HC Deb 10 June 1920 vol 130 cc595-7
50. Mr. GWYNNE

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the continued delay in introducing legislation dealing with the licensing question and abolishing the Liquor Control Board, he will instruct that body forthwith to extend their present order prohibiting the supply of alcoholic refreshment after 9 o'clock on Sundays in working men's clubs to 10 o'clock and thus enable men to take advantage of the summer time out of doors without foregoing their refreshment afterwards.

46. Captain AINSWORTH

asked the Prime Minister if he will state when the temporary restrictions imposed on clubs by reason of the war will be removed, and when the promise contained in a letter, dated November, 1918, addressed to Mr. A. L. Cox, and signed on his behalf by J. T. Davies, recognising the desirability of withdrawing at the earliest opportunity any restrictions imposed on the social habits of the people will be carried out; and whether he is aware that the continuance of the restrictions, especially on working men's clubs, are the cause of great discontent, and that the members of these clubs feel a distrust of the Government because the assurance given as to the withdrawal of the restrictions has not been carried out.


As already stated by my right hon. Friend, the Leader of the House, and by myself in reply to questions on this subject, it is not possible to deal with this question until the Government measure dealing with the matter has been introduced.


Are we to understand that these restrictions are to remain in spite of the assurances of the right hon. Gentleman and of the Leader of the House that control was going to be abolished?

Captain BOWYER

May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman realises that all over the country this question involves a promise given by him as long ago as November, 1918?


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider in the meantime not allowing the Summer Time Act to affect the Drinking Hours Act.


May I ask if the following statement by the Minister of Health represents the views of His Majesty's Government—


The hon. Member should give notice of that question.

Colonel ASHLEY

Can the right hon. Gentleman not bring his personal influence to bear on the Liquor Control Board and point out the difficulty working men have after working on allotments in getting anything to drink.


Is it not the fact that the Liquor Control Board was instituted solely and entirely to expedite the output of munitions during the War, and nothing else?


I agree that the whole position with reference to these restrictions has got to be reviewed, but the Government naturally prefer that that should only be done by legislation on the whole subject, but restriction is not the only word to be said on the question of consumption of liquor.


Is it not possible to fix more convenient hours for the opening of clubs and public-houses before the Licensing Bill has been passed into law?


Is the right hon. Gentleman still of opinion we have more to fear from drink than from Germany?


I do not think anyone who knows about the facts will doubt that it is a national peril.

52. Mr. LYLE

asked the Prime Minister if his attention has been called to the fact that His Majesty's Stationery Office is issuing appeals to the medical profession and others to subscribe for a book on alcohol which is being published by the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic); whether this touting for business on the part of the Government department is necessary or sanctioned; what is the cost of printing and publishing the work entitled, Alcohol, Its Action on the Human Organism; what revenue has been received at present on account of the volume; and whether, in the interests of public economy, he will check this type of expenditure by Government departments.


In reply to the first and second parts of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to my answer to the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham on the 20th ultimo. The cost of printing and publishing the work in question, including the cost of advertisement, amounts to £530. The receipts from sales to date are £980, showing a profit of £450. The last part of the question does not therefore arise.

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