HC Deb 27 June 1940 vol 362 cc590-1
24. Mr. Denville

asked the Home Secretary why, in the present critical times, bottle parties are allowed to continue?

28. Sir T. Moore

asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered the economy which would be effected in the consumption of coal, gas and electric current, both for light and power, as well as in food and other commodities, if the restaurants of London were closed at midnight as proposed by the Hotels and Restaurants Association, and bottle parties simultaneously suppressed; and whether he will give the matter his immediate attention?

Sir J. Anderson

I have had under consideration the communication from the Hotels and Restaurants Association mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore). While for certain types of restaurants earlier closing would in existing circumstances be advantageous, there are others which meet the legitimate needs of those whose duties necessitate their getting meals late at night or in the early hours of the morning, and on my present information I could not recommend a general prohibition which would prevent any person from obtaining meals in restaurants after midnight.

Mr. Denville

Could not the right hon. Gentleman make, regulations that only certain places should be allowed to continue open after 12 o'clock at night, recognising that it is the bottle parties which have to be dealt with?

Sir J. Anderson

The question of bottle parties has been under consideration for some time, and a regulation is in process of being drafted.

Mr. Thorne

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us of any cases in which wage earners have been attending bottle parties?

Sir J. Anderson

I think they attend places of the kind referred to in the Question.