33. Viscountess ASTOR
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the Commissioner of Police gave permission for an extension in London of the hours for the sale of intoxicants on the day of the General Election until midnight; whether this practice is to be followed as a matter of policy in future local and Parliamentary elections in London; and whether, in view of the care that Parliament has already exercised to limit any undue influence upon the electorate which the provision or the promise of drinking facilities may secure, the Commissioner will review the policy he adopted at the General Election?
§ Mr. LLOYD
The Commissioner has no power to grant any general extensions. He has power, however, on special occasions to issue a special extension to any licence holder applying for it if he thinks fit, and he granted a number of such extensions for the day of the General Election. Every occasion must be considered as it arises and each application dealt with individually, and I am unable to anticipate therefore what extensions may be granted in future. The hon. and Noble Lady, however, may rest assured that the discretion given by the Act will be exercised with due regard to all relevant considerations.
Does not the hon. Gentleman think that as we want sober people to go to the poll it would be better to shorten the hours of drinking on election days rather than extend them?