HC Deb 19 March 1928 vol 215 cc23-4
18. Mr. BARR

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has completed his inquiry into the increase in the number of places for the sale of alcoholic liquors in Jerusalem and at the railway stations in Palestine; whether he can state the precise increase in the number since that country was taken under our mandate; what is the relation of the increase to the growth of the population; and whether he can make any further statement on the subject?


As the answer to this question contains a considerable number of figures I will, with the hon. Gentleman's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I am informed that before 1922 licences for the sale of intoxicating liquors in Palestine were issued by the Ottoman Public Debt Administration and that the relevant records of the administration cannot be traced. The information available as to the number of licences issued since 1922 is given in the following table:—

Year Jerusalem. Southern District (including Towns of Jaffa, Tel-Aviv, Hebron, Gaza, Beersheba). Northern District (including towns of Haifa, Nablus, Safad and Tiberias.
1922 235 * 128
1923 305 * 188
1924 308 * 205
1925 315 345 186
1926 323 343 195
1927 290 251 *
* No information available.

Licences are valid for twelve months only and must be renewed annually. The High Commissioner considers that the increase in 1923 as compared with 1922 is in the main attributable to the stricter control introduced when the functions of the Ottoman Public Debt Administration were taken over by the Palestine Government.

Notwithstanding the very considerable increase of population of European origin since 1924 the number of licences has not increased and I do not consider it necessary to take any action in the matter.