§ 9.46 p.m.
§ Sir W. WAYLAND
I beg to move, in page 9, line 34, after "shop," to insert:other than any premises upon which intoxicating liquor is sold under a justice's licence.This Amendment is moved as a protest against over-inspection of a trade which is now very well inspected. I am happy to think that the licensing trade employs practically no young people, but it is inspected from morning to night; first of all by the brewers, who have their own inspectors; secondly by the magistrates, who see that the slightest alteration has to receive their approval; and, thirdly, by the local authority. We are a long way from the time when young people were employed in public houses. To-day, practically no young people are employed at all. Some of us remember the time when the pot boy used to go out with a string of cans on a pole and deliver his beer from house to house. But that day is past and the licensed victualler's premises to-day are very different indeed from what they were 20, 30 or 40 years ago. It is a legitimate trade. It is a trade which some people look down upon, but it has every reason to range itself with any other trade in the country. I am not sanguine enough to think that the Amendment will be accepted; I shall not be very disappointed if it is not, and I do not intend to press it to a Division. My whole object was to bring before the House the fact that this trade is inspected from morning to night and does not require any further inspection, and that in justice it should be left out of 444 the Bill because it employs practically no young people.
§ 9.48 p.m.
§ Mr. MABANE
I beg to move, in page 10, line 17, after the second "shop," to insert "with the permission of the occupier." In Committee an undertaking was given that by Report it would be discovered whether the insertion of these words was necessary. This Sub-section provides that:Where persons employed about the business of a shop take any meals in the shop, there shall he provided and maintained suitable and sufficient facilities for the taking of those meals.If any employé takes meals without permission would that impose on the occupier the obligation to provide suitable facilities?
The Amendment does not seem to the Government to be necessary, because it would rather infringe upon the functions of the employer. We are not dealing with young people here at all; we are dealing with the health provisions of workers; and one of the requirements is that suitable and sufficient facilities should be granted. That is further defined in the definition Clause, "having regard to the circumstances and conditions affecting that shop or part." I think the point of the hon. Member is that, supposing there were no meal facilities and someone was found eating something there might be the possibility of the employer being penalised for something for which he has not given permissiion or for which there were no facilities. The facilities have to be provided, according to the Bill, only if meals are taken.That is surely within the discretion of the shopkeeper. If he does not provide facilities and he finds people disobeying him it is for him to look after them.
That is so, and the hon. Member's point, I think is covered. It is dealt with under welfare orders in factories and we have never had any trouble.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
I beg to move, in page 10, line 27, to leave out from "shop" to "unless," in line 28.
This relates to certificates. The Amendment is one of a series to Sub-section (6), which provides that shops may be exempt from the requirements where a certificate of exemption is granted by the local authority. The argument has been used that we ought to make some provision to prevent a local authority withdrawing such a certificate unless there is an alteration in the circumstances affecting the shop. It is possible that a case may occur where local authorities want to withdraw a certificate on the ground that the grant of it originally was unreasonable. We have considered that difficulty, and we suggest Amendments which provide that if the occupier shall be aggrieved he can take the case to the county court; if he thinks the local authority has unwarrantably withdrawn a certificate there is a method of appeal. We must assume, however, that local authorities will act in a reasonable spirit. The fact that there is a, provision for appeal should satisfy the hon. Member.
§ 9.54 p.m.
§ Mr. MABANE
I would thank my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary for going as far as he has gone in trying to meet me. Would he consider a further point that is of substance? This proposal may affect the value of property really seriously. Suppose that a shop is in occupation and it is covered by a certificate of exemption, as provided in this Sub-section, and the owner or occupier desires to pass on the occupancy of the shop to someone else, he cannot at present pass on any security with that shop that the certificate exempting it from the provisions of this Clause will remain. I want the certificate to remain in force as long as the conditions on which it was granted remain unaltered. Apart from the additional element of security that that would give to the occupier, it would provide that the value 446 of the property would not be depreciated by the insecurity of the certificate by reason of the fact that it might be withdrawn at the whim of the local authority. Therefore, while thanking my hon. and gallant Friend for what he has done, I should be glad if he would consider the matter a little further and see whether it would not be in the interests of good administration and the maintenance of the value of property, to adopt the words which I suggested in the Amendment appearing earlier on the Paper.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 10, line 29, leave out "for the time being."
In page 10, line 35, at the end, insert:
and, subject as hereinafter provided, a certificate in force with respect to any shop shall he withdrawn if the authority at any time cease to be so satisfied as aforesaid:
Provided that if the occupier of a shop is aggrieved by the withdrawal of such a certificate he may appeal to the county court for the district in which the shop is situated and that court may make such order concerning the certificate as appears to the court, having regard to the matters aforesaid, to be just and equitable."— [Captain Crooloshank.]