Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1938, for the Salaries and Expenses of the State Management Districts, including the Salaries of the Central Office, and the Cost of Provision and Management of Licensed Premises.
§ 6.20 p.m.
§ Mr. Lloyd
I was about to offer a word of explanation, but it is really a very simple point indeed. Owing to the improvement of trade generally and the fact that more money is circulating in Carlisle, the trade done in the public houses belonging to the State-managed scheme is increasing. It is simply a question of buying a few more brewing materials and things of that kind—of increasing the ordinary trade supplies.
§ 6.21 p.m.
§ Mr. Rhys Davies
I do not think an item of this kind ought to be allowed to pass without a few words from this side of the Committee. On all the benches there are greater experts than I am on this particular topic. The hon. Gentleman said that additional provision is required owing to the increase in the trade. What trade does he mean—the biscuit trade, or the flour milling trade, or does he refer to the drink trade? It is stated that additional provision is required owing to the increased poundage of rates, levied 973 in Carlisle and the Scottish areas. Will he tell us whether there has been an increase in the number of public houses, or whether the managers of the scheme have decided to increase the trade within the existing public houses?
§ The Chairman (Sir Dennis Herbert)
The hon. Member has only to look at the statement accompanying the Vote to see that this refers to the purchase of stores and supplies.
§ Mr. Davies
I am glad of that explanation, because from the way in which the Home Office puts down these Votes I did think that the term "maintenance of premises" might include some extension of the houses. There is a very pertinent point which I wish to make. I notice that this scheme extends into two countries, one being England and the other Scotland.
§ Mr. Davies
Although it has been the case for a long time, as those words appear here I think we are entitled to know what is the difference in the rates which are levied.
§ 6.24 p.m.
§ Mr. Lloyd
This Supplementary Estimate is not confined to the provision of intoxicating liquor but is also for necessary stores of food and other non-intoxicants. The houses in the scheme pay rates and taxes in the same way as in the case of a private trader, and it is necessary to provide an additional £20,000 over and above the original expenditure on account of the increase of the poundage of the local rates. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that this Supplementary Estimate does not provide for an increase in the number of public houses.
§ Mr. Paling
Does this sum provide anything for advertisements? In the last year or two there has been a lot of advertising of beer, and I should like to know whether the State has been advertising this business.
§ 6.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Mathers
I should like to ask whether the £18,000 in respect of the purchase of stores, etc., and the maintenance 974 of premises includes anything for the furnishing and equipment of the Queen's Hotel at Silloth, which was taken over some time ago. I understood that considerable expenditure was to be incurred in bringing that important hotel up to date, and making it a really great adjunct to the facilities for holiday-makers in that area. I might make this comment upon the increased poundage of the rates levied in Carlisle and in the Scottish area, that for a number of years the Carlisle rates ought to have been raised, but the majority on the local council held off raising rates. Some of us believe they did so because of the fear that they might lose their majority and would leave the raising of the rates to their Labour successors. Finally, they found it necessary themselves to raise the rates, and that is why there has been an increase. But the question I put is whether the £18,000 includes anything for the Queen's Hotel.
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1938, for the Salaries and Expenses of the State Management Districts, including the Salaries of the Central Office, and the cost of Provisions and Management of Licensed Premises.