§ 88. Mr. FIELD
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has received a communication from the Retail Purveyors' and Family Grocers' Association, of Dublin, respecting the grievance of the off-licence holders; and whether he will consider the advisability of amending Section 17, Sub-section (2), of the Finance Act, 1915, so as to put off-licence holders in the same position as on-licence holders in this matter?
89. Mr. NUGENT
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the case of the off-licensed holders in Ireland for a concession as regards a rebate of Licence Duty, similar to that granted to off-licensed holders in Great Britain; whether he has inquired into the action of the military authorities in Ireland, especially within the last six months, in curtailing the hours of sale; and whether he will take this matter into consideration in the next Budget or sooner?
§ 96. Mr. BRADY
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will place the holders of off-licences in Ireland on the same footing as those in Great Britain in regard to a rebate of Licence Duty, especially in view of the curtailment of hours recently imposed by the military authorities in Ireland?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have received the communication referred to by my hon. 954 Friend the Member for the St. Patrick's Division. My attention has been called to this matter, which is not free from difficulty. Under the law off-licence holders, whether in Great Britain or Ireland, cannot obtain any relief from Licence Duty on account of restrictions on their trade unless those restrictions are imposed by the Central Control Board. That Board has not imposed any restrictions in Ireland, and consequently no off-licence holder in Ireland can obtain relief. I will direct my advisers to look into the matter, and if it can be shown that the restrictions imposed in Ireland are comparable in stringency with those imposed by the Central Control Board in Great Britain, I will consider how the difficulty can be met. But I fear I could in no case admit that off-licence holders have a claim to be put in the same position as on-licence holders.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have endeavoured to explain the difficulty, that the Central Control Board has not acted in Ireland at all. Therefore, whilst I might reply to my hon. Friend in the affirmative, I should not really give him what he wants. I am prepared to consider the difficulty which has arisen owing to the fact that the Central Control Board does not act in Ireland.
§ Mr. BYRNE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Sir John Maxwell has the same powers under martial law as the Central Control Board has under the Defence of the Realm Act?