29. Sir HERBERT ROBERTS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the action of the Deputy-Commissioner of Amritsar in removing, upon the recommendation of the municipal committee, all the liquor 1559 shops of Amritsar to sites outside the city boundaries, the number of licences being simultaneously reduced; and whether the Secretary of State will encourage further experiments in the same direction in other municipalities?
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
The Secretary of State has noticed a statement in the Indian Press to the effect mentioned by the hon. Member, except as regards the alleged reduction in the number of licences. Inquiry will be made on the point. I would refer to paragraph 6 of the Secretary of State's dispatch of 29th May, 1914, as to the treatment of "those special cases in town or country in which it might seem desirable and likely to be in consonance with the wishes of the inhabitants that the ward or special area should be kept altogether immune from the sale of intoxicants."
Sir H. ROBERTS
May I ask whether the paragraph in the dispatch means that the Secretary of State approves of further extension?
§ Mr. ROBERTS
The dispatch distinctly contemplates that there may be special areas in town or country which would be properly kept free from the sale of intoxicants.
§ 31. Sir H. ROBERTS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the opening, in April, 1913, of a shop for the sale of country liquor in the village of Ghoda, near Poona, upon the alleged ground of illicit distillation in the neighbourhood; whether inquiries have disclosed the fact that the majority of the inhabitants of the village are opposed to the opening of the shop; and whether he will cause inquiry to be made in the matter?
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, while the Secretary of State has approved the principle that new liquor shops should not be opened in face of strong opposition from inhabitants of the locality, unless the opposition springs from interested motives, the location of individual shops in particular villages is obviously a matter for the discretion of the authorities in India.