be kept one part in harmony with the other, and to deal out even-handed justice, that I object to the course the Government propose to take. I am raising no question as between rich and poor. I know nothing about the rich man's club, but I do know there is an unmistakable body of opinion in Scotland more hostile to clubs even than to public-houses, and for the very good reason that 438 clubs have been found to be more pernicious places even than public-houses.
I moved this Sub-section upstairs at the instigation of the Glasgow Town Council, and I have a communication from that body, adopted only the other day, upon this very subject. It sets out that the petitioners on the 7th March, 1912, passed a resolution to the effect that provision should be made in this Bill that all bars for the sale of intoxicating liquors situated in licensed clubs and in theatres should be closed for the serving of customers at the same hours as the bars of licensed public-houses. Then they go on to express satisfaction with what was done by the Committee upstairs, and they announce further that on the 12th September, 1912, at a meeting of the Corporation held to consider the club Clauses of this Bill, the Corporation expressed complete approval of the retention of those Clauses in the Bill. Let me remind the House that the body that adopted this particular resolution represents about one-fifth of the whole of the population of Scotland. The matter has also been discussed by the Town Councils of Dundee, Edinburgh, and other places, and, although no resolutions have been passed, there has in each case been an unmistakable opinion expressed in favour of something of this sort being done. What are the reasons for this action on the part of the Government? An hon. Member near me suggests that this is a matter for separate legislation, thereby repeating a statement of the Secretary for Scotland. Is not that a fraud? We do not get licensing Bills every day, and the probability is that when we have passed this Bill we shall have no more Bills about clubs or public-houses either for some years to come, and in the meantime the evils I have adumbrated will have taken place, and clubs will have been substituted for public-houses. Therefore all this talk about special legislation is so much humbug. What are the reasons operating in the minds of the representative bodies in Scotland which seek to get the same restrictions placed on clubs as on public-houses. They are founded on bitter experience. Just let me read a statement received from the Glasgow town council with regard to convictions for drunkenness in the city of Glasgow alone during the last nine years. The number of clubs proceeded against during this period was forty-three. The number of cases of persons seen leaving these clubs in a state of intoxication was 3,225, 439 and upwards of 2,200 of these cases occurred on Sundays. The official who sends me these figures on behalf of the Glasgow corporation, adds these words on his own account:—These cases were proved in Court, and exceeded the number of cases from all the licensed premises in the city.Exactly the some testimony comes from elsewhere. Since this Sub-section was put in by the. Committee upstairs, I have been in receipt of a good deal of information. For instance, in Aberdeen there is a club called the Reform Club. Incidentally I may remark, that all these clubs in Scotland go in for high sounding titles. There is another called the National Club, and another known as the Artisans Club. During the last two or three years the Aberdeen papers have been full of cases against these clubs, and it came out some time ago, in regard to the National Club, that ninety-three bottles of whisky were sold on a Sunday morning, in addition to a great deal of beer, and in addition also to orders booked. The amount of money taken was £76, a good deal more I presume than would have been taken by half-a-dozen public-houses. That shows what goes on in clubs in Scotland. It shows the worth of all this stuff that is preached about the club being the same as a man's home. I have no hesitation in saying the clubs in Scotland are for the most part merely boozing dens, the resort of criminals and prostitutes, and frequented by people who form them for the purpose of getting drink when they cannot get it elsewhere. I believe most of the Clauses of this Bill which deal with clubs are very largely illusory. A good deal has been said about giving the people power to object to clubs. Really they have not that power. Some alteration has been made with regard to requiring the names and addresses of the members who form clubs, and I believe, too, the grounds on which objections can be made to clubs have been enlarged. I should like to put this to the Lord Advocate. All these things are made illusory by Sub-section (3) of Clause 8, under which a person taking any objection to a club runs the risk of losing a considerable amount of money. The Chief Constable of Glasgow has repeatedly reported to his body that there is a large number of clubs in Glasgow that he knows are simply frequented by people in order to hide criminality or to get drink, but the law is such that he cannot take action except 440 at a considerable risk of losing money. This Bill we are now discussing and the Clause that we have now passed over, Clause 8, Sub-section (3), says that a person taking action or making reports against a club does so at considerable risk. The sheriff has to award expenses against an unsuccessful party. The Chief Constable of Glasgow has already been mulcted in expenses of this sort when he has taken action and has been unable to sustain it. For all these reasons I hope and trust that the Sub-section will be retained as it is in the Bill.
Reference has been made to workmen's clubs by the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Rawlinson). May I tell him that workmen's clubs as a rule do not sell liquor at all. I am not going to say a word against clubs in the abstract. I am a member of a club myself, a club affiliated with the Club and Institute Union, which has done a great deal towards getting clubs to impose some sort of self-discipline upon themselves. In the Labour movement generally we used to have a very large number of clubs where liquor was sold. What do we find? That the liquor caused these clubs to be a source of demoralisation and weakness to the Labour movement. As years have gone by one of two things has happened; either the club has given up liquor, or else the clubs have shed their responsible and respectable members and have ceased to have any connection with the Labour movement. When an investigation was made three or four years ago as to the number of clubs in the Labour movement that sold liquor, it was found that only 3 per cent. of the whole sold liquor, and I think I should be within the mark when I state that half of that 3 per cent. has now disappeared, and that almost invariably we of the Labour movement carry on our social intercourse, do our educational work, and meet together for all those legitimate purposes for which clubs are supposed to exist, without any liquor at all. I trust that this Sub-section will be retained, and that something will be done to save clubs from the miserable position in which they have been placed, in Scotland at all events. For these reasons I shall vote against the Government if there is a Division.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
I was not a member of the Grand Commtitee which considered this Bill, but allusion has been made by an hon. Member opposite to a Bill I introduced this Session, and which, 441 in a way, was discussed one Friday afternoon together with another Bill introduced by an hon. Member on the other side of the House. The object of that Bill was to establish a general reform in regard to the control and supervision of clubs. I believe it is generally accepted on both sides of the House that the law with regard to clubs at the present moment is in a very unsatisfactory condition. I am not going to enter into that because it is too large a subject, but my object in rising is to say this: One of the provisions in that Bill is similar to the Sub-section now proposed to be omitted. The wording is different, but the effect is the same, namely, that when public-houses are closed, clubs ought to be closed. It is a measure supported by the licensed interest, and it is also supported by the temperance party on the grounds of temperance. I claim the support of hon. Gentlemen at this moment to vote against this Sub-section being taken out. Is it reasonable that when a publican has to close his house at eleven o'clock at night, or later, that a club should be allowed to go on selling liquor all night long, without any police supervision whatever? The licensed trade consider it a very great grievance, and some restriction at all events ought to be placed upon it. If this Amendment is taken to a Division I shall certainly vote that the Sub-section remain in. I very much regret the decision of the Government.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I shall also vote for the retention of this Sub-section in the Bill, for one reason which is pertinent to the country we represent. This Bill was sent by the Government upstairs to a Committee largely composed of Scottish Members, and in that Committee this was the only change of any substantial merit that was made in the Bill. It was supported by the chief Scottish Whip. It will be very interesting to see how he will vote to-night in the Division which will take place. I should like to point out that those of us on the Scottish Committee who strove to obtain other changes in the Bill have not persisted in trying to get those changes made on the floor of the House in opposition to the wishes of the Scottish Members in Grand Committee. For example, one is desirous that disinterested management should come in, but we did not challenge a Division on the floor of the House because a majority of Scottish Members in Grand Committee were opposed to the 442 option of disinterested management. It was forced from the other side. In this, the only case in which something substantial was put in by the express desire of the majority of Scottish Members on the Grand Committee, the Government presumably now propose to carry, against the desire of the Scottish Members of that Committee, and by the weight of their English, Welsh, and Irish majority, something which we do not want. Some reference has been made to petition from clubs in Scotland. Like every other Scottish Member, I belong to a number of clubs in Scotland, a number of political clubs. Among others I belong to the Glasgow and Edinburgh Liberal Clubs. Both these clubs have sent me requisitions asking me to vote against the retention of this Sub-section, but in neither of these clubs have I ever been asked, as a member of the club, if I am against the Sub-section. These requisitions came from some committee in the clubs. There has been no plebiscite or referendum, and no attempt to put it to an annual or special meeting of any of these clubs in Scotland. They are resolutions like we get from the ordinary temperance society; they represent nobody. I think some honest attempt might be made to make this a real veto Bill. First of all, the Government propose to give the community the power to close all public-houses in a district, but they exempt hotels and restaurants, and give them liberty to serve people with liquor if those people will only take a meal. In Grand Committee they would not even fix a minimum meal at a biscuit. Therefore, if you have a veto in any area, you can get over that veto by having a meal, which may be a biscuit, in an hotel or a restaurant. The whole thing is a farce. If you want a veto, let it be a real veto and not a sham veto. For that reason I shall support the retention of the Sub-section.
MARQUESS of TULLIBARDINE
I agree with the hon. Member who has just sat down that the whole Bill is a farce, and will not be enforced in Scotland so far as temperance is concerned. But I do not believe in making it more of a farce than it is already, and for that reason I am going to support the Government. There are certain classes of clubs where no harm is being done. If the law requires strengthening with regard to them I should certainly support it. There is the New Club in Edinburgh, the Artisans Club, the Scottish Conservative Club, the 443 Scottish Liberal Club of Edinburgh, and the Liberal Club of Glasgow, who have all petitioned against this, without party. I am thoroughly in accord with them; I think it is an absurd proposition to put in this Bill. If it is kept in the Bill it will be a handle against the Bill, and you will have such opposition against the Bill in Scotland that you would never get it to work at all.
§ Colonel GREIG
I entirely agree with the last observation of the Noble Lord. My withers are quite unwrung in this matter, because I voted against the Sub-section in Committee. I desire to call the attention of the House to what happened in Committee. Some reference has been made to Scottish Liberal Members voting for it. What did happen was that a Clause was brought up suddenly at a time when very few Members were present, a Clause containing also the provisions dealing with the sale in theatres. It was accepted in order that we might discuss the details. It was proposed to leave out Sub-section (1), and on a Division the "ayes" were 23, and the "noes" 14. Take out the English Members in order to ascertain the opinion of Scotland, and you will find that only seventeen of the Scottish unofficial Liberal Members voted for the retention of the Sub-section. They voted against the Amendment—fourteen Members. Taking out Mr. Charles Roberts—I think he was the only English Member—you have thirteen Scottish Liberal Members against. That is to say, that out of thirty Scottish Members seventeen were for retention and thirteen against. Included in the thirteen was the representative at that time of the Government in the Committee. Clubs are under a special code. If you have these boozing dens you can have stringent laws for them. To say that the clubs in Scotland are boozing dens frequented by people of low character is not the fact. Has the hon. Member seen a list of the clubs which have petitioned against this Sub-section? It includes the New Club, Edinburgh, the Scottish Artisans Club, the Scottish Conservative Club, and the Edinburgh Conservative Working Men's Association. Are these the clubs my hon. Friend referred to? [An Hon. Member: "The Scottish Liberal Club."] I will mention that also. The hon. Member (Mr. Rawlinson) spoke of the hypocrisy underlying this sort of legislation. I do not want to be too per- 444 sonal, but if anything was shown by the vote which was taken earlier in the evening it was that those Members of the party opposite who voted for the insertion of that Clause were doing so against the whole line that they and their party had taken about the Bill, which was that it was a bad Bill, and I think it is a perfectly fair observation to say that they voted in order to put the Government into a fix.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
I think the remarks of the hon. and gallant Gentleman call for some remonstrance on behalf of Members-on this side. What right has he to attribute motives? I voted, as far as I remember, for this Sub-section.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
If anything can destroy this Bill, many of the provisions of which I think are absolutely absurd, I shall have pleasure in assisting to destroy it. I have listened with some interest to the speeches of the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment. Their speeches were of the sort that we very frequently hear from that side of the House. They are admirable and most edifying in their professions of support of personal liberty, and their only fault is that they so very rarely carry out those edifying professions in practice. I shall wait and see, and I shall be very glad to find that the hon. Member has a large support of independent opinion from Members on that side. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Eugene Wason) only yesterday met an Amendment of mine by saying, and by pledging himself to it, that he was representing the opinion of Scotland when he said Scotland desired the whole Bill exactly as it came from the Committee. I shall watch with some interest how the right hon. Gentleman votes. Will he carry out that profession which he made in opposition to me yesterday when I was proposing an Amendment which would have given a little more independence to the democratic voters of the locality? I do not care what the result may be to this Bill. It is no business of mine to defend or to preserve the life of this very worthless Bill, but I shall follow the hon. Member (Mr. Barnes) into the Lobby to show that we are prepared, if we are to-carry out these absurd principles, to apply them to ourselves and not to leave it merely to those who, we think, may require our parental legislation to keep them from falling into intemperance. 445 I was, above all, amused by one argument used by the Mover of the Amendment. He seemed to think that these restrictions which you impose by this Bill are a sort of privilege which the richer classes have no right to share, and he was prepared to deny it to the richer classes who frequent clubs, because, he said, they do not require to be encouraged in thrift as the working classes do. Is it possible to put a lower level upon Parliamentary action with regard to the working classes than to suppose that there is need of any assistance of ours, and that parental guidance is a privilege which we ought to deny to the upper classes? In order to carry out consistently, and because I believe my countrymen, above all, are prepared to carry out consistently all the provisions which are established by this Bill I shall join with the hon. Member (Mr. Barnes) in voting against the Government's proposal.
§ Mr. EUGENE WASON
The hon. Member made a quotation from a speech that I made last night which was on an entirely different subject. I find I was not present in the Committee on the day on which the Division was taken to which he referred I was very seldom present at the Committee meetings of the Scottish Bill upstairs, and for the best possible reason, that I was Chairman of Committee A, which happened to meet on the same day. I am prepared now to say what I said last night. I think the hon. Member took me rather too literally. I am never ashamed if I have made a mistake to own it. I have not looked to see what I said, but I understand I said: "No temperance body in Scotland has approved of disinterested management." It is obvious that there is a body in Scotland who are anxious to get disinterested management. So far as this particular Amendment is concerned I am going to support the Government. I know perfectly well what the object of hon. Members is. If by any chance they can carry this Amendment against the Government they will defeat the Bill.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I think the right hon. Gentleman's recollection of what he said last night is defective. I think he said he desired the Bill to pass as it came from the Grand Committee without the alteration of a comma. But I do not know that it matters very much what he said last night. The principle which he has enunciated to-night is that he is prepared to support the Government, right 446 or wrong. That is the principle on which he and his Friends usually act, and I am not at all surprised to hear that he is going to act on it to-night. As to the merits of the Amendment, I do not suppose there is a single man in the House who doubts—I do not believe even the Lord Advocate doubts—that this Amendment is wrong in principle. How can you defend it? The thing is absurd. You are going to put a Clause in the Bill to provide that the inhabitants in a locality, by a certain majority, are to be able to pass a resolution that no licence shall be issued in that locality—in other words, you are going to put an end to all public-houses in the locality, and you are going to say at the same time that that resolution, is to have no effect as regards clubs. What nonsense to talk of temperance when you pass such legislation! Does anyone suppose that one gallon or one glass less, liquor will be sold in the locality under these conditions? Of course, everyone knows, as the hon. Member for the Black-friars Division (Mr. Barnes) said in his very straightforward and honourable speech, that a club will be immediately established in a place where a public-house is suppressed. If you refuse this Amendment you mean simply that the Bill is directed not in order to create temperance, but to injure publicans. That is, the only object of the Bill. I defy the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. S. Roberts), who is against the proposal, to justify it on any rational ground. I see the hon. Member for Rushcliffe Division (Mr. Leif Jones), and I should like to know his view.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I understand that the hon. Member for Lincoln is against it. The only reason is that he really hates the publican. I have listened to a great many speeches of a very low level of political morality, but I do not think I ever listened to one of a lower level than that of the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth). He boldly appealed to temperance men to support the Amendment, because, he said, if you do so you will be able to get your "no-licence" carried, but if you do not support the Amendment you will not be able. What does that mean? It means that he will get the vote or the indifference of those who get their drink in clubs in order to destroy public-houses. That is the invitation he holds out to temperance Members. I have been in the clubs of working 447 men, and I believe they are admirable institutions. I hate this kind of legislation. One of my objections to it is that it plunges you into those difficulties and injustices. If you are to have it, it is monstrous to have one law applicable to public-houses and another law applicable to such clubs as the hon. Member for the Black-friars Division described in his speech. I do not sec why any man, apart from party ties, and the miserable reason just given by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Eugene Wason) should support the Government on this occasion. I do not agree in the least with the Noble Lord the Member for West Perthshire. I do not think he really can have considered the effect of the principle he stated, I cannot help thinking that he would agree with me when he saw how this actually worked in practice when passed into law. I am sure he would agree with me that it is really impossible to defend the injustice that would be inflicted on the publican, and on all who are not members of clubs by this legislation. I believe the allegation made by the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division is perfectly well founded, namely, that in point of fact in the matter of temperance there is more evil from a ill-conducted club than from a public-house. I do not say that is the case as regards all clubs, but an ill-conducted club is really a serious demoralisation compared to which no public-house can hold a candle. You cannot have the same supervision in a club as in a public-house. If there is the slightest reality in the Government belief that this is a temperance measure, they will withdraw their opposition to the Subsection and allow the Amendment to be defeated by the honourable, honest, and upright sense of the House.
§ Mr. URE
The Noble Lord has referred to me and stated that I am not in favour of the principle of the Amendment. I think it right to state to the House that I am strongly in favour of the Amendment. I resisted the motion in Committee, and I stated my grounds for resisting it. I voted against the proposal to include clubs along with public-houses, and I did so for the reason that for the last eight years in Scotland we have treated clubs on an entirely different basis from public-houses. That may be right or it may be wrong, but Parliament deliberately chose that course of dealing with those two classes of premises on which exciseable liquor is sold. The House is familiar 448 with the facts. In 1903 when the party opposite brought in a measure which my hon. Friend took high credit for yesterday, claiming that the Conservative party had been great friends of temperance reform in Scotland, it dealt with clubs on an entirely different footing from public-houses. There is a stringent code applicable to clubs, and experience subsequent to 1903 has demonstrated that it will have to be much more stringent still, and much more stringent than it is made by this measure. If any of those evils referred to by the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division exist, they can well be met by further strengthening the code applicable to clubs. There will be no difficulty in dealing with them. It appears to me that the Amendment which was made in Committee militated seriously against the principle of the measure, which I have stated over and over again was designed mainly for transferring the discretionary powers from the licensing magistrates to the voters themselves. These discretionary powers relate to public-houses, and every Member of this House can see that it will operate seriously against the active good which the measure may do if clubs are included. Accordingly, I support very strongly, in the interest of a measure in which I thoroughly believe, the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
The Lord Advocate has not met the gist of the argument from this side at all. I do not know whether he is satisfied with the ground he has stated for the vote he is going to give. The argument from our side is simple. The Lord Advocate claims that for a number of years past legislation for the control of public-houses and clubs has rested on two different bases. We do not deny that. Our difficulty is not at all in the matter of the control of the club or of the control of the public-house. Our difficulty is that under this Bill as it would stand if you omit this Clause you are giving power to the clubmen to control the public-house. It is a question of getting a dishonest vote given by clubmen who may take refuge in their club. To tell us that legislation for public-houses and for clubs rests on two different bases is not at all to meet our arguments. You go completely beside our argument. You are concerned with the control of the liquor consumed in the club and in the public-house, in each case by itself, but that is a totally different question from what we contend. 449 What we contend is, you are concerned with the votes and we are concerned with the motives of the votes given. You are going to have votes given by clubmen who know perfectly well they will not be influenced in the least by the decision they are helping to give, and those votes will be given carelessly or possibly not given at all. A quite possible difficulty that we find constantly in this measure is that a relatively small number of electors in an area may be able to carry a no-licence resolution because of the negligence of the remainder of the electors. By providing a loophole in clubs where the remaining electors may resort you will render a large number of them totally careless as to how the decision of the remainder may be given. It is because you are giving an obviously tyrannical power into the hands of a portion of the community that we are opposed to this Amendment. The Lord Advocate's reply is no reply at all to the arguments that have been put forward.
§ wish to point out the extraordinary position in which the Lord Advocate stands. In this case, upon one of the most important Clauses in the Bill, he gets up and says that he is anxious to exclude clubs on the Motion of one of his own supporters. Yesterday, in order to support a Clause in the Bill, the Lord Advocate was driven to point out—and I thoroughly agreed with him—how dangerous and how unjust was compulsory insurance, and how wrong it was for a Government to allow compulsory insurance, when they were not in a position to guarantee that insurance and the benefits thereof. It is a curious thing that he never thought of that when he as a supporter of the Government supported the Insurance Bill and left it embodying all these principles, while today, as he has pointed out, he himself is strongly against what is one of the most important Clauses of the Bill which he is supporting.
§ Question put, "That Sub-section (1) stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 90; Noes, 217.451
|Division No. 227.]||AYES.||[8.45 p.m.|
|Adamson, William||Fletcher, John Samuel||Pringle, Wm. M. R.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gardner, Ernest||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goldman, C. S,||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Barnston, Harry||Greene, W. R.||Richards, Thomas|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gretton, John||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Bird, Alfred||Kill, Sir Clement L.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Stanier, Beville|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Boyton, Jomes||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Steel Maitland, A. D.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Houston, Robert Paterson||Stewart, Gershom|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Cator, John||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cave, George||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cecil, Lord R, (Herts, Hitchin)||Lewisham, Viscount||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Mackinder, H. J.||Whyte, A. F.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Malcolm, Ian||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Crean, Eugene||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Croft, Henry Page||Mount, William Arthur||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Neville, Reginald, J. N.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Nield, Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Barnes and Mr. Hogge.|
|Fell, Arthur||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Bentham, G. J.||Brunner, J. F. L.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bethell, Sir J. H.||Bryce, J. Annan|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Black, Arthur W.||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Boland, John Plus||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Booth, Frederick Handel||Byles, Sir William Pollard|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Bowerman, Charles W.||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Clough, William|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Brace, William||Clynes, J. R.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Brady, P. J.||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hughes, S. L.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jackson, Sir John||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Cullinan, J.||Jones, H. Hadyn (Merioneth)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Louth)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Dawes, J. A.||Jowett, F. W.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Delany, William||Joyce, Michael||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Keating, M.||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry|
|Dennis, E. R. B.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Kelly, Edward||Reddy, Michael|
|Doris, W.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lambert, Richard (Cricklade)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Lundon, T.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Esslement, George Birnie||Lynch, A. A.||Robinson, Sidney|
|Falconer, J.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||McGhee, Richard||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macpherson, James Ian||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Field, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Sheehy, David|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Manfield, Harry||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Furness, Stephen W.||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)|
|Gill, A. H.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Glanville, H. J.||Meagher, Michael||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Goldstone, Frank||Median, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Menzies, Sir Waiter||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Millar, James Duncan||Tennant, Harold John|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Molloy, M.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton).|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Gulland, John William||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mooney, J. J.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hackett, J.||Morrell, Philip||Wadsworth, J.|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Morison, Hector||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince).|
|Hancock, J. G.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wason, R. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Muldoon, John||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro, R.||Webb, H.|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Nannetti, Joseph P.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Needham, Christopher T.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Nolan, Joseph||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nuttall, Harry||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Doherty, Philip||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Henry, Sir Charles||O'Dowd, John||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Ogden, Fred||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Hinds, John||O'Neill, Dr Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Guest|
|Hodge, John||O'Shee, James John|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
Question, "That the word 'person' stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.