HC Deb 04 December 1941 vol 376 cc1237-8
27. Mr. R. J. Taylor

asked the Home Secretary whether he has now considered the resolutions of protest from the various temperance organisations regarding the provisions of Defence Regulation 60AA; and whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the reply he gave to a deputation who recently met him on the matter?

Mr. H. Morrison

Yes, Sir. I have considered these resolutions, and I am arranging to publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a summary of my reply to the deputation.

Mr. Taylor

Is my right hon. Friend aware that prominent trade unionists in the North say that there is no demand whatever for these canteens, and will they be stopped in such cases?

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid that other prominent trade unionists have expressed other views, and all these have to be taken into account. I am aware that there is strong feeling about the matter which I raised and discussed with certain hon. Members of the House, but I hope that the publication of the statement to which I refer will conduce to clear up some of the misunderstandings in this Department.

Mr. Taylor

Where there is no demand for these particular canteens, will their provision be stopped?

Mr. Morrison

I can only say that if it is clear that beer is not wanted, I should not think that the Supply Department would, so to speak, force it upon people, but we were advised by the Supply Department and the Ministry of Labour that there was considerable difficulty about it and this was the best way of dealing with it and that other abuses would thereby be avoided.

Sir Robert Young

Is it the fact that people will not get authorisation to have liquor canteens unless they apply for it?

Mr. Morrison

The Government do not propose to plant down these canteens irrespective of any desire for them, and we are taking all practical steps to see to it that they are not mere drinking places but that they are places of social welfare in the better meaning of the term.

Following is the summary: