HC Deb 04 December 1916 vol 88 cc760-2

All licences of public-houses and hotels destroyed during the recent disturbances shall be deemed to continue in existence free of Licence Duty until the respective premises affected have been rebuilt and trade resumed in the same. In case of the death of the holder of any such licence during this period, the licence shall enure for the benefit of the person or persons who shall be entitled to the said premises under his will or as his personal representatives, heirs at law, or next of kin.

The amount of the Licence Duty paid in respect of any such licence for the period between the twenty-fourth day of April, nineteen hundred and sixteen, and the thirtieth day of September, nineteen hundred and sixteen, shall be repaid to the person entitled to the said licence.


With regard to the new Clanse in the names of the hon. Members for Dublin (Mr. Nugent and Mr. Brady); I am afraid the second paragraph in the Clause involves a charge on the Exchequer. It proposes that certain license duties shall be repaid. That requires a Money Resolution. Of course hon. Members can move the first part.


I will move the first paragraph.

Clause brought up, and read the first time.


I beg to move "That the Clause be read a second time."

I will move the first paragraph only. When we come to deal with the Report stage the other portion can be considered. The first Clause is absolutely necessary in the interests of property owners. If some Clause like this were not inserted, licensed holders whose premises have been destroyed would lose their entire benefits. In the ordinary course, when a licensed house has, been closed twelve months the license lapses, and in these cases the houses will not be ready for twelve months or perhaps two years. The object of the Clause is to secure that the licences will be kept alive during the period. I hope the Chief Secretary will agree to accept this, and so far as the other portion is concerned when the Report stage is dealt with we will meet it in some way. There is no reason why these people should be compelled to pay duty on houses which cannot be utilised for the transaction of their business.


This apparently reasonable proposal is that licences attached to premises should be retained pending the reconstruction of the premises—that is to say, that the owners of the premises should not lose the privilege of the licence by reason of non-occupation. I am not sure that this is the best way of effecting the object in view. I should like the opportunity to consider the proposal in its various aspects, and if the hon. Member will withdraw the Motion now and raise the question again on Report, in case I do not put down an Amendment, the subject shall be dealt with on Report. If I can see my way to do it I will put down an Amendment on the subject.


When is my hon. Friend to know whether or not the Chief Secretary will do a thing he admits ought to be done?


If the hon. Member thinks fit to put down his Amendment, the matter can be dealt with on his Amendment, in case I do not deal with it by separate Amendment. One way or another it shall be dealt with on Report.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

The following stood in the name of Mr. WHITE: