§ The several words and expressions used in this Act shall unless otherwise provided, or unless there be something in the subject or context repugnant to such construction, have the same respective meanings as in the Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1903:
§ Provided that in this Act—
§ "Area" means
- (a) in the case of a burgh divided into wards, the population of which burgh within the police boundaries thereof, according to the census for the time being last taken, is not less than ten thousand, any ward of such burgh, and in the case of other burghs, the whole burgh; and
- (b) in the case of a county, the parish, as defined in the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1894, excluding any burgh or part of a burgh therein, and where a parish is situated within two counties, the portion in each county shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a separate parish:
§ "County" means a county exclusive of any burgh or part of a burgh comprised therein:
§ "Certificate" means any certificate for the sale by retail of exciseable liquors granted in terms of or under the provisions of the Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1903: Provided that for the period during which a no-licence resolution is in force in any area, no dealer's licence for the sale of exciseable liquor by wholesale shall be granted therein by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise or by any officer of Customs and Excise, except to brewers of beer for sale, distillers, rectifiers or compounders of spirits, makers of sweets, wholesale dealers 458 in spirits, wine, beer, or sweets for premises for which similar licences have been taken out for twelve months before the date of the poll, without the production of a certificate authorising such sale from the licensing court; which certificate shall be applied for, granted, confirmed, transferred, and renewed in the same manner as though it were a certificate authorising such sale by retail:
§ "Elector" means, in the case of—
- (a) a burgh, any person registered as entitled to vote at an election of two councillors for that burgh, and when used in relation to any area in a burgh means a person so registered as entitled to vote at an election for that area; and in the case of—
- (b) a parish (excluding any burgh or part of a burgh therein), any person registered as entitled to vote at an election of parish councillors for that parish, excluding as aforesaid: Provided that the supplementary register made up in the year nineteen hundred and sixteen under Section twenty-eight of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889, shall continue in operation for the purposes of a poll under this Act in the year nineteen hundred and seventeen, and provided further that for the purposes of a requisition in the year of a triennial election of county councillors before the register of parish council electors is made up "elector" means any ratepayer within the parish, excluding as aforesaid:
§ "Local authority" means in the case of—
- (a) a burgh, the town council thereof; and
- (b) a county, the county council thereof:
§ "No-change resolution" means a resolution that the powers and discretion of the Licensing Court in regard to the grant of certificates or otherwise shall remain unchanged.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I beg to move, in paragraph (a), to leave out the words "within the police boundaries thereof, according to the Census for the time being last taken, is not less than ten thousand, any ward of such burgh, and in the case of other burghs, the whole burgh; and," and insert 459 instead thereof the words "within the police boundaries thereof, according to the Census for the time being last taken, is less than forty thousand, the burgh, and, in the case of other burghs such areas as the town council thereof shall determine."
I move this Amendment on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Member for Leith Burghs (Mr. Munro-Ferguson) and I desire to state that it is the considered view of the Convention of Royal Burghs in Scotland, which represents the municipal experience of the whole of Scotland, and therefore it would be interesting to hear what criticism may be offered to this unit of reference to the electorate.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I very strongly support this Amendment. It is true that there was considerable discussion in Committee upon this point, but it must be borne in mind that those discussions are held practically in camera. No report appears anywhere except in the local Scotch papers. We are now in the House of Commons, and it is the duty of the House not only to review these very important provisions, but to consider them with great care. The fact that there was a discussion upstairs is no reason why there should be an imperfect and futile discussion here. This matter ought to be discussed fully and considered carefully. You have here a proposal made by the Convention of Royal Burghs in Scotland, by men who understand what those burghs are, and who know the necessities of the case infinitely better than we do. It is futile and absurd to have too small an area in which to enforce drastic legislation of this sort. Everybody knows how very grave the boundary difficulty always is. Under this Bill as it stands you may have the public-houses on one side of a street closed, while those on the other side are open. Anything more idiotic I cannot conceive. How that will operate in the interests of temperance I cannot understand. Anybody who knows anything about police administration in towns knows that it is very often in the best interests of temperance that more licences should be granted, rather than that the number in a particular street should remain as it is. When licensed premises become overcrowded I have known chief constables to ask the magistrates to give further licences in order to relieve the 460 congestion and pressure, and thus prevent some of the evils which arise.
What will you have here? The ward is to be the area, and in perhaps a comparatively small town there may not be more than a thousand people in the ward. You may have the dividing line at the centre of a street, and in the wisdom or unwisdom of the people the public-houses on one side may be closed while those on the other are open. To talk of that as a temperance measure is absurd. You must have a boundary line somewhere, but you ought to minimise the difficulty as much as possible, and not exaggerate it. This Bill expressly exaggerates the difficulty. It creates small areas all over the place. It is so utterly inconsistent that it creates a burgh of 9,900 an area, and then in a burgh of 11,000 it makes the ward an area. Personally, I think it would be impossible to create every city an area for the purposes of this Bill. You cannot make Glasgow or Edinburgh or Aberdeen an area. There must be some kind of limit, and it ought to be a large limit. I think the 40,000 proposal is one which the Government ought not lightly to disregard. It is put forward by people who know infinitely more about the matter than either the Secretary for Scotland or the Lord Advocate. They certainly know more about it than the Gentlemen who originally promoted this Bill, and one of those who put this Bill together is the very right hon. Gentleman who now suggests in the interests of the Convention of Royal Burghs the Amendment which the hon. Member (Mr. Hogge) has submitted. If the Government would allow the House to decide this matter on its own responsibility, without coercion from the Government Whips, I am certain that the view of the Convention of the Royal Burghs would be maintained by every sensible man who has considered the question, knows anything about the difficulties, and wants to see a reasonable application of the principles involved.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
Is it. desirable that in a case of this sort the area should be such as the town council shall determine? Is it not much more satisfactory to have the areas fixed in the Bill? Is it desirable to make the town council a party to this controversy? I thought that the hon. Baronet was as anxious as we are to avoid that, but that is one of the proposals here. I do not think the hon. Baronet has fully weighed the Amendment. That provision in itself is enough to condemn the proposal. The size of the area is a very 461 controversial question, and I am far from saying that because it was discussed in Committee it should not be discussed here. But the Committee considered the matter very carefully, and I think the balance of argument was in favour of the small districts, where every elector knows the local circumstances and can determine more precisely what is wanted. Therefore I hope we shall not alter the small area, and, above all, that we shall not leave it a question for endless controversy in the town council, who may determine it differently from time to time, according as one party or another may be in the ascendant.
§ Mr. SCOTT DICKSON
I thought that this Bill was for local option, and that therefore the Government would have welcomed the suggestion that the town council, who know the needs of a locality better than the House of Commons, should have an opportunity of determining what the area should be. As the Clause stands at present, every ward in the burghs referred to will be a separate area. You will have this position. I do not know how many wards there will be in Glasgow, but take the Exchange Ward, which is the business quarter, where an enormous number of people congregate—as in the City of London—where you have business men coming from the country or the outlying parts of the city to do business during the hours from nine or ten in the morning until four, five, or six in the evening. During business hours you have a densely populated ward, but outside business hours there is a very small population. This incoming population makes large demands at luncheon time on the provision of refreshments. The determination of this question, so far as the Exchange Ward of Glasgow is concerned, will be left to those who are residents in the ward. They form a very small proportion of the workaday population.
§ Mr. SCOTT DICKSON
I am quite certain that if the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen appreciated the situation they would act differently. So far as the Exchange Ward is concerned, no business man, under the circumstances proposed, unless be belonged to one of those hateful entities which were described by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Blackfriars the "trusts," would be able to get anything at his luncheon hour. There is something wrong here. It is not giving local option 462 in the slightest degree; it is thwarting and preventing local option. I would point out that the Amendment does not come from this side of the House. There may be other ways and means of arriving at the point, but as the Clause stands in the Bill it leaves it open—I do not say that it will come into practical operation—for a great injury to be done.
§ Mr. J. M. HENDERSON
In reply to my hon. Friend opposite I would like to say I do not think there is very much in his objection. I will tell him why. He suggests that the housekeepers of those in the offices will determine this matter. I have no doubt that, as a matter of fact, in Glasgow, as in London, the housekeepers are not the ratepayers, but the merchants. I myself have an office in the city, and I have a vote as a ratepayer. The merchants are the ratepayers. They are the people who will determine the matter, subject to certain technical conditions. I appeal to my hon. Friend if that is not so? It must be so.
§ Amendment negatived.
MARQUESS Of TULLIBARDINE
I beg to move in paragraph (a) to leave out the word "ten" ["is not less than ten thousand"] and to insert thereof the word "forty."
This is very much the same Amendment as the last one. I am afraid I do not agree at all with the right hon. Gentleman as regards the small areas. Take a concrete case, the case of a place that I think he gave last night, Perth, with probably about 30,000 inhabitants. If you split it up into wards you will find that men will walk from one ward to the next, and will absolutely defeat the whole object of this Bill, which in this particular case is prohibition. It is quite impossible to have a small prohibition area, because a provision to this effect will simply be evaded. If you are really anxious that prohibition should be given a proper trial, then I think that the towns to be divided into wards should be certainly towns of at least 40,000 inhabitants. Otherwise you will have very small wards and areas not worth making prohibition act in, and which in any case are probably not the proper areas to take.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I beg to second the Amendment. I entirely agree with the Noble Lord who has just spoken that the number of inhabitants of the burgh and the size of the burgh should be increased 463 to something above 10,000. There should be some definition, too, of the people required in each ward. There ought to be some provision for the grouping of wards. The thing as it stands is ridiculous. You would not even have an experiment of your own policy in an area of the kind proposed. The object of this is perfectly clear. The extremists do not care a bit what the result is so long as they can get "no-licence" carried somewhere. That is their object in life—to be able to say we have "no-licence" areas here and there. It does not matter whether drinking has increased or decreased. Under the circumstances it generally increases. That has been the experience of America and Canada. I note that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Lincoln shakes his head. Does he dispute that that has been the experience of New Zealand?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
That is travelling rather beyond the scope of the question, which is that the word "ten" stand part.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
The whole thing turns upon that. If you have a large area you make it an advantage to have the option. If you have small areas you get no advantage in any one of them, because they are not big enough, and probably you will increase instead of decreasing the drinking. I am asking now for an increased size of area and the population of the burgh that forms that area.
§ am also inclined to think that whatever area you select must be to a certain extent arbitrary. It would not be difficult to instance anomalies that would arise whatever the size of the area on which you fix. In these circumstances what is the House to do? I venture to think it should in the first place have regard to the principle of the Bill. The principle of the Bill is founded on local option, and if you make an area so large as is suggested in the Amendment, you will not have local option in the true sense, because you will have the wishes of the people who are remote and do not live in or near it imposed upon the locality affected. After all the ward is the unit in any burgh in Scotland with which I am familiar for the purpose of having electoral representation from that area upon the town council. If it is thought worthy to have its identity admitted for municipal purposes, then I think it is eminently reasonable to select that particular area as the area for the purposes of this Bill. Therefore I shall first of all support the proposed area because it is in accordance with the principle of the bill. Secondly, one should not only have regard to the principle of the Bill but to the history of the Bill. This Bill has been before the House on many occasions in recent years, and ever since 1909 I think I am right in saying that the area inserted in the Bill after full and careful discussion, is the area in this Bill. Accordingly upon these two grounds I shall feel justified in registering my vote against the Amendment and in favour of the Clause as it stands.
§ Question put, "That the word 'ten' stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 246; Noes, 84.467
|Division No. 228.]||AYES.||[9.30 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Brace, William||Davies, E. William (Eifion)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Brady, P. J.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Adamson, William||Brunner, John F. L.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Bryce, John Annan||Dawes, J. A.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Burke, E. Haviland||Delany, William|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles Peter (Stroud)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas|
|Armitage, R.||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Doris, William|
|Arnold, Sydney||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Duffy, William J.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Chancellor, H. G.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Chapple, Dr. W. A.||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Clancy, John Joseph||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Clough, William||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Clynes, John R.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Black, Arthur W.||Cotton, William Francis||Falconer, J.|
|Boland, John Pius||Cowan, William Henry||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Crumley, Patrick||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Cullinan, John||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Ffrench, Peter|
|Field, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Logan, John William||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Furness, Stephen W.||Lundon, T.||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Lynch, A.||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Gill, A. H.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Reddy, Michael|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||McGhee, Richard||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Glanville, H. J.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macpherson, James Ian||Richards, Thomas|
|Goldstone, Frank||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Gulland, John William||Manfield, Harry||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Robinson, Sidney|
|Hackett, J.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Hancock, John George||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Meagher, Michael||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Samuel, J. (Stockton)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-Shire)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's County)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas, Bridgeton)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Millar, James Duncan||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Molloy, Michael||Sheehy, David|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Molteno, Percy Alport||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hayward, Evan||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Mooney, J. J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Morgan, George Hay||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morrell, Philip||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Morison, Hector||Sutherland, John E.|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Sutton, John E.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Muldoon, John||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hinds, John||Munro, R.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Ternant, Harold John|
|Hodge, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hogge, James Myles||Needham, Christopher T.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nolan, Joseph||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Hughes, S. L.||Nuttall, Harry||Wadsworth, John|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Doherty, Philip||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Watt, Henry A.|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Dowd, John||Webb, H.|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J,||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Shee, James John||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Outhwaite, R. L.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Kelly, Edward||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Leach, Charles||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Clyde, J. Avon||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)|
|Baird, J. L.||Courthope, George Loyd||Hewins, William Herbert Samuel|
|Baker, Sir Randoll L. (Dorset, N.)||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hill, Sir Clement L.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Hills, J. W.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Duke, Henry Edward||Hohler, G. Fitzroy|
|Bairie, H. T.||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Fell, Arthur||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Fletcher, John Samuel||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)|
|Bird, A.||Gardner, Ernest||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Goldman, Charles Sidney||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Boyto, J.||Greene, W. R.||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Gretton, John||Malcolm, Ian|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Cator, John||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Cave, George||Harris, Henry Percy||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Nield, Herbert||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Norton-Griffiths, J.||Stanier, Beville||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Peel, captain R. F. (Woodbridge)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Pollock, Ernest Murray||Staveley-Hill, Henry||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Pryce-J ones, Colonel E.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Randles, Sir John S.||Stewart, Gershom||Younger, Sir George|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)|
|Rees, Sir J. D.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutstord)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Harry Hope and Marquess of Tullibardine.|
|Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W,)|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I have an Amendment on the Paper providing that we should substitute for the area mentioned in the Bill the county council electoral division. The idea of my proposal is to make the measure more effective by making the area smaller. In the Highlands of Scotland there is one parish extending over 247 square miles. The idea of my Amendment was to make the electoral division which is a smaller area the area for the purposes of this Bill. In view of the fact that an alteration of this sort at the end of the Bill will create a good deal of disturbance in the various Clauses I do not move my Amendment at the present time.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I beg to move, to leave out the words:
"Provided that for the period during which a no-licence resolution is in force in any area, no dealer's licence for the sale of exciseable liquor by wholesale shall be granted therein by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise or by any officer of Customs and Excise, except to brewers of beer for sale, distillers, rectifiers, or compounders of spirits, makers of sweets, wholesale dealers in spirits, wine, beer, or sweets for premises for which similar licences have been taken out for twelve months before the date of the poll, without the production of a certificate authorising such sale from the Licensing Court; which certificate shall be applied for, granted, confirmed, transferred, and renewed in the same manner as though it were a certificate authorising such sale by retail."
I am sorry the Lord Advocate is not in his place, because he promised that he would consider this question very carefully in order to see if there was any way of safeguarding licence holders in the case of these options. I do not see any Government Amendment on the Paper dealing with this point. If we are going to have a no-licence area there ought to be reasonable protection against wholesale licences being taken up by Tom, Dick, or Harry. I sympathise with the 468 idea of the promoters of this Bill, but in doing what is proposed they seem to me to be very seriously handicapping the position of those who hold bonâ fide these licences, and who may be succeeded by other equally reputable people carrying on a business which this Bill in no sense of the word interferes with. It deals merely with retail licences and gives a power to limit, retain or prohibit the issue of retail licences, and it does not give any power to the people to interfere in any way with the issue of wholesale licences. It was felt by the Royal Commission when they considered this question, and I agreed with them, that very often there have been cases of shebeens and all sorts of illicit trading carried on under the cover of a wholesale licence. It does not follow, however, that this ought to apply to a man who has a licence for a particular set of premises, and whose business extends very considerably, and who finds that he requires to erect additional warehouses and other buildings. It is absurd that a man who has spent perhaps £20,000 or £30,000 on new premises should have to come year after year to the local justices for the renewal of his certificate, exactly as if he were a publican. That is ridiculous, because under those circumstances he would not run the risk of erecting premises at all under a tenure of that sort. Do Scotch Members realise that in imposing this penalty they are going to handicap the people of Scotland against competition on the perfectly free and untrammelled conditions of the trade in England and elsewhere?
I am not certain that this Clause as it stands does not interfere with the manufacturer's licence, because the provision is not properly expressed at all. It talks about a dealer's licence. Supposing the brewer has to erect a new and additional brewery, costing a large sum of money. Is it seriously suggested that because an unfortunate brewer happens to be in a no-licence area he has to go to the justices for a certificate before he can build a new brewery, and afterwards go every year for 469 a renewal; and he is to be so fettered, although perhaps in the next area, which is not a no-licence area, the manufacturer can go to the Excise people for his licence, and he is not interfered with? I do not think the Secretary for Scotland means any unfairness, but this is one of the cases in which by a measure of this kind you may unwittingly create a case of injustice. I am not satisfied that this does not create a very serious injustice. I rather think it does. I think the reputable trader in some way should be protected against anything of this kind, because under those circumstances such people should not be penalised. This proposal is most restrictive towards the class of trader dealt with by this Bill, and I thought the Lord Advocate, if he has considered this matter, would have had something to say upon the subject. If the right hon. Gentleman has not consulted with the Lord Advocate, may I ask him to have a conversation with me to see whether or not there really is any danger of an injustice of this kind, and if there is perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will give me some assurance that it will be put right in another place. If he will do that I will not press my Amendment.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I am very willing to give the assurance for which the hon. Baronet asks, because it is quite true it is no part of our desire to put anything in the way of the manufacturer. There is no intention of doing what the hon. Member fears, and I think the words provide sufficient safeguard, but if there is any doubt the matter can be put right in another place.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment made: After the word "sweets" ["makers of sweets"], insert the word "or."
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I beg to move, after the word "vote" ["(b) a parish (excluding any burgh or part of a burgh therein), any person registered as entitled to vote at"], to insert the words "a Parliamentary election or at."
It appears to me the register in this case ought to be as wide as possible. We know, of course, the Parliamentary roll is f not the same as the parish roll, and I think when an elector's name is on the Parliamentary roll he ought most dis- 470 tinctly to be able to vote on a question of this sort, whether he is on the parish roll or not.
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I do not think there is any need for this Amendment. It will introduce a perfectly useless complication, because the basis of the municipal register both in the case of the towns and boroughs and counties is the register of voters for Parliamentary purposes. Therefore, I do not think there is any doubt at all that what the hon. Baronet desires is provided for. We are taking the municipal register or the register for the election of the county councils, and it includes the Parliamentary elector.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
The right hon. Gentleman is perhaps aware that there was a discussion on this point in the Committee on the Bill of 1909, and these words were inserted. I am only proposing to reinsert them. Is there not a question about the lodger?
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
If the right hon. Gentleman can assure me the lodger on the Parliamentary roll is ipso facto on the parish roll I have nothing further to say.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Further Amendment made: At the end of the Clause to add the words "and in Section two as applied to a further poll in any area where a limiting resolution is in force means a continuance resolution."