HC Deb 06 July 1931 vol 254 cc1717-9
62. Mr. ALBERY

asked the First Commissioner of Works if he can make a statement as to which of the public parks have been selected for facilities to be allowed for alcoholic refreshments?


asked the First Commissioner of Works (1) why the recent grant of a licence to sell alcoholic drinks in Hampton Court Gardens was limited to drinks served with meals; and whether he proposes cither there or elsewhere to permit the consumption of such drinks in London parks without such restriction;

(2) in how many public parks and open spaces in London there are refreshment rooms and huts; in how many cases have licences been applied for to permit the sale of alcoholic drinks; how many licences have been granted and in what terms; and how many have been refused?


I have no jurisdiction over parks in London other than those parks the cost of upkeep of which is borne on the votes of my Department. There are refreshment facilities of various kinds in all these parks, except the Victoria Tower Gardens. Facilities for the sale of alcoholic refreshments have been provided for many years past in the club houses of the golf club using the course in the Home Park Hampton Court, and in the premises occupied by the Royal Botanic Society in Regent's Park. There is also a refreshment bar, where such refreshments can be obtained, in the Tower, which is under the control of the Office of Works, and a restaurant in the grounds of the Zoological Society in Regent's Park. These grounds are held on lease from the Department of Crown Lands. At Hampton Court the refreshment facilities have recently been considerable improved, and a licence for the sale of alcoholic drinks was finally granted to the lessee by the Middlesex Justices on the 1st May, after three hearings. This licence is granted on the distinct understanding that no alcoholic drink may be sold except with luncheons and dinners and inside the restaurant. I did not oppose the application for a licence as, in my opinion, it was a reasonable one. As I stated in reply to a deputation of Members of this House which interviewed me on this subject, no further action for the extension of these facilities, either at Hampton Court or in any of the other parks, will be considered until the House of Commons has had an opportunity of discussing the whole question.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is the fact that the only popular proposal made by the present Government is to end in disappointment?


Will the right hon. Gentleman answer Question No. 63 as to the reason why he authorises the sale of drink with meals only and not otherwise?


In the first place, that was the application which went forward to the justices, and I saw no reason why I should oppose it.