HC Deb 25 March 1937 vol 321 cc3054-5
17. Sir Robert Young

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the increased drinking and drunkenness in some towns concerned in the new measures for national defence, and in particular in Warwickshire, where a chief contable has drawn attention to the considerable increase of drunkenness and disorderliness since the drinking hours were lengthened, he will call for an inquiry into the influence of the various kinds of extended drinking facilities upon public order and industrial efficiency, especially in the armament manufacturing areas?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Margesson)

I have been asked to answer this question and following questions on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. The grant of extended drinking hours lies, generally speaking, in the discretion of the local justices, who can be trusted to take due account of all relevant circumstances in their locality. My right hon. Friend does not think that there is any ground for the institution of such an inquiry as is suggested by the hon. Member.

Sir R. Young

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to make full inquiries into the report of the Chief Constable of Coventry, and also to make himself conversant with the large number of first offender convictions for drunkenness in Birmingham?

Captain Strickland

Can my right hon. and gallant Friend give the relative average figures per 10,000 of the population for the city of Coventry, and for Manchester and Liverpool, both cities in the hon. Member's own county?

Captain Margesson

I have provided myself with that information. According to the Licensing Statistics for 1935, the proportion of convictions for drunkenness per 10,000 of the population was, in the case of Coventry 12.12, in the case of Manchester 24.61, and in the case of Liverpool 29.95. The corresponding figures for 1936 are not yet available.

Mr. Charles Williams

Is it not the fact that Warwickshire is really a very sober county?