HC Deb 02 March 1944 vol 397 cc1556-7
15. Dr. Little

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in the interests of the sobriety of the young, he will make an Order that no person under 21 years of age shall be supplied with alcoholic liquor in a public house; and for its proper working arrange that all minors shall have their ages entered on their identity cards.

Mr. H. Morrison

The Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Persons under Eighteen) Act, 1923, prohibits the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor in bars to persons under 18 and also prohibits the treating of such persons. My present information would not justify the extension of this prohibition to persons under 21. On the question of identity cards, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 20th January by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health to a Question by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Sir E. Makins).

Dr. Little

Is the Minister aware of the strong feeling in the country that this matter should be dealt with at once to safeguard the youth of our country from temptation?

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the implication in the first part of this Question will be generally resented, particularly by the young men and women in the Forces, between 18 and 21, whose general standard of conduct and sobriety does them the highest credit?

Mr. Morrison

There is a problem here, about which I am doing my best. There is a good deal of exaggeration by people who have, quite legitimately, a cause to further, and it is difficult to make up one's mind how far the evil is widespread. I do not want to make Regulations unless the case for them is reasonably proved.