§ 3.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Gallacher
I beg to move, in page 1, line 10, to leave out "or."
I want, in moving this Amendment, also to make reference to the last Amendment on the Order Paper. When I was a lad I was associated with the temperance movement, regarding which elderly gentlemen always advised us on the undesirability of getting into bad company, because, we were told, getting into bad company led to evil results; and, as a youth, I made up my mind that at all times I would keep free from evil associations. But see what has happened to me today; consider the people who have associated themselves with this Amendment. I put it down, a simple little Amendment, thinking I should have it all to myself, and then we get all these converts from the other side of the House lining up alongside me. I tell them right at the start, that I am not going to desert my esteemed and honoured Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland for a trio of troglodyte Tories, whatever happens to the Amendment But it is important that Members of this House should understand the position of the district 805 councils in Scotland. The district councils, under the Physical Training and Recreation Act, 1937, have been given very wide responsibilities. I will read a quotation from Section 4 (1) of the Act, which makes clear what the district councils have to do. It says that a district council… may acquire, lay out, provide with suitable buildings and otherwise equip, and maintain lands… for the purpose of gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps or camping sites or for the purpose of centres for the use of clubs, societies or organisations having athletic. social or educational objects.That is a very wide range of activities. It should be clear to everyone, including the Secretary of State for Scotland, that a district council cannot run a holiday camp, cannot run a social club, unless that district council has the facilities for supplying ordinary refreshments, or, if it does not supply them, unless it can hire someone else to do it. The district councils, in an application to the Secretary of State, asked for the right to provide material necessary for cooking so that they could supply refreshments, and the Secretary of State appeared amenable; but, in the meantime, owing to the shortage of material, manpower, and the rest of it, the request could not be granted But it is obvious that a district council, if it is to carry out these functions, must have the necessary equipment for supplying food and light refreshments of one kind and another There are many activities in connection with which a district council gets hundreds or may be thousands of people together on a social occasion. Certainly, it is hard to say that they should not be in a position to supply refreshments.
The Bill is going to allow the Minister to intervene where a county council is not satisfactorily doing a job, and to transfer it to a district council But suppose a district council has all the equipment necessary for supplying refreshments, in order to carry out the functions laid down in the 1937 Act, but that there is no opportunity for the Minister of Food to intervene, so far as the county council is concerned. That means that the district council has all the equipment for supplying refreshments on particular occasions but cannot do so—cannot supply refreshments as a civic restaurant does from day to day.
806 That is an absurd and anomalous position in which to place the district councils. I ask the Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland to realise this position. Either they are going to prohibit district councils from supplying refreshments at a holiday camp for which they are responsible or the district councils will be allowed to set up the establishments and the equipment necessary for this purpose. Does the Minister intend to prohibit them? Will a district council have the power to supply refreshments to a holiday camp for which it is responsible? It so, it must have equipment to supply those refreshments, and if it has the equipment for supplying refreshments to a holiday camp for which it is responsible why is it not permissible for that equipment to be used for the purpose of a civic restaurant? Why should it lie idle for half the year? Unless the Minister is going to prohibit a district council from supplying food at a holiday camp or social club for which it is responsible. there is no reason for keeping district councils out of this Bill.
The later Amendment in the name of the Secretary of State for Scotland cannot meet the situation in which a district council has all the necessary equipment for supplying food and refreshments, but if the Minister is satisfied that the county council is doing a good job, he will not intervene and the district council will not be allowed to use that equipment for the purposes of a civic restaurant. I ask the Minister to give serious consideration to this question of district councils and responsibilities they now have. They now need all this equipment for providing food and refreshment, and it is desirable that it should be kept in continual use for the purposes of a civic restaurant.
§ Commander Galbraith (Glasgow, Pollok)
I beg to second the Amendment
The hon Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) has alluded to the strange alignment of names attached to this Amendment and has spoken of evil associations. but there are times when the hon. Member for West Fife has a good and sensible idea, and when he comes forward with such an idea he will always find support from this side of the House. His Amendment is a sensible Amendment. There are district councils in Scotland which have very large responsibilities, far greater than certain of the 807 burghs which are entitled to form themselves into civil restaurant authorities. These district councils are responsible for large open spaces where people congregate, in the summer time particularly, and it would be advisable for them to have the power to form themselves into civic restaurant authorities. We, therefore, cordially support the hon. Gentleman's Amendment. I hope that the Minister may see his way to accept it, particularly in view of the later Amendment in the name of the Secretary of State for Scotland, to which you. Mr. Speaker, have alluded.
§ The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)
We have given great attention to the question of the district councils in Scotland, because we recognise that it is one of real difficulty in regard to this and certain other Bills. We were convinced by argument-1 put to us that the Bill, as stood, did not fully meet the difficulties. On the other hand, we could not see our way to accept this Amendment in this precise form, for the simple reason that it would give concurrent powers to two separate local authorities to run civic restaurants in the same area. The more we threshed it out, the more undesirable that seemed to us. However, the difficulties mentioned by the hon. Member remain, and we have to find some other way of trying to meet them, and in particular of trying to meet the exceptional cases of the small number of rather big district councils in Scotland which might well run civic restaurants. We did not think we could meet those cases by a change of the law as a whole.
The only way in which we felt we could meet them, without creating a grave defect in the Bill by giving concurrent powers, is expressed in the Amendment to page 4, line 13, in the name of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. I would ask the hon. Member to see how far that Amendment goes. We first thought of trying to meet the point by giving powers of delegation to the Scottish county councils, so that they could delegate the power to run civic restaurants to these exceptional district councils. I re-emphasise that there are only a few district councils to which it would in my view be suitable to delegate these powers, because there are only a 808 few which have paid officials; the running of a civic restaurant is not a very easy business, and a local authority must be strong enough, and sufficiently well organised, besides having a staff of permanent full-time officials, to do it. That cuts out a great many district authorities. There are, however, Scottish district authorities which, if the council was not doing it, might well run civic restaurants, and so we thought of giving powers of delegation to the county councils.
We then met with the objection that the county councils might—we do not say they would—take a dog-in-the-manger attitude, and neither use their powers nor delegate them. Therefore we went further, and my right hon. Friend, in his unrivalled knowledge of Scottish local government, proposes to give me powers to direct Scottish county councils, in suitable cases, where they are not doing the job themselves, to allow district councils to do it by delegation. That I think will go a long way to meet the hon. Member's point. I feel that these powers of delegation given to the county councils, and the powers of direction conferred on me by this Amendment, constitute a double safeguard in these exceptional cases, which we have tried very hard to cover without spoiling the Bill in general. I think there will be a real assurance that these district councils will be able to run civic restaurants.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Had it not been for this Bill, these district councils would have carried on certain large social functions and would, I am certain, have been given the necessary powers and equipment to supply food and refreshment. It is possible now that, as a result of this Bill, the situation may be different. Will the Minister consider what can be done to ensure that these district councils have this limited power, so far as their own social functions are concerned, when this Bill comes into operation?
§ Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)
I wish to ask your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on a point about which some of us feel rather doubtful. Because of your previous Ruling, we are now including in this discussion the last Amendment on the Order Paper, in the name of the Secretary of State for Scotland. When we come at a later stage to that Amendment 809 shall we be prohibited from discussing it in view of the present discussion, or shall we be able to discuss it separately in due course, because there is a separate point on it which some of us would like to raise?
§ Mr. Speaker
It it is a different point, hon. Members might be able to raise it, but I cannot give a Ruling on that now We cannot easily debate these Amendments without reference to the later Amendment, but I would point out that when we reach the later Amendment we cannot again debate the whole subject,
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. C. Williams
While accepting that Ruling I would point out that the last Amendment raises a point which it would not be convenient to deal with here, namely, that the Government have power to intervene and compel a county council to hand over its powers. That is the point I wish to raise later, because I do not think it would be suitable to debate it on these two Amendments.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Walter Elliot (Scottish Universities)
I wish to discuss the somewhat novel procedure by which a Minister other than the Secretary of State can interfere with local government in Scotland This is apart from the relatively minor point we are now discussing. I should like to ask whether we should discuss this important point now, or on the later Amendment.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
As I understand it, a general discussion is taking place on whether the later Amendment should be accepted in the place of the two Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher). Whatever may be our views on the later Amendment, this is a very unsuitable occasion on which to go into the question of whether a Minister, who is not the Secretary of State for Scotland, should have power to intervene and direct local authorities in Scotland, which is a very arduous procedure indeed.
§ Mr. Speaker
The right hon. and gallant Member is referring to the Amendment standing in the name of the Secretary of State for Scotland I thought it would be suitable to discuss that Amendment with 810 these Amendments. The separate point to which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has referred will, no doubt come up when the later Amendment is moved
§ Mr. Strachey
I can assure, the non Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) that the Amendment, in page 4, line 13, is intended to meet the considerations he has in mind, and to see that the smaller local authorities in Scotland get a fair share in this catering field. I am advised that under the 1937 Act they are allowed to provide certain catering facilities, and there will be nothing in this Bill, as amended, to curtail those activities in any way. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman, in making his point, has shown that this Bill, when it is amended, as I believe it will be amended, goes a good deal further, and sees to it that there shall be, as far as we can provide for it, no let or hindrance in providing facilities in these rather peculiar and exceptional cases.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
Do. I understand it to be the contention of the Minister that this point is already covered? It seems odd that that should be so. I cannot accept that general statement that he will be willing to cover it by the later Amendment, because there are other objections which make that Amendment unacceptable. I do not think his suggestion that directions should be given by the Minister of Food to, say, the county council of Lanark, is one which he will he able to sustain when he comes to the point We still prefer the words of this Amendment.
§ Mr. C. Williams
I find myself in a position of great difficulty I was hoping that the hon. Member for West File (Mr. Gallacher) would have explained the purpose of these Amendments which give these wide powers. So tar we have been unable to get any precise guidance. In the event of a Division, I should feel inclined to vote in favour of the first Amendment of the hon. Member and against the second. I regard his first Amendment as sensible and reasonable, but his second Amendment is much too wide. No one has explained the difference between these two Amendments, but object to a district council having these powers. It is inadvisable that such powers should go to district councils, because 811 after all, this is in the nature of an experiment. One can understand large towns, such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, or more important towns, such as Perth and Invernes.), wanting to carry out these proposals, but I do not think we want to come down to small district authorities. I notice that the hon. Member took great care not to speak too much about the authorities; probably he did not think his second Amendment was as strong as his first.
As I have said, I could vote for the first Amendment, but I shall require a great deal more explanation on the second. As it is, I do not know whether it would be in the best interests of the country as a whole, and particularly of Scotland, that we should accept the second Amendment I think that many of us might have had more enlightenment on these points Although the Minister may represent a Scottish seat with distinction, he does not represent the Scottish Office in this House and I think it is wrong that on a matter so closely affecting Scottish life we cannot be given real guidance by a Minister from the Scottish Office, rather than an English Minister. We ought to be told what Scotland is thinking about this matter. Because the Secretary of State for Scotland is not here surely that does not mean that someone else from the Scottish Office could not be present to give us the necessary guidance.
§ Mr. Gallacher
I am satisfied with the Ministers statement that, in these particular activities, district councils will have the right to provide food and refreshment, and, on that understanding, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
Mr. McKie (Galloway)
It is not often that I find myself even in partial disagreement with my hon Friend the Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams), but I do on this occasion even though I sympathise with the point which he made. Up to now, the Minister of Food has not made clear what his views are on either o both these Amendments. I think I can supply my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay with a little information about the second Amendment. I believe that my hon. Friend knows quite a lot about Scotland, hut I am sure that, on reflection, he will see that this is 812 merely an extension of the democratic rule in Scotland which that small, but virile, political country has always cherished so dearly. It is true that in Scottish rural areas the district councils are not charged with a great deal of work, but there can be no harm in inserting. words like these to give full powers to all local authorities in Scotland to take charge, if necessary, of what will be a most important function I agree with my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Scottish Universities (Lieut. Colonel Elliot) that it is not likely that district councils in Scotland, if they ever were entrusted with this power, would ever be in a position to use it very much He quoted the case of Lanarkshire. I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes), who sits beside me, will agree that, in years to come, district councils in his area might he charged with doing a good deal of work of this kind. That is really all there is in the second Amendment.
§ Mr. C. Williams
My hon Friend has said nothing at all as to whether these district councils have the machinery and officials necessary to do the work.
My hon. Friend has just asked me about the mental capacity and machinery of these district councils. All I can say is that many of those who have served on the district councils, have given many years of their lives to the study of local authority work.
§ Mr. C. Williams
With great respect, Sir, my hon. Friend said that I had referred to the mental capacity of these bodies. I do not think I said anything of the sort. If I did, I will withdraw those words at once.
I am delighted to have that assurance. I am sure that my hon. Friend will, on reflection, realise that this Amendment is, in substance, a reasonable one, although I am sorry to see that it emanated from such a source as the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher). I was also very sorry to hear the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) say, "No," when my hon. Friend 813 the Member for Torquay suggested that he might support the Amendment. I should have thought that the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs, with his great love of democracy, would have welcomed this wide extension of powers for local authorities.
§ Mr. Gallacher
I do not think that that was the case. The hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) was opposing the second Amendment when my hon.
§ Friend the Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) disagreed.
If that is so then I must accept that, but we are in some bewilderment. We do not quite know which of the two Amendments we are discussing.
§ Question put, "That "or" stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 237; Noes, 116.815
|Division No. 77.]||AYES.||[4.16 p.m|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Mathers, G|
|Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Mellish, R. J.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Ewart, R.||Middleton, Mrs. L.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Field, Capt W. J.||Mikardo, Ian|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Follick, M.||Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Foot, M. M.||Mitchison, Maj. G. R.|
|Attewell, H. C.||Fraser, T (Hamilton)||Monslow, W.|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Gallacher, W.||Montague, F.|
|Ayles, W. H.||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||Moody, A S|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Morley, R.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Gibson, C. W.||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Baird, J.||Glanville, J, E. (Consett)||Moyle, A.|
|Balfour, A.||Gooch, E. G.||Murray, J. D.|
|Barnes, Rt Hon. A. J||Goodrich, H. E.||Nally, W.|
|Barstow, P. G.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Barton, C.||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)||Neal, H. (Claycross)|
|Battley, J. R.||Grey, C. F.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Grierson, E.||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)|
|Berry, H.||Gunter, R. J.||Noel-Buxton, Lady|
|Beswick, F.||Guy, W. H.||Oldfield, W. H.|
|Binns, J.||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Hale, Leslie||Parker, J.|
|B[...]ton, W. R.||Hall, W G.||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.||Paton, J (Norwich)|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Harrison, J.||Peart, Capt. T. F.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Perrins, W.|
|Bramall, Major E. A.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Piratin, P.|
|Brown, T. J (Ince)||Hicks, G.||Popplewell, E.|
|Bruce, Maj. D. W. T.||Holman, P.||Porter, E. (Warrington)|
|Buchanan, G.||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Price, M. Philips|
|Burden, T. W.||Hoy, J||Pritt, D. N.|
|Burke, W A.||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)||Proctor, W T.|
|Butler, H W. (Hackney, S.)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Byers, Frank||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Ranger, J.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Jay, D. P. T.||Rees-Williams, D. R.|
|Chamberlain, R. A.||Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Reeves, J|
|Champion, A. J.||Jeger, Dr. S. W (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Reid, T. (Swindon)|
|Chater, D.||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Robens, A|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)|
|Clitherow, Dr. R.||Jones, J. H. (Bolton)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|Cob[...], F. A.||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Cocks, F. S.||Kenyon, C||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)|
|Coldrick, W.||King, E. M.||Rogers, G. H. R.|
|Collindridge, F.||Kinley, J.||Royle, C.|
|Collins, V. J.||Kirkwood, D.||Sargood, R.|
|Colman, Miss G. M.||Lang, G.||Scott-Elliot, W|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Segal, Dr. S|
|Ceeper, Wing-Comdr. G.||Lever, N. H.||Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr. E. A. A.|
|Corlett, Dr. J.||Levy, B. W.||Sharp, Granvill[...]|
|Cove, W G||Lewis, J. (Bolton)||Shawcross. C. N. (Widnes)|
|Daggar, G.||Lipson, D. L.||Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)|
|Daines, P.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Silverman, J. (Erdington)|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Longden, F.||Silverman, S S. (Nelson)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Lyne, A. W.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||McAllister, G.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Davies, Hadyn (St. Panoras, S.W.)||McEntee V. La T.||Skeffingion-Lodge, T. C.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||McGhee, H. G.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Diamond, J.||Mack, J. D.||Snow, Capt. J. W.|
|Dodds, N. N.||McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Solley, L. J.|
|Donovan, T.||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Soskice, Maj. Sir F.|
|Dugdale, J (W. Bromwich)||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Dumpleton, C. W.||Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Stamford, W.|
|Dye, S.||Mallalieu. J. P. W.||Stephen, C.|
|Edelman, M.||Manning, Mrs. L (Epping)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Strachey, J.||Turner-Samuels, M||Wilkes, L.|
|Stross, Dr. B.||Usborne, Henry||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Summerskill, Dr. Edith||Vernon, Maj. W F||Willey, O G (Cleveland)|
|Swingler, S.||Viant, S. P.||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Symonds, A. L.||Walkden, E||Willis, E.|
|Taylor, R J. (Morpeth)||Wallace, G D. (Chislehurst)||Wilson, J H|
|Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)||Wallace, H W (Walthamstow, E.)||Woods, G S|
|Thomas, D E. (Aberdare)||Warbey, W N.||Wyatt, W.|
|Thomas, I. O (Wrekin)||Webb, M (Bradford, C.)||Yates, V F.|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh. E.)||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Wells, W. T (Walsall)||Younger, Hon Kenneth|
|Thurtle, E||West, D. G||Zilliacus, K.|
|Tiffany, S||Weslwood, Rt. Hon J.|
|Titterington, M F||White, C F (Derbyshire. W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Tolley, L.||Whiteley. Rt. Hon W||Mr. Pearson and Mr. Hannan.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Howard, Hon. A.||Noble, Comdr. A. M P|
|Anderson, Rt. Hon Sir J (Scot, Univ.)||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Nutting, Anthony|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon R||Hurd, A.||Orr-Ewing, I L|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Hutchison, Col J. R. (Glasgow, C.)||Osborne, C|
|Beechman, N A||Jeffreys, General Sir G||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Birch, Nigel||Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr Hon L W||Peto, Brig C H. M|
|Boles, Lt -Col D C (Wells)||Keeling, E H||Poole, O B. S (Oswestry)|
|Bossom, A C||Kerr, Sir J Graham||Prescott, Stanley|
|Bower, N.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H||Prior-Palmer, Brig O|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A||Lambert, Hon G||Ramsay, Maj. S|
|Braittwaite, Lt -Comdr. J [...]||Law, Rt. Hon R K||Rayner, Brig. R|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col W||Legge-Bourke. Maj. E A. H||Renton, D|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T||Le[...]ox-Boyd, A. T.||Robinson, Wing-Comdr Roland|
|Bullock, Capt. M||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Ropner, Col. L|
|Butcher, H W||Linstead, H. N||Ross, Sir R D (Londonderry)|
|Channon, H||Low, Brig A. R. W.||Smithers, Sir W|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt -Col. G||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Stanley. Rt. Hon O|
|Conant, Maj R J E||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Stewart, J Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Cooper-Key, E M.||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.||Stoddart-Scott, Col M|
|Crookshank, Capt Rt. Hon H F C||Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)||Strauss, H G (English Universities)|
|Crowder, Capt. John E||Mackeson, Brig. H R||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)|
|Cuthbert, W N||McKie, J. H (Galloway)||Sutcliffe, H|
|Drewe, C.||MacLeod, J||Taylor, C S. (Eastbourne)|
|Eccles, D M.||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E A (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Eden, Rt. Hon A.||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Thornoycroft, G. E. P (Monmouth)|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon Wal[...]||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Thorp, Lt.-Col R A. F.|
|Erroll, F.J||Marples, A E||Touche, G C|
|Fletcher, W (Bury)||Marsden Capt. A||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Fraser, Maj H C P.(Stone)||Marshall., D (Bodmin)||Webbe, Sir H (Abbey)|
|Galbraith, Cmdr T. D||Marshall, S H (Sutton)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J|
|Glyn, Sir R||Mellor, Sir J.||White, J B (Canterbury)|
|Gomme-Duncan. Col A G||Molson, A H E||Williams, C (Torquay)|
|Gridley, Sir A.||Moore, Lt.-Col Sir T.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Grimston. R V||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Hannon Sir P (Mos[...]y)||Morrison, Mai J G (Salisbury)||York, C|
|Hare, Hon J H. (Woodbridge)||Morrison, Rt Hon W S (Cirencester)||Young. Sir A S L (Partick)|
|Harvey Air-Comdre A V.||Mott-Radclyffe. Maj C. E|
|Haughton S G||Neven-Spence. Sir B||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Nicholson, G||Commander Agnew and|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Nield. B (Chester)||Mr. Studholme.|
§ Mr. Speaker
The next Amendment I propose to call is that in page 1, line 12, in the name of the Minister of Food. I think it would be convenient to the House if, in the discussion which follows, the Amendment in the name of the Secretary of State for Scotland—in page 1, line 15, at the end, to insert:Provided that this subsection shall not authorise the grant of a certificate under the licensing (Scotland) Acts. 1903 to 1934, for the sale of exciseable liquor in any such restaurant in Scotland":—was also discussed, and likewise the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Caernarvonshire (Mr. G. Roberts) in page 1, line 15, at the end to insert: 816Provided that this subsection shall not authorise the sale or supply of exciseable liquor in any such restaurant in Wales and Monmouth";—and the Amendment of the Minister of Food, in page 1, line 24, after "thereto," to insert'including, in England and Wales, the enactments relating to the sale of intoxicating liquor.I suggest that all tour Amendments be covered in one discussion, and then afterwards, if necessary, I will call the Amendments relating to Scotland and Wales for a Division without a further discussion
§ Mr. Strachey
I beg to move, in page I, line 12, to leave out from "refreshments," to "and," in line 13.
The effect of what you have said, Mr. Speaker, is that we are to discuss a series of Amendments which, if those in my name and the name of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland are carried, and the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Caernarvon-shire (Mr. G. Roberts) is lost, will mean that we shall have re-inserted in the Bill the ability of civic restaurants in England and Wales to apply, if they so wish, to licensing authorities for one or other form of licence for selling intoxicating liquor, and we shall have excluded Scotland from that provision, so that civic restaurants in Scotland will not be able to apply to the licensing authorities. I want to make it quite clear what would be the effect of doing what the Government ask the House to do on these Amendments. The first thing I want to say very strongly to the House is that I trust that, whatever way any hon. or right hon. Gentleman may vote on this series of Amendments, hon. Members will clearly realise that we are not deciding one way or the other here this afternoon whether civic restaurants should sell intoxicating liquors or not. That is not the issue before the House. What we have to decide here is whether that decision shall, in fact, be taken centrally in Whitehall, or whether over England and Wales—I will deal with Scotland in a moment—that decision shall be taken locally by the local authorities concerned. I do not pretend that I have not an opinion on the merits of this case.
§ Mr. Strachey
I will come to Scotland in a moment. I was saying that I do not pretend to have no view on the merits of the case. I have a view. I happen to think that, if I were a member of a local authority in England and Wales, I should take the view, in certain suitable cases, that, in a certain limited number of civic restaurantss—I do not think the majority by any means—it would be a good thing that they should apply, and if the magistrates thought fit, should receive, a licence to sell liquor. I should be perfectly prepared to argue the case, not on that issue, but on the issue of who are the right and proper people to make up their minds 818 about these things. I put it strongly to hon. Members, especially to those on my own side of the House, that we are not the proper body to stereotype a rule, and that it is much better to limit even application in these matters to the local auhorities in England and Wales. These are matters, very similar to the Sunday opening of cinemas, on which there are very strong conscientious feelings on both sides, and as local conditions all over the country differ greatly, these decisions are much better left to the local people, rather than imposed centrally from this House.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Wing-Commander Roland Robinson (Blackpool, South)
If the Minister holds the view that the House of Commons is not the place to decide this, why does he exclude Scotland?
§ Mr. Strachey
Apparently, the hon. and gallant Gentleman pays no attention to his colleagues, who asked me that question a moment ago. It would make our Debate a little better if he would listen. I think that on merit, the local authorities should have the right to make these applications, and I should like to see the Scottish local authorities have the same right. I think that there are no grounds on merit, why the Scottish local authorities should not have the same rights as the English and Welsh local authorities. Here, again, I think that it should be left to the local authorities. There are, however, very real difficulties, which we discussed exhaustively upstairs. Hon. Members who represent Scottish constituencies convinced me that these difficulties were considerable. In Scotland, the licensing authority and the local authority are, for this purpose, the same body, and one cannot, therefore, get a double check, as one can in England and Wales, where not only the local authority has to make up its mind if it wishes to have a licence or not, hut another separate and independent authority, the licensing authority, has to consider the application. In Scotland, the local authority would be the applicant and the judge in the same court. We were convinced, although reluctantly, that that difficulty made it impossible to apply this Clause to Scotland, and, therefore, we have put down an Amendment, after very careful discussion, which excludes Scotland from the right of application. This is an issue which we think is better left to the local option of the authorities con- 819 cerned. Some of my hon. Friends do not like the words "local option." The local authority is the elected authority, and once a year it comes before the people who decide in a democratic manner, whether they are going to use this, or any other powers, given to the local authority.
I have spoken at some length on the merits of the case upstairs, and, therefore, I do not propose to say much more today. There are hon. Members with very strong conscientious principles on these matters, and we respect their principles. I ask them to respect our principles—[An HON. MEMBER: "What are they?"]—the principles of the liberty of the subject, which one might have thought would have appealed to hon. Members opposite. Right hon. and hon. Members opposite make a tremendous fuss about the principle of the liberty of the subject but when the rights of the brewers conflict with the right of the liberty of the subject, they do not hesitate. I would ask any of my hon. Friends who are hesitant on this matter to realise what the motive will be of hon. Members opposite who vote against this Amendment. Their motive will be, unquestionably, to restrict in every possible way, the operation of municipal trading, and especially to do so when it conflicts with the interests of the brewing industry.
§ Mr. Osborne (Louth)
is the right hon. Gentleman suggesting that the opposition to this proposal, led by his own back benchers, is inspired by the brewers, rather than the temperance societies?
§ Mr. Strachey
No, I was perfectly clear. I was reminding my hon. Friend of the motives of the Members with whom he will find himself in the Lobby.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr Burghs)
Is the Minister in Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, in casting these unworthy reflections, and in imputing these unworthy motives to hon. Members on this side of the House, since he has no justification for doing so?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hubert Beaumont)
It has more than once been laid down that to impute motives to a party is not out of Order, but to impute motives to an individual is not in Order.
§ Mr. Derek Walker-Smith (Hertford)
Is it not a fact, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that 820 the implication of motive can only apply to those Members on this side of the House who have been on the Standing Committee—which I have not—and, therefore, have had a chance of expressing their views? Is that not an imputation of motives to individuals, and, therefore. out of Order?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
It is not my duty fortunately to determine what is clear and what is not clear.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Is it suggested from the other side of the House that representing the brewers is an unworthy motive?
§ Sir Harold Webbe (Westminster, Abbey)
I voted against this proposal in Standing Committee. I ask for your protection, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, from the imputation made by the Minister that I was prejudiced. I have to state that I am neither a teetotaller nor have I any interest, direct or indirect, in any brewery or in any alcoholic liquor concern.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
I can assure the hon. Member that when he needs my protection, it will be afforded to him.
§ Mr. Strachey
Far from withdrawing, will repeat what I stated, which covers the case made by hon. Members opposite. I was most careful to say that hon. Members opposite disliked and tried to restrict municipal trading in every respect, not only when it conflicts with the interests of the brewing industry, but in every other respect and particularly in this respect where it conflicts with interests which are very near their hearts. I repeat that that is the motive which hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite have in mind.
§ Mr. Sidney Marshall (Sutton and Cheam)
Is it not unworthy of the Minister to say very definitely that Members on this side of the House have the interests of the brewers solely at heart? Surely it is not true and ought to be withdrawn.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
That is not a point of Order. 'The Chair is not responsible for the speeches which are made.
§ Mr. Strachey
I should like to make it clear that I never said that hon. Members and right hon. Members opposite had the interests of the brewers solely at heart. They have many interests which they guard closely as well as those of the Brewers [Interruption] Hon. Members opposite are extremely free at casting every kind of aspersion on the Government, but if there is the slightest answer to them, they regard it as an outrage. They show themselves utterly unable to take what they are so fond of giving—hard hitting.
May I now say one or two words about the merits of this proposal? [Laughter.] I would have gone into those merits long ago if it had not been for about half a dozen Members opposite. The merits of this proposition are than in certain civic restaurants throughout this country there will be local authorities carrying on what, to all of us, is an extremely valuable service, and we think that they should have the power to serve alcoholic liquors with those meals if they so desire.
§ Vice-Admiral Taylor (Paddington. South)
Would the right hon. Gentleman address his remarks in this direction as we have not heard what he said?
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson (Southport)
Will the right hon. Gentleman repeat what he said? We, on this side of the House, are as much concerned in what he says as are his own supporters, and if he continues to address his remarks to those behind him we simply cannot hear him.
§ Mr. Strachey
If I address my remarks exclusively to hon. Members opposite, those behind me will not hear what I have to say, and I must be allowed occasionally to address my remarks to those on this side of the House.
§ Mr. Strachey
Through the Chair in both cases, of course The local authorities will exercise these powers, it the bench of magistrates agrees that they can do so, to serve alcoholic liquor with meals that are served in civic restaurants.
§ Mr. Strachey
That, of course, depends On the kind of licence for which they apply; and that, again, is something with 822 which they and the bench of magistrates are concerned, and which they are fully competent to settle for themselves On the merits of the case, I put it to the House that if we refuse this right, if we give all other enabling powers—and the Bill is concerned with enabling powers and nothing else—and prohibit local authorities from applying for these powers, we are suggesting that the mass of the people of this country are not sufficiently developed to choose for themselves whether these catering establishments run by public authorities, should or should not serve alcoholic liquors.
§ Vice-Admiral Taylor
To serve alcoholic liquor with a meal is a very different thing from having an off-licence
§ 4 45 p.m.
§ Mr. Strachey
In case the hon. and gallant Gentleman did not catch what I said I repeat that this matter of the type of licence is one for the local authority and the bench of magistrates in the locality to settle for themselves. It will be one type of licence in some cases, and another type of licence in other cases.
I believe the people and the workers of this country have reached the stage of development when they are fully competent to settle this state of affairs for themselves through their own elected authority and if they desire in these civic restaurants to have alcoholic liquors served with their meals, they have reached the stage of development where we can trust them absolutely not to abuse it. After all, the vast majority of us exercise this right, and I for one do not think the people of this country are one whit less self-controlled, less developed and less worthy of having these rights than we are. I think—I might except some hon. Members—if we deny this right and seek to lay down a proposal by which lawfully elected local authority have not the right to apply to the magistrates for a licence if they think it right and proper to do so, we are showing that we do not trust them, and that we do not believe in the development reached by these people. We refuse them the right to supply liquor under the same conditions as those which apply to the sale of liquor for private profit. I certainly believe that these restaurants will be run on the basis of disinterestedness, and under conditions which are not likely at all to promote drunkenness. I suggest to my hon. Friends, who have the cause 823 of temperance very much at heart, that they will do it a grave disservice—and I am as honestly convinced of this as they are of the opposite—if they pick out these particularly disinterested establishments and say that they alone are to be prohibited from applying in those cases where they wish to do so, for a licence for the sale of alcoholic liquor.
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
We have just heard the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of of Food endeavouring to make out a case for asking this House, on the Report stage, to reverse a decision reached after a full and long discussion by the Standing Committee upstairs. Not only is the House being asked to reverse this decision, but the methods that have been adopted by the Government and by the Labour Party generally for buttressing up their intention savour in our minds of the greatest political dishonesty. [Laughter.] I make no bones about it—the greatest political dishonesty. Here we have a matter which is the subject of very deep and very sincere feelings on the part of a considerable proportion of the population. The right hon. Gentleman twitted us on this side of the House with being activated by a desire to promote the interests of the brewers. If hon. Members who were not on the Standing Committee will take the trouble to read through the Report of its proceedings they will see that— I am sure my namesake, the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) will bear me out—the case made by myself and by my hon. Friends never mentioned the brewers' interests.
§ Mr. Hudson
On the contrary, we made our case on the ground that here was a matter which excited great moral indignation in a very large number of people, and, be it noted, we were supported in the Division by a certain number of hon. Members opposite. British restaurants have hitherto got along perfectly well without selling drink, and there is no inherent reason why they should not continue, in so far as they are required, to get along and make money in future without selling drink. To say, as the right hon. Gentleman said this afternoon, 824 that this is a matter in which we ought to trust the local authorities and not lay down any decision here, is really burking the issue. It is not a question of saying that we trust the local authorities; it is a question of saying to the local authorities, "Here is a brand new departure in which the Government and the House of Commons deliberately go out of their way to say that they believe that drink ought to be served in these British restaurants." [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I say that it is.
Not only do the Government say that drink should be served in British restaurants in England and Wales but—and this is where the whole thing is so grossly dishonest—they say that drink ought not to be served in Scotland. They cannot have it both ways. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken about the diversity of conditions between different parts of the country, and he said that conditions were so different that local authorities, not the central. Government or Parliament, should decide. Why does he suddenly set up this principle when we are dealing with civic restaurants? Why do he and his colleagues not apply it to the case of electricity, tramways or buses? Conditions are just as different. When it suits them, they say, "No, the central authority must decide" Then, when it suits them in a different way, they say, "Leave it to the local authorities."
The Minister will no doubt take some credit to himself that at a time when the Government are taking away powers on all sides—electricity, buses, transport, police and so forth—he comes along and says, "Well boys, too bad. But look, we are giving you something in return. We are allowing you to apply for a licence for a civic restaurant." The right hon. Gentleman repeated today what he said during his Second Reading speech and what he also said upstairs on more than one occasion. He was describing his own views about this question and said that he saw no reason why liquor should not be served with a meal. But that is not what we are discussing. There was an Amendment upstairs to make it solely applicable to liquor served with meals, but I pass no comment about that. Today we are not being asked to do that; we are being asked to enable local authorities to set up in a civic restaurant what is vulgarly known as a "pub," with an off-licence and an on-licence to permit the 825 drinking of liquor with or without meals. That is what it comes to, let hon. Members make no mistake about it.
During the proceedings upstairs we were in receipt—as I am sure were hon. Members on all sides of the House—of representations from our constituencies and from bodies all over the country urging that this was a step that would offend the consciences of vast numbers of people. We continue to receive these representations and I still believe that it will offend a large number of people and that it will benefit only a tiny minority, if anyone at all. I still believe that it is not worth while doing this, and what is more, I believe that the particular method of buying off the Scottish people by limiting the provision to England and Wales is completely dishonest. For these reasons we shall vote against the Amendment.
§ Sir Robert Young (Newton)
I wish to assure the Minister of Food that in relation to drink I respect his point of view as well as my own, and I trust that this applies to all hon. Members of this House. In my opinion, when this Bill was introduced it was a very good Bill with a big, bad blemish. That blemish was removed in Committee. I have listened to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, and I assure him that it will be a great disappointment to, and cause much disturbance of mind among, a great many enthusiastic supporters of this party throughout the country. I put it no stronger than that. It is probable that my approach to the way in which Parliament should handle the control and sale of intoxicating liquor would differ from that of some of my temperance friends, yet I say without any qualification that if I had been a member of the Standing Committee I should have voted against the provision to grant licences to civic restaurants to sell strong drink—even with food. I therefore regret the Government's decision to reintroduce the provision.
I am aware that the deletion of the power to sell strong drink in civic restaurants was the result of an Amendment moved by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Pollok (Commander Galbraith), and I do not think I do him or his hon. Friends any injustice by agreeing with the Minister that the motives underlying the proposal were very different in many ways from those enter- 826 tained on this side of the House. So far as I understand the point of view of hon. and right hon. Members opposite, I believe they are opposed to municipalisation and to the curtailment of private interests. We are in favour of municipalisation because we believe that it can give a better, a fairer and more economical service to the public. On one angle of this proposal my right hon. Friend has a good case against his Conservative opponents but from the other angle—it is one which I think the Minister should sponsor—I do not think he has a good case against the motives and the arguments of my hon. Friends in the Committee. Those motives and arguments are consonant with the traditions of this party in the past in relation to the drink trade.
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)
Has not this party always been in favour of the municipalisation or nationalisation of the drink trade?
§ Sir R. Young
Resolutions against the liquor traffic have been passed at past conferences. I congratulate my Scottish Friends upon securing the Government's acceptance of their point of view. That is a great improvement of the Bill. What about the other parts of these islands? The extension—that is the point—of drinking facilities is a retrograde step. The facilities are extensive enough already. In many places publichouses are cheek by jowl; they are always very prominent, and they often monopolise the best sites on street corners. In relation to publichouses, whatever restrictions on the sale of strong drink have been made by Act of Parliament, they have been done in the interests not of the employees, although they have doubtless benefited, but with the object of removing moral and social danger from the adolescent youth of this country.
I want to know why we should increase those dangers now, and encourage the temptation to consume strong drink. There is no more dangerous place in which to undermine the conscientious scruples of a young person than round the festive table, where unwise friends persist in pressing young folk to partake in what they do not want and something they do not need. Let us have a much larger 827 number of attractive and comfortable eating places, tree from all appearances of evil example. My right hon. Friend has shown himself an able administrator and a wise politician, judging from his administration of his Department. He has displayed far-seeing statesmanship. He has imposed unpopular restrictions and faced personal unpopularity, in spite of adverse criticism and clamour, when he thought the needs of the country caused them to be necessary. I want to know why he is blotting his copy-book now.
The drink traffic is a drug which masquerades under the false guise of a necessary food. More than 1,000 doctors signed a manifesto a few years back saying that alcoholic drink was dangerous for young people. I think it should be transferred to the care of the medical profession, whose control and prescription of it would probably do more good for vital purposes than all its other drugs combined. They, was no demand from the public and none from the restaurants for the proposes increased extension of drinking facilities. There is nothing about it in "Let us Face the Future."
§ Sir R. Young
There was no suggestion that the higher standard of life meant more opportunity to indulge in drink or that there should be opportunities for civic restaurants to retail what the wise man once described as "a mockery." We are not asking the right hon. Gentleman further to restrict the sale of strong drink. We ask him to leave conditions as they are, and not to include in the Bill any facilities for further extension. Some hon. Members say that this is an indirect approach by the Government to local option. If it is, then it is a bastard approach to local veto for the principle of local veto is one of direct popular decision. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants more money from the drink trade, I say "Good luck to him," but let him get it by increasing the export price of its production instead of stimulating the the tendencies to greater consumption by the proposed facilities in civic restaurants.
Perhaps it has not occurred to the right hon. Gentleman that what he is doing now is the direct negation of what other Ministers are beseeching him and the people of this country to do at the present 828 time. All over the country, in the Press and on the hoardings, are slogans and advice from the President of the Board of Trade, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Transport, "Produce more," "Save more," "Spend less," and, above all, "Keep Death off the Roads." Does the right hon. Gentleman think that by increasing drinking facilities he will lessen unwise spending and increase people's savings? Does he think he will—this is very important—reduce time lost in production? If he does, I can assure him that he is greatly in error. Does the right hon. Gentleman think he is helping to keep death off the roads by increasing drinking facilities? Has he read paragraph 3 of the Highway Code? If so, he will probably say with me, "How excellent and how wise are the advice and warnings contained in it."
I do not motor, but on occasions I have been with a friend, a very excellent driver before lunch, but afterwards not so good. On one occasion he nearly had a collision. My friend remonstrated with the other fellow for his carelessness, but I, sitting beside him, was fully conscious that the fault lay with him. There is too much of that, and the medical profession have warned us against it. I conclude my protest by saying this. I trust that it will offend nobody on this side of the House. I trust this is the first and the last aberration from the intent and spirit of the early pioneers of this Labour Party. Keir Hardie, Arthur Henderson, Shackle-ton, Will Crooks, and many others in all their work and propaganda for the industrial and economic improvement of the people were animated by an intense urge for their moral uplift. This Bill with the re-introduction of this provision is not in that direction It will become again a good Bill in many respects but with a big, bad blemish. Against that blemish I shall show my conscientious convictions in the Division Lobby.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Hopkin Morris
The hon. Member for Newton (Sir R. Young) has delivered a powerful plea based on lifelong service to his cause He was right when he said that a large number of the people who voted for his party at the last Election are very much concerned about this provision. Whatever may be in the Bill at large, the people who have the welfare of this country at heart and are striving 829 to build up its good name, its industry and character are concerned about this provision. That can be seen from one's postbag, and from the churches and the chapels, and, after all, the country owes those people much. They have built up the character of the country in a way that has been done by no other institution. But the abstainers are not the only people concerned. The police court missionaries of the country are very much concerned. The growth of crime, and of juvenile crime, has become a problem, and the people engaged in dealing first hand with it, are really concerned about this provision being inserted in the Bill. Can the Minister justify himself, in view of the fact that when this provision was defeated in Committee, a sigh of relief went up in the country from all these bodies—[Laughter.] It is easy for the hon. Member to laugh but he will know that in his own constituency it was welcomed with a sigh of relief. There is despair in many places today because this provision is being reintroduced although I do not despair of the Minister voting against his own Amendment, on the argument he put up this afternoon. He has excluded Scotland from this provision. Why should Scotland be excluded—
§ Mr. Hopkin Morris
Very good, but Scotland is not the only one to want it. I will tell the House another country that wants to be excluded from the Bill, and that is Wales—
Mr. Beeehman (St. Ives)
§ Mr. Hopkin Morris
I am not talking about Cornwall at the moment. If the right hon. Gentleman was a Member for a Welsh instead of a Scottish constituency, Wales would be excluded. Why should Wales not be excluded? The first Act of Parliament which made special provision for and gave special recognition to the national character of Wales was the Licensing Act of 1881, which provided for Sunday closing in Wales according to the national opinion. I understand that an Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Caernarvonshire (Mr. G. Roberts) is being considered with this one. I can, therefore, discuss that Amendment together with this proposal, 830 but I hope that they will be voted on separately. Wales is entitled, as much as Scotland, to be excluded. It has expressed its point of view clearly time after time, and as definitely as Scotland has done. It has special legislation dealing with the subject, as Scotland has—
§ Mr. John Paton (Norwich)
Is it not a fact that there is a difficult and peculiar circumstance in Scotland, in that the licensing magistrates are themselves members of and appointed by the body which would be the applicant for the licence?
§ Mr. Hopkin Morris
I hope that Scottish Members will vote for the Welsh Amendment. I do not see how any Scottish Member can consistently vote for this Amendment and also for the inclusion of Wales.
§ Mr. Strachey
Would the hon. and learned Member permit me to interrupt? He made no reply to the point which is, of course, the material point here, that the licensing difficulty, which we find no way adequately to overcome in the case of Scotland, does not apply to Wales. He really should meet that.
§ Mr. Hopkin Morris
It is not necessary to have a law to determine these issues. First, there is the national entity in Scotland and there is the national entity in Wales. That is the real point of the comparison. The law should be made, and it can easily be made, to meet that situation. It is the function of the law to serve great ends, not of great ends to serve the law. The right hon. Gentleman made a great point of local option, but if he has a great belief in local option, why exempt Scotland?
§ Mr. Strachey
I have just given the hon. and learned Member the reason but apparently he did not pay the slightest attention. There is this great difficulty in Scotland, that there are no separate licensing authorities from the local authorities.
§ Mr. Hopkin Morris
Even if that be so, that is not the real answer to the Welsh position. The Welsh position is one that on its own merit, on the national case, it should be excluded, but I am not stopping there by any means. This is a change, not in form but in effect, in the licensing law of this country, and that in a Bill which has nothing whatever to 831 do with licensing. A totally new principle is introduced here. There is no local option to be exercised by the local authority. The local authority, making its application to the justices, is in a totally different position from any private individual making application. The bench of magistrates and the local authority very often are composed of the same people and in any case the influence of the local authority upon the bench of magistrates is overwhelming. How can it be said that this is any species of local option? This is flouting the best interests and the wellbeing of the country, and introducing drinking by a method of civic responsibility. Why should a community be responsible for what, in the view of responsible opinion, can only be a deterioration in the public administration and in the public morality of this country? Why do it in a Bill of this kind? I hope the Minister's Amendment will be defeated.
Mr. MontGgue (Islington, West)
I welcome the determination of the Government to reintroduce into this Bill the original Clause, and I support this Amendment. However, I do not think it is correct for the Minister to base so much of his case upon the plea of local option I agree with the two previous speakers that this is not a question of local option. If it were, I should oppose it, as I would oppose prohibition, for reasons which will become clear in what I have to say, although I do not intend to launch out into an anti-teetotal lecture now It is not a question of local option; it is no more local option than is the right of any private firm, brewer or otherwise, to apply for a licence. It is precisely the same thing, and it gives to local authorities running civic restaurants, that right on behalf of the community as a whole.
There seem to be a lot of bees buzzing about in bonnets this afternoon. We have heard about "big bad blemishes," and in the corridors the two words I have heard which seem to express the heartfelt views of some hon. Members are "brewer" and "booze" The word "brewer" does not give me a fit, nor does the word "booze" However, I rather regret the use of question-begging phrases of that kind. Let us approach the question sensibly and not use plat- 832 form phrases that are just an appeal to the lowest intellect of the audience discussing these questions. It is not a question of brewers or booze. I have no love for brewers or for booze, if by "booze," is meant the excessive enjoyment or use of alcoholic liquor. Let us do without phrases of that character, and get down to the exact point we are discussing.
I said that I would have objected to local option as I would object to prohibition, because I do not believe that it is possible, directly, to make people moral by Act of Parliament. I do not say that it cannot be done indirectly. I certainly believe that good laws make for good morals, but I do not believe that interference on the part even of majorities with the private habits of people is likely to lead to morality and to the lack of excessive drinking. All experience is to the contrary. Another question-begging phrase that is used is that this increases the facilities for drinking. Really it does nothing of the kind. There are plenty of facilities for drinking and those who want to drink use those facilities and will go on doing so.
§ Mr. Montague
I intend to refer to the question of the children and adolescents in a few moments. If I thought for one moment that allowing local authorities to apply for licences for civic restaurants would lead to greater excess and more drinking among adolescents and young people, I would not vote for the Amendment. I do not champion drunkenness or excessive drinking. I do not champion abuse of any kind, but I believe that allowing drink to be sold at properly conducted civic restaurants, under public control and public influence, will lead to less drinking and less drunkenness. Here let me say that I am appalled by the number of adolescents to be seen in pubs I do not know where they get the money to spend on spirituous liquors on a single round—and I; seems to go on all night—what represents 4s. or 6s. change out of a pound note. I cannot do it, and I do not know where the money comes from for that kind of thing. It will go on and it is altogether apart from this Bill.
A remarkable statement, which I have heard from platform after platform, made 833 by Sir John Boyd Orr, is that half the people of this country are seriously underfed. We have passed Measures to deal with family allowances in order that children of half-starved people should be fed by public money. But, as soon as the opportunity of decent wages is given, as it always is given in time of war, these young people seem to think that all they have to do is to throw their money into the lap of every racketeer who comes along. I simply cannot understand it, but that is the kind of thing that goes on. Take the question of the influence on adolescents, or even children, of the presence of a glass of beer upon the table. Children are not taken into bars, whether they are civic restaurant bars, or any others. There is this idea that if someone drinks a glass of beer, or wine, which someone else does not want, there is an element of demoralisation. If my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) will allow me —
§ Mr. Montague
I am going to give the hon. Member a point. I was dining in a restaurant attached to this House with my hon. Friend. I had a glass of that effervescent stuff of which we are told that "Guinness is good for you." We conversed quite intelligently on political matters. I have met the hon. Member in this House every day since, and, believe me, I have not noticed the slightest moral depreciation of the hon. Member because of the presence of the glass of Guinness, which was in front of him on that table. Is it not simply nonsense to suggest that because I may have a glass of sherry in my home, or a glass of beer on my table, that I am demoralising my children? I would like the hon. Member to come and see my children, and to say whether they are demoralised or not. It is simply not true. Demoralisation does not take place.
Hon. Members who are very concerned about the morals of the working class, use the drinking facilities of this House, which go on for 24 hours a day. I do not blame them for doing so. But the civic restaurants are used by working people. This is what I object to —
§ Air-Commodore Harvey (Macclesfield)
On a point of Order. Is it in Order to impute that Members on this side of the 834 House use the drinking facilities for 24 hours a day?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
I have already pointed out that to impute motives to a party is not out of Order.
§ Mr. Montague
There are dining rooms where drink is sold and, also, downstairs there is a drinking bar open the whole time that the House sits, and to it visitors can be invited. Is it seriously said that there is more, or even as much, inducement to excessive drinking because a glass of wine may be taken in the dining room of the House, than there is encouragement to excessive drinking in the boozing bar downstairs? The argument is that to have refreshment under decent controlled conditions—it is refreshment, not drinking for the sake of drinking—is more likely to lead to over indulgence than the kind of thing one sees in every pub in every town and village.
The hon. and learned Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Hopkin Morris) spoke about Wales, and references have been made to Scotland. I do not know Scotland, but I know Wales a little. I was once a member of a Labour club which sold intoxicants. I oppose Labour clubs of that kind, because that is not the purpose of the Labour movement; it has done indirect injury to the Labour movement. As a member of the club, I held what is called an affiliated card and I went lecturing in South Wales, in Cardiff and other places. I know 10 places in Cardiff where, with all the Sunday closing which has been talked of, one can get all the drink one wants any hour of the day, if one holds such a card. What humbug it is to talk about the Nonconformists stopping drinking by Sunday closing. [An HON. MEMBER: "Do not forget the Tory clubs."] It is because of the idea of class behind this Amendment that I object to it. It is the idea that Tories can have it, but not the working man. I do not believe that by interfering with the personal habits of people, rather than by moral encouragement, moral argument, and moral example, we can overcome evils of the character which have been described. The evil exists, but I believe in freedom. Because I believe in freedom—[HON MEMBERS: "Oh."] Oh. yes, I do, and the freedom of the people 835 to run their own businesses if they want to, whatever type of business it is, whether run by brewers or anyone else. Because I believe in the freedom of the individual, I am a Socialist. I always have believed that Socialism, properly understood, means the finest and highest individuality and freedom, Because I believe that, I welcome the Amendment with all my heart.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
if I were to try to dissect the speech of the hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague) I could show the House a great many illogical statements in it. I feel I would be rather out of Order if I followed on a good many of them, especially his dissertation on freedom.
§ Mr. Montague
Is the hon. and gallant Member suggesting that I was out of Order? Perhaps he will put it a little simpler?
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
If the hon. Member prefers it, I will not put it that way, I will say that if I were to follow him in his general views about freedom, it would, in my personal opinion, be rather an imposition to detain the House. He said that he was appalled at the way in which the people of this country were spending money on drink. It seems quite illogical that his one solution should be to give to the Ministry of Food, and to local authorities, power to take still further facilities for the sale of drink. I much prefer the simple and sincere view of the hon. Member for Newton (Sir R. Young). We all know his views, and respect him for them. We are happy that people of such divergent views as the hon. Member for Newton, the hon. and learned Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Hopkin Morris) and hon. Members on these benches will have the opportunity of walking through the Lobby and voting for a cause in which we believe.
There is one point of agreement between the Minister and hon. Members on this side of the House. We fully understand that the Minister wishes to 'reverse what was a clear-cut decision upstairs. I am glad he made no excuses about it. It was not in any sense a snap Division. It was after a full discussion, and there was a larger vote in that Division than on any other in the Committee. It was a straightforward Division, which undoubtedly had 836 the support of the majority of the whole Committee. The Minister now comes back to reverse the decision. As one interested in the Bill, I must say we are rather glad to see him taking an interest in it again. After he was defeated, he did not come back to the Committee. Some of us thought he had lost heart. But he was waiting for an opportunity, for the one thing which really mattered to him was that he should get the drinking facilities on which he placed so much emphasis for the success of civic restaurants.
I do not like the way in which these Amendments are being moved, and the fact that Scotland should be excluded. I do not accept the reasons which the Minister gave. In my opinion the way he is reintroducing this proposal is a piece of bare-faced shameful political jobbery. There is only one reason why Scotland is being excluded from the Amendment. The Minister is trying to buy a few votes or a few abstentions from the Scottish Members by throwing a bun to them in order to keep them happy. I have no doubt that he has sought to make his job easier by arranging with the Leader of the House that this Bill should be taken on Monday, so that many Scottish Members should have a reason for not being here in time to take part in this Debate.
If the Secretary of State for Scotland has put pressure on the Minister in this matter, he has done well by the Scottish people, but what about Wales? Wales has no Secretary of State, and, therefore, is not accorded the same privilege as is accorded to Scotland. I pride myself on being British rather than on being English. We are all one people, and surely what is good enough for England is good enough for Scotland, and what is good enough fox Scotland is good enough for Wales. Why should there be a distinction between the countries that go to make up the whole of Great Britain?
I thought that the Minister's reason, when he talked about the difficulties of licensing benches in Scotland, was one of the most fatuous things I have heard from him for a long time. He knows quite 837 well that that is not the reason for this decision. While he was speaking I went to some pains to read over what he said on the subject in Standing Committee. At no stage did he give any indication of realising that the position of the licensing bench in Scotland would be any bar to the granting of these facilities. Indeed, when the Minister's original plans were worked out, he was prepared for this very eventuality. On the Order Paper of the Standing Committee was an Amendment, which was down in the name of the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland. That Amendment read as follows:A member of a licensing court or a court of appeal in Scotland shall not be disqualified for acting in any proceedings before such court on an application under the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, 1903 to 1934, for s certificate for premises used or intended to be used as a restaurant in pursuance of this Act, by reason of the fact that such member Is also a member of the civic restaurant authority to whom the premises belong or are let.In face of that Government Amendment, how can the House possibly believe the sincerity of the reasons put forward by the Minister for leaving out Scotland?
§ Mr. Strachey
It is just because we were convinced by the arguments of hon. Friends and other Scottish interests that the Amendment was not satisfactory. We saw the problem, and that Amendment was, of course, an attempt to meet it. We were convinced that it was not a successful attempt to meet it. Had it been argued in Committee, that would have emerged, but it was not argued because of the carrying of the previous Amendment.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd (Mid-Bedford)
May I ask the Minister this question? Owing to the fact that an Amendment was carried, and drink was excluded—
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
As the Amendment was never discussed because it went by the board, once the Committee decided to delete the whole of the reference to licensing facilities, it is rather foolish for the Minister to say that the reasons that were put forward on this matter so convinced him that he has changed his mind, because the Amendment was never even discussed.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
I propose to leave the point. It seems clear to me that it is a matter of political jobbery, and not a matter of conscience, as perhaps the Minister would have led the House to believe. I am quite prepared to abide by the judgment of the House on that matter. I feel that conditions should be the same over the whole country. When the Minister says, with a show of reasonableness, that it is for the other people to decide, it is surely one of the worst forms of "passing the buck." If it is for other people to decide in England it should be for other people to decide in Scotland as well.
I do not approach this problem as a teetotaler. I am not one, and I have no prejudice on the drink question. I thoroughly dislike drunkenness, and I think it is a very bad thing. But this is a matter which affects people all over the country. Those of us who are concerned with it have had hundreds of letters from ordinary decent people, churchgoing people, temperance people, people whom one would have thought would not have been interested. They are against the extension of drinking facilities. Even though the Minister says that other people will have to make the decision, this provision can only lead to an extension of those drinking facilities. The whole of the law of this country in the past has been laid down to keep drinking facilities on the small side. One knows how hard it is for anyone to get a new licence in this country at the present time. The Minister says that we can have them, provided we run them. If these restaurants are licensed it means that extra drinking facilities are being given.
I have received many letters saying that civic restaurants have been used as centres for the Youth Movement. That is quite sensible, but if they are used for that purpose they are not the places to be used as centres for drinking as well. There is another point to he considered. It is desired by the Government that civic restaurants should often be somewhere near a factory area, so that those working in that area can get their food easily and quickly. That is perhaps a 839 good idea, but on the other hand, I am afraid that if we attach a licence to those places it will mean the encouragement of midday drinking facilities. If anyone has a job to do in the afternoon, especially if it involves machinery, probably dangerous machinery, it is better that they should not do their drinking then. The Minister may use the argument that if they do not want it they will not have it, but we have all heardHow oft the sight of means to do ill deeds,Makes ill deeds done!If the drink is there, it will no doubt be taken by a good many people. That may lead to a slight falling-off in production, and, almost certainly, to an increase in industrial accidents, which we all want to avoid.
The Minister and the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Walkden) have rather similar ideas in regard to drinking facilities. The hon. Member for Doncaster whose views were to me very old fashioned, seemed to regard many of the pleasant places where drinks are served as being low down boozing dens—except in Carlisle.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
When the hon. Member says Blackpool, he is quite 20 years out of date. No doubt, in his view, if his friends controlled them, they would become a happy home from home, where children could play. No doubt the Minister of Food thinks that if, on the outside of a new civic public house, there was a swinging sign, "The Strachey Arms," it would at once become an earthly paradise. I am sure that people do not believe that type of argument. it is the sort of thing which is put forward by everyone who wants a licence for a new public house. It is a common argument whether from a brewer, a publican OT the Minister of Food himself.
I ask the Minister of Food to say something on the question of off-licences. What is the need for having off-licences attached to British restaurants? There are powers in the Bill for the restaurants to have off-licences. The hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary, no doubt, is keenly interested in this. She has said how good it will be for the old folks when they can totter across the road and buy their bun 840 and cup of tea and take it away. She called it "cash and carry" If there are powers in the Bill to sell sausages on a "cash and carry" basis, there are also powers to sell wine, spirits and beer in a similar way. I think that is quite unnecessary. The proposal of the Minister will outrage the feelings of a great many decent people in this country. We shall vote against the Amendment and I appeal to those hon. Members opposite, who stood up for their convictions so well during the Committee stage, to stick to their guns now and to fight right to the end.
§ Mr. Jack Jones (Bolton)
I want to approach this problem in its true perspective. One would think that we were debating a Bill to abolish drink in Britain. I stand before the House as a staunch teetotaller, as was my father before me. Bearing the name which I do, one would have thought that I should have something to say in favour of strong drink. My predecessor certainly would have put up an entirely different form of argument I want to approach this question as a practically minded individual seeking the right to give local authorities the power to do what they think hest for the people they represent. As firm Members may know, I was a steelworker before I came to this House If there is anyone who can drink, and can drink plenty, it is those who sweat and swear and slog at those furnaces
I have seen something of the evils of drink. I have also seen something of the benefits of the steady use of drink when available under proper conditions. I was surprised to hear the hon. and gallant Member for South Blackpool (Wing-Commander Robinson) opposing this provision. I have been in Blackpool, and so has he, when there have been honest working folk literally falling over each other to get a drink in conditions which were appalling. He knows that is true. Apparently he cannot conceive in his mind Stanley Park, for instance, and there see under coloured umbrellas a decent table around which are sitting four or five honest people on holiday enjoying a drink as we would have them enjoy it. That is what this Bill would give the Blackpool authorities the right to arrange. They could put into Stanley Park proper facilities for drinking in good conditions under 841 supervision and also provide food at reasonable prices.
I do not advocate that there should be an extension of the amount available to drink. I advocate that the same amount of drink should be made available under better conditions. I make no apology to hon. Members for my action in giving evidence before the licensing justices in Manchester in an effort to have the hours extended to 10.30 p.m. I did that because I saw men employed on the two to ten shift leaving their jobs in a hurry to get a drink in each hand before closing time, whereas an extension to 10.30 p.m. gave them time to get their drink under decent conditions.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
The hon. Gentleman asks whether I knew about certain facilities in Blackpool. Of course I know. If I understand the hon. Gentleman's argument it is that there are too many people wanting a drink with far too few facilities in which to take it. He says all the places are crowded —
§ Mr. Jones
In order to clarify the mind of the hon. and gallant Member for South Blackpool, I would explain that my point is that the facilities should be extended under proper conditions. We should do away with some of the vile conditions which exist in his constituency. I wish to describe to hon. Members two separate sets of conditions. I am myself a justice of the peace and I have the right to decide along with my colleagues who should and who should not have a licence. British Restaurant "A" is situated about 250 yards from the entrance of the third largest steel works in Britain. Men work there from six o'clock in the morning and they do a real days' work, which is something about which hon. Members opposite know very little. I said real work, and I repeat that it is something about which hon. Gentlemen opposite know very little. Stand up any hon. Member opposite who has done a days' work in a mine or at a steel furnace.
§ Mr. Jones
This British restaurant is 250 yards away from the entrance to the third largest steelworks in Britain. Under this Bill, if a proper local authority wish to exercise their powers, those men will be able to have decent food and a pint of beer if they want it. Nobody has the right to say them nay, because in the works in his room the manager has access to his private cabinet throughout the day. I stand for the right of the individual worker to have a drink with his meal if the local authority give him the opportunity. I now refer to British Restaurant "B" In my constituency this Restaurant is not far removed from some huge cotton mills where are employed many juvenile cotton workers, primarily females. If I were a J.P. in that district and had to decide whether that restaurant should have a licence, and the restaurant was being used primarily by juvenile female labour, I should think twice before granting it, and so would any other justice of the peace.
All we seek to do is to give the local authority the right to grant a licence in the light of existing circumstances. I see no harm in that. I am not here to advocate the abuse of drink. I know some of its evils At the same time, I have seen what some workers believe are benefits. I hope the House will look at this question in its true perspective. What the Minister seeks to do is to give a democratically elected body certain rights. If we do not give them those rights it is a libel upon the intelligence of the people who, it is said, will seek to abuse this privilege. It is also a libel on the intelligence of our young folk to say that merely because they see beer or spirits available they will hasten to drink it. Our young people have the brains and ability to think for themselves. The local authorities are representatives of intelligent people and they have the right to carry out the wishes of the people in this matter. I hope the House will support this Amendment, not with the intention of encouraging people to abuse drink, but with the idea of allowing them to drink in decent conditions where control and discipline can and will be exercised.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. John Henderson (Glasgow, Cathcart)
It appears to be the practice of the various speakers to declare whether or not they are teetotallers. I am a teetotaller, although I know I do not look 843 like one. I have always been a teetotaller. Therefore, I want to protest in the most unmistakable manner at the innuendo of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Food when he said that hon. Members on this side of the House had very much at heart the interest of the brewers. I think that observation was quite uncalled for.
I have tried to find out why this Bill is not merely an extension of what were known as British restaurants. Why should it be necessary to make a change of name in order that a mere extension of British restaurant facilities could be carried out? What has taken place? You have substituted a new name. You have changed the word "British," and introduced the word "civic" instead of "British," and that, because, from beginning to end, this Bill is the most un-British production which has been introduced during my membership of this House. It cuts right across all those things for which the word "British" stands. It attacks the freedom of the individual and the private trader and it lacks the honesty of purpose which is the real essence of the word "British." I think it is singularly suspicious that the word "British" should be dropped and the word "civic" substituted.
I come from the City of Glasgow, and that great industrial city is very much akin to many of the great cities of England and Wales. In our city, we have 85,000 people whose names are on the books of the local authority waiting for a house. They live in places where there is squalor and a great density of population, common to industrial areas, but they learn that great housing schemes will be developed and large numbers of houses erected, and that, in these housing schemes, there will be set up communal centres possessing various facilities, such as concert halls, lecture rooms and places where men and women and the lads and lassies can gather together at the end of their day's work. We believe that such centres would be ideal places for civic restaurants. We are trying to get the people away from the slums and the densely populated areas, away from the tenements and the squalor and into more ideal circumstances. I suggest that these places, where men and their wives and young families could gather together, are not desirable places for a liquor licence.
844 More than one hon. Member has already mentioned the work of the police court missionaries. I was a magistrate for 15 years in the City of Glasgow, and I had practical experience of what took place when the young girls of that city started on cocktails and then got on to something much stronger. I believe, from my personal knowledge gained over a long period of years, that that was a very harmful thing, and I think much harm would be done today by the provision of a liquor licence in these communal centres which may be provided in any part of our country. The Minister mentioned the fact that it was entirely a matter for the discretion of the individual, and said that those who opposed this provision were attacking the liberty of the subject. Why any Minister of this Government should be talking about safeguarding the liberty of the subject is beyond my comprehension, because, if ever the liberty of the subject has been attacked, then, surely, it has been done during the last two year.
I believe that this proposal is wrong and that it would not be for the betterment of the young people. I am particularly interested in that aspect of the question, as I have been practically all my days. We want to restore the happy relationship existing between parents and their children to a much greater degree than it exists at the present time, and I cannot see how people interested in the future of their children could possibly take them to places where they might see certain things which would be to their ultimate disadvantage. I rejoice that Scotland has been kept out of this Bill, though I do not think that will make the slightest difference as far as the Minister in charge of it is concerned. I think that the right hon. Gentleman has dug his political grave, and that, as sure as night follows day, he will occupy it after the next Election.
§ Mr. James Glanville (Consett)
I am glad to have this opportunity of contributing to this Debate. I am not going to refer to any legal points, but propose simply to speak with the voice of the people for whom I have the right to speak, and with whom I congregate every day of my life. It is becoming more and more pathetic to me. day by day, to witness the new-found endeavours of hon. Gentlemen opposite to raise the tone of morality and well being of the people, and to note the great care which they are now 845 showing for me and my kind. Do hon. Members opposite really think that the British working man wants anybody on those Benches to be responsible for his children's upbringing? If there is rottenness and filth in the country, we do not find it among the working classes; we find it among the classes which have sufficient time to spend on these things.
There is one thing I would like to say to my respected Friend the hon. Member for Newton (Sir R. Young), who mentioned strong drink. I want to deny that soft impeachment. The Minister of Food long ago saw to it that there was no such thing. He gave the brewers, who are well represented on the benches opposite, the licence to dilute the beer, and, with a little licence which they took for themselves, they made it so weak that the beer is hardly strong enough to run out of the glass. There is no such thing as strong drink these days.
I come from a constituency where men are men—miners, and iron and steel workers—men who earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brows, which is a far different thing from the activities of some of you. More than that, you are attempting to impose restrictions upon the working man, and, as I believe, you have no intention whatever of imposing those restrictions upon yourselves. We are not interested in the drinking dens and booze dens to which some hon. Gentlemen have objected; what we are asking is that there should be places like these civic restaurants into which a man may take his wife for a meal and a drink, if he so desires. He buys his missus lemonade. If she would rather have a bottle of Guinness, he would buy it for her because he knows that it would probably do her more good. None the less, she has the right to call her own drink, which is more than you wish her to have.
On a point of Order. Is the hon. Member entitled, Major Milner, to refer to you in that way?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)
When the hon. Member refers to you, he is obviously referring to hon. Members opposite, and not to me, but I should be grateful if to avoid misconception the hon. Member would avoid the pronoun "you."
§ Mr. Glanville
In this case, Sir, I will say "you" You know that I am not alluding to you; I am alluding to hon. 846 Members opposite. I am sorry for some of my hon. Friends on these benches. The hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) rose this afternoon and disowned the company in which he found himself. I was proud of him because he did so. I am sorry to see good friends of mine, honest, conscientious men who have a right to their opinions, relying on the arguments of hon. Members opposite, between whom and themselves there is no identity of interest whatever. My hon. Friends on this side of the House are opposing this Measure because they conscientiously believe that to be the right thing to do. Hon. Members opposite are opposing it—[HON. MEMBERS: "Which one?"]—The whole lot. They are opposing it because it threatens another blow at the vested interest of the brewers
§ Lieut.-Colonel Kingsmill (Yeovil)
Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that the more beer the brewers sell the less profit they make out of it?
§ Mr. Glanville
Not on your life. My hon. Friend the noble Lady—[Laughter] —noble in the real sense of the word—and her chief have extended a little licence to the brewers. However, I pass over that. I repeat that I knew I was saying "noble Lady." Hon. Members opposite think that "noble Lady" is an epithet which applies only to them and theirs.
My hon. Friends on this side of the House are honestly interested. We have worked hard all our lives. Are my son, my daughter and my grandson any worse off, morally, because I have taken a pint of beer? All the pints of beer I ever drank were grappled for in a coalmine.' I suggest to some of the handsome young fellows opposite that, in this time of scarcity of fuel, it would be a grand experience for them if they tried to produce some coal. If they did, they would soon be looking for the first civic restaurant. They would cultivate a real thirst, not the sort that they wake up with in the morning.
I would advise right hon. and hon. Members opposite to take my tip. The morals of the working class are as high and as pure as theirs. We think as much of our children as they think of theirs. Nothing but the best is good enough for 847 them. The average working man does not neglect his children and his home for a pint of beer. That is particularly true since we have had a Labour Government which guarantees decent wages and enables a man at the end of the week to buy himself a pint of beer. [Laughter] Fools laugh at their own follies. As some of my Durham miner friends know, we had in Durham an old man who used to say, "You are living a cheat." Hon. Members opposite know that they are "living a cheat." The fact is that the objection of my hon. Friends to this Amendment has no bearing on the objections of hon. Members opposite. I say that the working man and woman should be allowed to have their bottle of Guinness if they wish. They are not compelled to have it. In the same way, the man who wants his cup of tea should be allowed to have it, and good luck to him. If he tips a half of whisky into it on the quiet, he will find himself to be a better man for it in the end.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Kingsmill
Unlike the hon. Member for Consett (Mr. Glanville), I do not intend to refer to the various forms of thirst from which hon. Members opposite may suffer. That is entirely their own business. But there are one or two points in the Bill to which no reference has yet been made. I was very glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Food state that application could be made in the normal way for licences and, therefore, that the British, or civic restaurants, as they are to be known, will have to conform with the modern standards of cleanliness, hygiene, supervision, and so on, to which other licensed premises have to conform. But there is -another point. Not only will they have to conform to the requirements of the planning committee, but the local councils will have to prove before the licensing justices that there is a public need for a licensed civic restaurant.
Who are these local licensing justices of the peace? In many cases they are local councillors; and by being local councillors they are automatically interested in the case. That being so—the learned Solicitor-General will correct me if I am wrong—I think I am right in saying that they are precluded from sitting on that case and adjudicating on it in any way. In other words, the majority of the licensing bench will be found to be 848 ultra vires when trying a case of this type. An interesting situation. But suppose a licensing bench is found which conforms to the necessary rules. There is then a further point which has to be considered. If a licence is granted to a civic restaurant, monopoly value has to be paid, either for an unrestricted licence or for a term licence. Monopoly value is not a question of hundred of pounds, but, in many cases, thousands of pounds.
Where is this money coming from, except out of the ratepayers' pockets? As many of these ratepayers may not agree with the want of a civic restaurant, how, then, can the local council be allowed to spend ratepayers' money for this object? There is also a further duty to be paid, namely, the yearly licence duty. if a civic restaurant does not make a profit, again it has to come out of funds which are found by the rates, again with the great disagreement of, possibly, a large body of ratepayers. I consider it is wrong to give any local council the right to spend rates on this type of undertaking, because it may easily go against a large number of people who have definite conscientious objections of their own.
I was surprised and amazed that the hon. Member for Consett denied that there was any such thing as strong drink today. I agree that British beer is not a strong drink. But for his information I should say that the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Food has undertaken to import into this country some 60,000 cases of Czechslovakian beer, which is 17 degrees higher in gravity than British beer—a string drink indeed when it comes over, I can assure him. I was surprised that the right hon. Gentleman -made so many sarcastic remarks about the brewing trade. I wonder if his colleague the Chancellor of the Exchequer agrees with his remarks in that respect? As the Chancellor gets many hundreds of millions of pounds out of these brewers, I am sure he would quality those remarks.
§ Mr. Kingsmill
I am sure they will not stand for it either. Why the right hon. Gentleman should be sarcastic, in view of the fact that he is in touch with the brewers to help him out of the apparent muddle he has got into over barley and the Czechoslovakian beer, passes my comprehension.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
I do not want to dwell very long on a point already made in the Debate, namely, that it is a very astonishing thing that the Government, who now propose to rely to a much greater extent upon the method of Standing Committees, should have treated the Amendment which is now before us in the way they have done. I do not propose to dwell very long on that, because I see other Members of the Standing Committee present who wish to take part, and who will join in the protest against the fact that after a long and careful study of this matter we should go back on it entirely during the Report stage.
I pass from that matter to the question of Scotland, about which the Minister has made a good many references. He has tried to give us the impression—and I have no doubt he was quite sincere in his attempts—that it is purely a question of law which rules out Scotland. If he does not know any better, I do. I know, for example, that there was not only the Amendment on the Order Paper to which reference has been made—in page 1, line 15, at the end, to insert:Provided that this subsection shall not authorise the grant of a certificate under the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, 1903 to 1934, for the ale of exciseable liquor in any such restaurant in Scotland.—but the further point, which never reached the Order Paper, which could have been considered by his own legal luminaries, namely, that it was possible to have made appeal to some other court, some higher court in Scotland. Some other authority judicial in character could hate been suggested if the Government had desired to do their duty in this matter. They have not done so. The Churches in Scotland, and in Dundee in particular—and most of all in the constituency of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland—have made perfectly clear what they thought about this matter. if I cannot offer my congratulations to the Government, I can congratulate the Churches in Scotland and my hon. Friends in the Scottish group, who, appreciated so well the strong moral objection that there was to this in that country. Also, there is no reason why we should not listen to the objections of Wales. But I am a representative of this poor forgotten country, England.
§ Mr. Hudson
I do on an occasion like this. The proposal that is made with regard to England is the more objectionable because the British restaurants, which were the precursors of the proposed civic restaurants, were becoming—and I think would have continued in greater measure to become—the nucleus of the great community centre movement to which this party in particular—and I think many in the party opposite—give every support. During the war the community centre grew in many towns on the basis of the British restaurants. Some of us were able to appeal for British restaurants to be kept open in the evenings, so that young people might go and meet there, obtain their cups of coffee or tea, and have an opportunity to sit conversing during the evening instead of being turned out into the blackout or the public house, which were the only alternatives. A good deal of work was done, and much encouragement was won for the idea of the community centre growing out of the British restaurant, now the civic restaurant. I wish to insist on this point, that the community centre was being served by this idea.
The Minister has told us a good deal today about the necessity of consulting the people in the localities about a question of this sort, and leaving it to them. He has forgotten that the people in the localities were consulted on this matter. In the last Election the churches—who have not suddenly become alive to this matter, but who were very keen about it at the time of the Election—sent round a questionnaire. I do not know whether every Member of Parliament got it, but I have had reports from 350 constituencies in England to show that they did get it, and that various answers were given. One of the questions was:Will you insist that no sale or supply of intoxioants shall be allowed in publicly pro vided community centres?That was clear enough. It may be said, "Well, they did not include British restaurants." No, because the British restaurant had established its position without the help of drink, and they were so sure there was no need to raise it. There had been publication by the Ministry of Education of a special pamphlet dealing with the suggestion that drink might be 851 provided in the community centres. In order to safeguard the country against that, the question was put specifically to nearly every candidate, as far as I know. I have got a record of the replies. I will not bother hon. Members by telling them how they replied, but I ask them to delve into their memories, or, if their memories are not good enough, to look up the files of papers that one has a way of collecting during a General Election. If they have forgotten, the Churches have no forgotten. The Churches are very worried about this.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Hudson
No, they are not; not by any means, some of them. It is the empty churches that do not take an interest in this matter. It is the churches that are full that are concerned. I got a telephone message last night about a large number of Baptist churches, in which a protest about this matter was made yesterday, and which were very full. I have a record here of the replies of 250 Members, about 28 Conservatives, the majority of the Liberals, and the rest, Members on these benches, who said categorically, "Yes, they would exclude drink from the community centres."
§ Mr. Hudson
Wait until I have done. I shall not give the names of the hon. Members. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not? "] But I propose to deal with the Cabinet. The people who said "Yes," were the Home Secretary, the Secretary of State for War, the Secretary of State for Air, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Education. I have to depend on my memory, so I shall let the matter lie there; but I will produce the list afterwards. There were nine of them, of whom I have got the records.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
The Minister of Food had the good fortune to be in Scotland, where they did not put this question.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
The very worthy assistant of the Minister had to face us, and like the rest she said, "Yes," as I should have expected of her, because she has a good record in this matter. There were only four Labour Members who dared to say "No." One of them was my hon. Friend the Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague) who has come along honestly to attack me.
§ Mr. Montague
The hon. Member is quite beside the mark. Community centres are not civic restaurants.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
Civic restaurants and community centres are the very places where the workers are to assemble, and the community centres are to grow out of the civil restaurants as they now exist. The distinction which hon. Members at the moment seeking to draw is a distinction which will not be made by the churches. They received a definite undertaking. I hope that the Chief Whip will not escape because he was one who said an explicit Yes." I believe that the view of this party, despite all that has been said in praise of drink for the working class, is clear as ever it was—that drink remains the great obstacle to our development as a nation and to our development as a Socialist movement.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
I will leave the hon. Gentleman to work that out for himself. I am dealing with a serious issue. I am dealing with the issue that our country spent on drink this last year £680 million. I am facing the fact that in this country there are now 120,000 or 130,000 centres of one sort or another at which the people's claims for drink can be met. And I am saying that a time in which the Government are facing a great national crisis, and are calling upon the people to work hard, asking even the trades unions to restrict their rules—as the Prime Minister suggested this weekend—is not the time for extensions anywhere of the drinking habits and of the drinking facilities in this country. This proposal, comes right in the midst of a coal crisis, when we have cold grates, and appeals to go carefully. This is not the time to undo a Committee decision. In my judgment, this is the most deplorable act that the Government have committed during the whole of their 853 career. Even now I hope the Minister of Food will reconsider the attitude he is taking If it is possible to run British restaurants in Scotland successfully, and to do with them all the things that he says he hopes to do with them, without the aid of drink, then they can be run in England without the aid of drink. The Minister has given us our case. He is supporting us in England by what he admits with regard to Scotland, and I hope that this will be reconsidered before a final and irrevocable decision is taken.
§ Commander Maitland (Horncastle)
We have listened to the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) with attention, and with the realisation that he was getting at the real root of this matter. We on this side of the House have had challenges flung at us that we are not sincere in our approach to this problem.
§ Commander Maitland
There, I am supported in that view. I want to say that, so far as I am concerned—and, I believe, my hon. Friends—this is a great national question: it is not a question of brewers or anyone else. The people in this country do not want this to be put into the Bill, and that is why we are opposing the Amendment. I know that there are still many hon. Members who want to speak on this matter, so I want to be very brief, I want to make two points in support of the hon. Member for West Ealing. It is quite true that when the right hon. Gentleman was introducing this Amendment he was very careful to point out that, in his opinion, local authorities would not apply for licences on many occasions. He soft-pedalled that side of it. I am 'opposed in general to municipal trading, but I do recognize—and this is, perhaps, where I part from the hon. Member for West Ealing—that in certain circumstances, and in certain places, it may be right to have municipal trading, and it may be right to have a licence. The point I want to make is that these facilities are available now. It is possible for any local authority which wishes to do so—and many have —to get a private Bill through the House and achieve the very result which the Minister of Food is now making available to so many, against the wishes of the people of this country.
854 The second point I want to make is that many of the speeches we listened to in Committee, and many we have listened to this afternoon, have not been directed to this subject at all. They have been directed, possibly quite rightly, to the present licensing laws. It may be that there is a considerable reason to criticise the licensing laws at the moment; that is the direction in which we should try to clean up the various places where drink can be obtained in this country, and not in this Bill. That is why I shall oppose this Amendment. In doing so I believe that I am expressing the views of the people of this country, and also the views of the forefathers of the Labour Party.
§ Mr. Goronwy Roberts (Caernarvonshire)
I view with regret the decision of the Government to reintroduce this licensing provision into an otherwise excellent Bill. In moving the Second Reading of the Bill, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food spoke thus:This Bill has a primary purpose which I might simply describe as the enabling of local authorities, if they so wish, to continue the services of public meals and other similar activities which they are now undertaking under the general title of British Restaurants." —[0FF-icial. REPORT, 28th November, 1946; Vol 430, c 1796.]The primary purpose of the Bill, then, is to enable British restaurants to continue their present activities, not one of which activities includes the sale or supply of intoxicating liquors. The Bill as it left the Committee retained that primary purpose intact. The reintroduction of the licensing provision is in no way essential to the purpose of the Bill; on the contrary, the Amendment tends to spoil an otherwise excellent Measure.
Many of us welcomed the Bill because we thought that it would encourage the development of British restaurants into social centres, as my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) so eloquently described. We thought that these institutions would have a social as well as a dietetic importance, and that they would be patronised more and more in the future, as they have been in the past, by our young people, in particular during their evening hours of leisure. Those of us who have worked among young people in this country know that in most of our towns in the evening they have to choose between the cinema, the pub, and the streets. We know what a godsend to a young adult is a bright, 855 comfortable café, open in the evenings, a place where he or she can meet friends and have a talk, read, listen to the wireless, have a snack and soft drinks, or even form a group or club to pursue mutual interests. I have seen for myself the splendid results obtained from the establishment of just that kind of social centre.
The resources of voluntary organisations which go in for that sort of thing are, however, so circumscribed that many of us have been hoping that the Government would make it possible for existing British restaurants to develop along those lines and to allow new restaurants on those lines to be established. This Measure did seem to encourage local authorities to push ahead with that social mission, but every social worker will testify that the merest introduction of drink to a social centre of that sort vitiates the entire idea. It is on those grounds, and not as a prohibitionist, that I oppose the Amendment. I happen to be a teetotaller, but I will not interfere with the freedom of choice in food and drink among my fellow men, and it is on those grounds, of what on balance will be best for the age-group, who are a real problem of this country today, that I take up my position.
One supporter of the Amendment put forward the rather curious theory that far from encouraging young people to drink, the introduction of drink into the more pleasant and respectable surroundings of a civic restaurant would tend to induce them to place intoxicating liquor in its proper perspective. -That sounds very plausible, and at one time I, as some kind of a worker in the field of youth, believed that—but dire experience has forced me to the other view, namely, that it is fatally easy by the introduction of drink into pleasant, respectable, casual and easy surroundings to lead young people to contract the drinking habit. In my experience it is quite clear that one of the ways in which young people can be interested in drink is to make it respectable and easy to get.
Another theory to which I have listened this evening is that in any case, even if we allow this Amendment to go through, it does not mean that automatically every civic restaurant becomes licensed. That argument is dignified by the title of local option. I suppose what is meant is that, 856 if local electors get fed up with a local authority which insists upon setting up licensed civic restaurants, they can throw the local authority out, but local elections are not fought on a single issue of that sort. Municipal elections today are, rightly or wrongly, increasingly fought on party programmes, and a wide range of social issues are decided at these elections covering health, education and housing, and it it almost inconceivable that a local election should be decided on the issue of licensing a civic restaurant. There is no possibility of there being local option under present conditions. If the Minister is in earnest about local option, why did he not provide in the Bill for a plebiscite in each district, for and against this particular proposal?
Now I pass to the national position of my own country of Wales. As the Bill stands, both Northern Ireland and Scotland are safe from the alcoholic crusade of the Minister of Food. Northern Ireland escapes constitutionally, and we in Wales cast envious eyes towards their comparative isolation—comparative, but splendid Scotland escapes politically. I regard it as an intellectual affront to Wales that Scotland should escape this issue, because of some legalistic angle, and Wales should not. Wales is not considered in any way as a nation with its own special outlook and opinion in this matter. I appeal to hon. Members on both sides of the House to treat Wales fairly tonight. If Scotland is to be excluded, is there any sound reason why Wales, with a similar objection and a similar history, should not be similarly excluded? I quote from the Report of the Royal Commission on Licensing in 1931. That report has this rather significant observation to make on the position of Wales:We feel ourselves compelled to consider whether, in opinion and sentiment in regard to licensing policy, Wales differs materially from England. We think there can be no doubt that it does.I appeal, therefore, to my right hon. Friend to do the straight and simple thing, to accept the Amendment which stands in my name and that of my hon. Friend, excluding Wales, like Scotland, from the licensing provisions of this Bill. I have spoken tonight as I spoke in the Committee, as a friend of the Government and of the Bill I think that in substance the Bill is an excellent one, and opens the door to real social progress in a field which has been dreadfully neglected in 857 the past. I hope, at the conclusion of this part of the Debate, the Minister will have taken a decision in response to the appeals made from this side of the House, which will enable us to give to the country this magnificent Measure free from the stain of strong drink.
§ Mr. Beechman (St. Ives)
It is high time that the voice of Cornwall was heard. The hon. Member for Caernarvonshire (Mr. G. Roberts) has said that Wales is a nation like Scotland, and while one can overstress this idea of nationalism, I would point out that Cornwall is something more than a nation. There are no visas to Cornwall, and there are no tariffs between Cornwall and England. Cornwall is a spiritual idea, and there are very many people in Cornwall who object to this Amendment for spiritual reasons. Whether one takes a drink or not is a matter of conscience, and perhaps of individual taste, but there are many people who take the same view as I do and insist that it is not for the State to proffer liquor. Some hon. Members opposite have spoken as if this were an attempt to prevent the workers from having a drink. Hon. Members opposite seem to think that the only worker is the person who does the sort of work which they happen to do, but are not fishermen workers; are not the people who work in the fields workers? There are thousands who take the view I am putting forward, and I trust that those Members representing Scottish constituencies who take this same view, will not now tamely support this Amendment because Scotland has had the power to contract out. More than 20,000 Cornishmen will want to know the reason why Scotland has been allowed to contract out of State drinking establishments and Cornwall has not had the same opportunity.
These civic restaurants will be civic centres to which young people may go. I am not a total abstainer, but I say that there are already quite enough places where drink may be had. It appears now from the speech of the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) that one Member after another of the Cabinet has given a pledge not to allow drink to be served in community centres. These places will likely be used as community centres, and if the Government support this Amendment, they will be breaking their pledge. I say to the Minister: 858 Withdraw this Measure it will not be an Opposition triumph, because there are people in all parts of the House who object to it. The Minister will show his strength by doing so, and by accepting the decision of the Committee which dealt with this matter. He will also show his respect for many people throughout our land who feel very deeply indeed on this subject.
§ Mr. Nally (Bilston)
If there is one thing to which I have a particular objection, it is the adoption of a high moral tone as the basis of an argument, coupled with the lowest and most unscrupulous tactics in advancing it. The Government have been accused of pretty well every crime under the sun, from grossest betrayal of pledges to deliberate deception practised on the House. In the few minutes I have at my disposal, I propose to deal with the opposition from both sides of the House to this proposal of the Minister. I wish to refer, first of all, to the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson), who summed up the case for the opposition which exists on this side of the House. I have had the honour of knowing him for some considerable time, but I want to rebut the impudence of his claim, and equally that of the hon. Member for Newton (Sir R. Young), who in some peculiar way both seem to think that they have been invested with special functions for the defence of the youth of the nation, and that, based on their previous wide experience and their encyclopaedic knowledge of young people of today. they are best fitted to assert what is and what is not good for them. They both say to their respective local authorities: "While I, the hon. Member for the Division, am entitled to sit in judgment on this matter, you, the urban district council or whatever authority it may be, are not so competent, and if you, my local authority, are entrusted with these powers, then, indeed, the direst consequences may follow."
That argument was undeniably used and asserted by my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing. I have said before in this House. and I repeat, that one of the things from which all good causes suffer is a fanatical fringe who are more intent on justifying themselves in their own eyes than they are in expanding and strengthening the case for the cause which they claim exclusively to represent. The hon. Member for Louth (Mr. 859 Osborne), in relation to football pools, for example, falls into this category. In regard to temperance, my hon. Friend the Member for Newton and my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing also fall into it as well. They really handicap the cause they are supposed to serve. Although I may be doing my hon. Friends an injustice in this particular matter, the fact, as it seems to me, is that although they may be disguised as followers of the cause of temperance they are out-and-out teetotallers, lock, stock, and barrel.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Sir R. Young
In so far as the hon. Member has referred to me, he is absolutely incorrect. I am not prohibitionist. I stand only for no extension of present drinking facilities, and that is all I said.
§ Mr. Nally
On his own admission, my hon. Friend simply does not understand the facts of life in relation to drinking. He has used teetotal arguments that were valid 30, 40, or 50 years ago, namely, that drinking has a direct relationship to the total number of retail selling points at which drink can be bought. There is not a progressive brewery company in the country at the moment—and I am not blaming them, because I think they are right from their point of view—that is not developing a policy of closing as many small pubs as they can, and preparing a programme to build ever bigger pubs that will offer facilities of every kind, ranging from a dance hall at the top to a large vault at the bottom. The number of actual retail selling points for drink has little to do with the question of how much drink is consumed. What has to do with it are the circumstances in which drink is bought, and whether the atmosphere in which it is sold is of such a kind as to encourage, or restrain, drinking. We ought to have heard from my hon Friend the Member for Newton or my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing why it was that in this particular case the out-and-out teetotallers, and the friends—I night almost say kinsmen—of the brewers are together in such close and loving association on this issue. I believe that if the breweries had wanted to acquire extra staff for public relations purposes, to hire people who, by their advocacy, would best serve the brewers' cause, they would have hired my hon Friend the Member for Newton and my 860 hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing. If they were sent around the country not only would the cause of temperance among 'younger people not be served, but the cause of the brewers would be best protected.
I have close and friendly connections with two great municipalities, Wolverhampton and Manchester. In my own Division there are two urban councils, and one borough council. That borough council are not under the control of my party, yet I have been asked my that council to support the Bill as it stood in the first place. We are hoping, in our municipality, to give, to our younger people particularly, opportunities of enjoyment in circumstances of grace and dignity. The local councils can be relied upon to 'see whether in the case of this restaurant, or that, the introduction of drink would constitute a temptation to members of a youth club, or tend in some other way not to be conducive to proper moral purposes. The local authorities can be relied upon to watch and avoid those dangers. I hope that on this side of the House we shall rally solidly behind the Minister in support of this Amendment. I believe that that will be the case.
I want to add one last word. It is unfair to say that the tradition of the party of which I have the honour to be a member was the "Pussyfootism" of my hon. Friend the Member for Newton and my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing. It was nothing of the kind. If we go back to the great pioneers in our party, to Keir Hardie, whose name we, on this side, reverence, we find that he was an advocate of increasing municipal entry into the drink traffic as a practical step to curing its abuses. He said that the only solution of the drink problem was that the sale of drink should more and more be under the direct management and control of our municipal authorities. Philip Snowden, another great temperance pioneer, also advocated municipal control of drinking facilities. It is grossly unfair and quite misleading, to bring these great names forward to support what is essentially a brewers' case, and I hope my hon. Friends. having had their history corrected, will change their minds and vote with us in the Lobby.
§ Commander Galbraith
In many quarters of the House there will he regret that this Amendment has appeared on 861 the Order Paper. There will also be regret in many parts of the country. I, personally, regret the attempt which has been made today to introduce class prejudice into this matter. This is something which should be quite outside politics altogether, because I believe that it is a great moral issue. When I raised this matter in Committee I did so in two different ways. I raised it, first, from the technical and legal point of view so far as Scotland was concerned, and we had a long discussion on that point, which ran into 12 columns of the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Today, the Minister has based the whole of his argument for the exclusion of Scotland on the technical and legal point. When, during the Committee stage, my hon. Friend the Member for the Abbey Division of Westminster (Sir H. Webbe) asked for an assurance that Scotland would come into the Bill without any alteration, the Minister said that he could give that assurance. The Minister also referred to an Amendment in the name of the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and he told the Committee that without that Amendment he was prepared to make the position perfectly clear. How can the right hon. Gentleman possibly say that the legal difficulty is the real difficulty, and that that is why Scotland is excluded.
With reference to an Amendment put down by the Scottish Office, he said, "It will make the position perfectly clear." It appears to me either that the right hon. Gentleman's whole argument this afternoon was thoroughly dishonest, or else that he was suffering from loss of memory. I hope sincerely that it was the latter. The legal argument is no excuse at all. All that will be done by the Amendment in the name of the Secretary of State for Scotland, which we are to discuss presently, is to provide a salve for the conscience of certain Labour Members, and I imagine that many of them are not here today. There is no legal difficulty whatever and the whole object is to keep Scottish Members, who view the matter otherwise than as the Minister does, from taking part in this Debate and voting upon the issue.
I believe there are many people in the country who look upon the consumption of alcoholic beverages as something antisocial and unmoral. Many of them realise, of course, that the matter, as was said by the hon. Member for West 862 Islington (Mr. Montague), is one for education and for moral argument. It cannot be imposed by law. If we were to do that, we should fall into the same position as the United States during the period of prohibition. These people are prepared, therefore, in the meantime, to tolerate the sale of alcohol under proper safeguards. The whole matter is already under public control, but one point which the hon. Member for West Islington did not seem to realise is that a great many people in this country are not willing that such facilities should be further extended, and, least of all, that the sale of alcohol should be undertaken by public authorities. What the Minister is doing in this Amendment is to give sanction to the sale, and to cover it with the cloak of Parliamentary respectability.
The argument that the local authorities would not apply unless they wished to do so, is, to my mind, purely without point. If Parliament gives these powers what are the local authorities likely to say? They will say, "Why does Parliament grant us these powers, if they do not want us to use them?" How often has one heard that argument in the past—Parliament has brought in a Bill which gives local authorities certain powers, and it is for them to use them. That is exactly what the Minister is saying now, "Parliament is granting you these powers; it is for you to use them." Does anyone imagine that, if these powers are granted, we shall merely have liquor served with meals? Does anyone imagine that there will not be bars set up in these places? Having got the right to do so, of course there will be bars. I believe that there are sufficient facilities already, and I repeat that I consider the right hon. Gentleman's argument with regard to Scotland is thoroughly dishonest, and that the Amendment is reactionary and antisocial.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Strachey
If the House will be kind enough to allow me to say a few words in summing up, I shall be grateful. We have heard a number of points of view, but, at the outset, I would like to deal with the point made by the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson). He said that Members of the Government and of the Labour Party pledged themselves, at the Election against extending drink facilities to community centres, and, 863 by a dialectical leap, he identified community centres with civic restaurants. It was advanced, as an objection to these proposals, that some civic restaurants might be run in conjunction with community centres, or might develop some of the characteristics of the community centre, and we said that, in those cases, no local authority would dream of applying for licences for them.
§ Vice-Admiral Taylor
Is it not a principle of setting up a community centre that there shall be a civic restaurant in connection with it?
§ Mr. Strachey
No, we are not imposing any conditions on local authorities. All these provisions are enabling ones, which the local authorities may or may not use as they think fit. The hon. and gallant Gentleman should not attempt to identify community centres with civic restaurants.
On the point made by the hon. Member for Caernarvonshire (Mr. G. Roberts), I must repeat that it is precisely because we were convinced that, owing to the licensing laws of Scotland, it would be objectionable and, probably, unworkable, to apply these provisions in Scotland, that we have excepted Scotland from the Bill.
§ Commander Galbraith
How does the right hon. Gentleman reconcile that with what he said in Committee? He said there was nothing in the way with regard to the legal position.
§ Mr. Strachey
There was no question of that or we should not have had the Amendment in the name of the Lord Advocate, which attempted to overcome the objection which had been pointed out to us. In further discussion, we were convinced that the Amendment did not provide a workable solution for that difficulty. The hon. and gallant Gentleman, of course, if that Amendment had been discussed in Committee would have been the first to argue that it did not provide a workable solution.
§ Commander Galbraith
The right hon. Gentleman is mistaken. If he refers to the first day's proceedings, he will find the whole discussion reported.
§ Mr. Strachey
The hon. and gallant Gentleman knows perfectly well that the Amendment put down by the Lord Advocate did not come up in Committee.
§ Mr. Strachey
It was, I think, in the Under-Secretary's name. It was not reached. The position is perfectly clear. The hon. and gallant Gentleman is trying to lead the House into a very great misconception of my conduct on the matter. which, I submit to the House, is perfectly simple. We found, by argument, that we had no solution for the difficulty, and. therefore, we withdrew the Amendment. As to his other argument that we are not only allowing local authorities to apply for licences if they wish, but are inciting them to do so, and that there is some implication in the Bill, that Parliament wishes local authorities to apply for licences, even if the authorities themselves have no wish to do so, he must look at the Bill and see the words that will be in it if the Amendment is carried. The words are in Clause 1 (4)A civic restaurant authority shall, in carrying on any activities under this section, be subject to all enactments and rules of law relating thereto—and the Amendment would add:—including, in England and Wales, the enactments relating to the sale of intoxicating liquor.Could it be put more clearly that this would place them in exactly the same position as any other catering establishments which may or may not wish to apply for a licence? There is not the slightest implication that the Government urge authorities to apply or not to apply. It is left completely free to them. I emphasise this, in view of what has been said during the passage of the Bill through the House, to make it clear that no one can argue later on, when an application is made, that Parliament implied anything, or had any of the intentions which the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok (Commander Galbraith) imputed just now.
I come now to the speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Caernarvonshire concerning the inclusion of Wales in the Bill. He spoke of the difference in the Bill between the position of Scotland and Wales. The objection which, I repeat, most reluctantly, made us exclude Scotland from the Bill does not apply to Wales. He went on, naturally, to the merits of the case. What did he tell us were the merits? He told us that the provision of these facilities in civic restaurants would mean an encouragement of drinking. 865 The real issue here—I want to be frank about the issue between my hon. Friend and the rest of us on this side who do not think as he does—is whether one is encouraging drinking to excess. We are clear that the inclusion of the right of a local authority to apply, and in suitable cases, therefore, to serve, alcoholic liquor in civic restaurants, will, on the contrary, tend against drinking in excess, because we are sure that provision for moderate drinking under disinterested management in good surroundings tends to reduce and not to increase the amount of drinking to excess.
If one does not take that view, one must take the prohibitionist view, and my hon. Friend the Member for Caernarvonshire came very close to doing that. He said that bitter experience had led him to suppose that if young people, especially, were given facilities to drink at all, they would be led on the downward path to drinking in excess. If that is the case, there is nothing to stop short of advocating the whole prohibitionist principle of preventing the sale of drink. Unless we can trust people, if they are given the right conditions and a disinterested management, to show moderation and self-restraint, the only thing to do is to prohibit the sale of alcoholic liquor, as the United States tried to do in a noble, but, I think the House will agree, lamentably unsuccessful experience. The hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Beechman) spoke of the same thing. Why, he asked, was not Cornwall as well as Wales allowed to contract out of these provisions in the way Scotland is allowed to do? The answer is simple. Both Wales and Cornwall are allowed to contract out. Every local authority in those two parts of the country is free to refuse to operate those provisions of the Bill, and, for all I know, will not operate them. There is a complete right to contract out not only to Wales and Cornwall, but to every locality in the country. The fundamental misapprehension which hon. Members opposite, at any rate, have tried to imply has been to suggest that anyone has not got the freest right to contract out of these provisions.
My hon. Friend the Member for Bilston (Mr. Nally) has dealt very well with the question of the traditions of our movement in this matter. Those traditions are to go, not a little way, as is all we can do in this Bill, but much farther along the path of 866 applying disinterested public ownership and management to the sale of drink. The great names in our movement, Keir Hardie, Snowden, and others, were always the names of men who advocated that we should go much farther along these lines. In the case of more recent members of our movement, they have held up the Carlisle experiment, for example, which goes much farther along this line, and which not only gives certain public authorities the right to run restaurants with alcoholic liquor served, but makes it a monpoly in the area of the public minority concerned to serve alcoholic liquor. It is a total misrepresentation of the whole temperance movement within the Labour movement—which, I agree, has been very strong—to say that it has not always pointed the way forward as lying along this path of the disinterested public management of the liquor trade.
I come to the last word that I want to say on this matter. We have been told several times by hon. Members opposite that it is wrong to extend these facilities because there are quite enough places already where people can get drink. I agree at once that there are quite enough public houses run for private profit where we can get drink in this country. I would say there were too many. What they wish is that there should be no more competitors of any kind in that field; but we wish to put in a new kind of competitor, the publicly owned and disinterested management of a restaurant or other catering establishment able to sell drink. We want to do so for two main reasons. First, we are sure that public ownership, with disinterested management, is a step towards temperate habits, because it provides facilities for moderate and reasonable drinking, without any pressure, and without that whole atmosphere of drinking for the sake of drinking or for the sake of profits, which is inseparable from the private provision of liquor. For that reason, and for another reason, we believe in this provision. The other reason is that we believe that these facilities are better given by Socialist establishments. [Interruption.] Socialism means that the thing is given —
§ Mr. Strachey
If the hon. and gallant Member thinks that civic restaurants are racketeers, that is a new charge. These 867 are institutions which are entirely disinterested, run on Socialist principles by municipalities—[Interruption]—run on Socialist principles even by Conservative municipalities—and we are not willing to hamstring them in competition, for they will be competitors, by specially prohibiting them, and them alone, from applying for licences in this way. I ask the House to support the Amendment.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. William Whiteley)
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put. "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 288; Noes. 151.869
|Division No.78.]||AYES.||[7.29 p.m.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Dodds, N. N.||Keenan, W|
|Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)||Donovan, T.||Kenyon, C|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Driberg, T E. N.||King, E. M|
|Allighan, Garry||Dugdale, J (W. Bromwich)||Kinley, J.|
|Alpass, J. H||Dumpleton, C. W||Kirby, B. V|
|Anderson, A (Metherwell)||Durbin, E. F M||Kirkwood, D|
|Anderson, F (Whitehaven)||Dye, S||Lang, G.|
|Attewell, H C.||Ede, Rt Hon. J. C.||Lavers, S.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R||Edelman, M.||L[...] Miss J. (Cannock)|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Lever, N. H.|
|Ayles, W. H||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Levy, B. W|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Edwards, N (Caerphilly)||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Bacon, Miss A||Edwards, W. J (Whitechapel)||Lipton, Lt.-col. M|
|Baird, J||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Longden, F.|
|Balfour, A||Ewart, R.||Lyne, A W|
|Barnes, Rt Hon. A. J||Fairhurst, F.||McAllister, G.|
|Barstow, P G||Field, Capt W J.||McEntee, V La T|
|Barton, C||Fletcher, E G M. (Islington, E.)||McGhee, H. G|
|Battley, J. R||Follick, M||Mack, J. D.|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Foot, M. M||McKay, J (Wallsend)|
|Bellinger, Rt. Hon. F J.||Foster. W. (Wigan)||Mackay, R W G (Hull, N.W.)|
|Benson, G||Fraser, T (Hamilton)||McLeavy, F|
|Beswick, F||Freeman, Maj J. (Watford)||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Binns, J||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Macpherson, T. (Romford)|
|Blackburn, A. R||Gibbins, J||Mallalieu, J P W|
|Blenkinsop, A||Gibson, C W||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)|
|Blyton, W R||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Marshall, F (Brightside)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Gooch, E. G.||Mayhew, C P.|
|Bowles, F G (Nuneaton)||Goodrich, H E||Messer, F|
|Braddock, Mrs E M (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)||Middleton, Mrs. L|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Greenwood, A W J (Heywood)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Bramall, Major E A||Grenfell. D. R||M[...]ngton, Wing-Comdr E. R|
|Brook. D (Halifax)||Grey C F||Mitchison, Maj G R|
|Brooks, T J (Rothwell)||Grierson, E||Monslow, W|
|Brown. T J (Ince)||Griffiths, Rt Hon. J (Llanelly)||Montague, F|
|Bruce, Maj D W T||Griffiths. W D (Most Side)||Moody, A S|
|Buchanan, G||Gunler, R. J.||Morley, R|
|Burden, T W||Guy, W H||Morris, P (Swansea, W.)|
|Burke, W A.||Haire, John E (Wycombe)||Mort, D L|
|Butler, H W (Hackney, S.)||Hale, Leslie||Moyle, A|
|Castle. Mrs B A||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R||Murray. J D|
|Chamberlain, R A||Hannan, W (Maryhill)||Nally, W|
|Champion, A J||Hardman, D R||Naylor, T E|
|Chater, D||Harrison, J||Neal, H. (Claycross)|
|Chetwynd, G R||Hastings, Dr Somerville||Nichol, Mrs M E (Bradford, N.)|
|Clitherow, Dr R||Henderson, A (Kingswinford)||Nicholls, H R (Stratford)|
|Con[...] F A||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Noel-Baker, Capt F E (Brentford)|
|Cocks, F S||Hewitson, Capt M||Noel-Baker, Rt Hon P J (Derby)|
|Collick, P||Hicks, G||Noel-Buxton, Lady|
|Collins, V J||Holman, P||O'Brien, T|
|Colman, Miss G M||Holmes, H E (Hemsworth)||Oldfield, W H|
|Comyns, Dr L.||House, G||Oliver, G H|
|Corbet, Mrs F K (Camb'well, N.W.)||Hoy, J||Orbach, M|
|Corlett, Dr J||Hudson. J H. (Ealing, W.)||Paget, R T|
|Cove, W G||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Paling, Rt Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)|
|Crawley. A||Hughes, H D (W'lverh'pton, W.)||Paling, Will T (Dewsbury)|
|Cripps, Rt Hon Sir S||Hynd, H (Hackney, C.)||Palmer, A. M. F|
|Crossman R H S||Hynd, Rt Hon J B (Attercliffe)||Pargiter, G A|
|Daggar, G||Irving, W J||Parker. J|
|Daines, P||Isaacs, Rt Hon G A||Parkin, B T|
|Dalton, Rt Hon H||Janner, B||Paton, Mrs F (Rushcliffe)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Jay, D P T||Paton, J (Norwich)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Jeger, G (Winchester)||Pearson, A|
|Davies, Hadyn (St Pancras, S.W.)||Jones Rt Hen A C (Shipley)||Peart, Capt T F|
|Davies, R J (Westhougthton)||Jones, D T (Hartlepools)||Perrins, W|
|Deer G||Jones. J H (Bolton)||Piratin, P|
|Diamond, J||Jones P Asterley (Hitchin)||Platts-Mills. J. F. F.|
|Popplewell, E.||Solley, L. J.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamslow, E.)|
|Porter, E. (Warrington)||Sorensen, R. W.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Price, M. Philips||Soskice, Maj. Sir F.||Watknis, T.E|
|Pritt, D. N.||Stamford, W.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Proctor, W. T.||Steele, T.||Weitzman, D.|
|Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Randall, H. E.||Strachey, J.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Ranger, J.||Stross, Dr. B.||West, D. G.|
|Rees-Williams, D. R.||Stubbs, A. E.||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Reeves, J.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith||White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Reid, T. (Swindon)||Swingler, S.||Whileley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Robens, A.||Symonds, A. L.||Wigg, Col. G. E.|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)||Wilkes, L.|
|Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Rogers, G. H. R.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Royle, C.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Sargood, R.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)||Williamson, T.|
|Scott-Elliot, W.||Thorneyeroft, Harry (Clayton)||Willis, E.|
|Segal, Dr. S.||Thurtle, E.||Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr. E. A. A.||Tiffany, S.||Wilson, J. H.|
|Sharp, Granville||Titterington, M. F.||Wyatt, W.|
|Shawcroos, C. N. (Widnes)||Tolley, L.||Yates, V. F.|
|Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Turner-Samuels, M.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Silvarman, S S. (Nelson)||Ungoed-Thomas, L.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Simmons, C. J.||Usborne, Henry|
|Skeffington, A. M.||Vernon, Maj. W. F.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.||Viant, S. P.||Mr. Collindridge and|
|Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Walkden, E.||Mr. Coldrick.|
|Snow, Capt. J. W.||Walker, G. H.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Osborne, C.|
|Aitken, Hon. Max||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Howard, Hon. A.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R, S. (Southport)||Pickthorn, K.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Hurd, A.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Jarvis, Sir J.||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Birch, Nigel||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Prescott, Stanley|
|Boles, Lt -Col. D. C. (Wells)||Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.|
|Boothby, R.||Keeling, E. H.||Raikes, H. V.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Ramsay, Maj. S.|
|Bower, N.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Langford-Holt, J.||Renton, D.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Roberts, H. (Handsworth)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||L[...]box-Beyd, A. T.||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Robinson, Wing-Comdr Roland|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)||Linstead, H. N.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Byers, Frank||Lipson, D. L.||Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)|
|Carson, E.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.|
|Challen, C.||Low, Brig. A. R. W.||Savery, Prof. D. L.|
|Channon, H.||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Shepherd, W. S (Bucklow)|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Smith, E P. (Ashford)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)|
|De la Bére, R.||MacLeod, J.||Studholme, H. G|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Eocles, D. M.||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Eden, Rt. Hon A||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'tn, S.)|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Teeling, William|
|Erroll, F. J.||Marples, A. E.||Thomas, J. P. L (Hereford)|
|Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.|
|Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone)||Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)||Touche, G. C|
|Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)||Medlicott, F.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.||Mellor, Sir J.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Gage, C.||Molson, A. H. E.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.||Watt, Sir G. S Harvie|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|George, Lady M. Llotyd (Anglesey)||Morris-Jones, Sir H.||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Grimston, R. V||Mott-Radolyffe, Maj. C. E.||Willink, Rt. Hon. H U.|
|Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Harris, H. Wl'son||Nield, B. (Chester)||York, C|
|Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Haughton, S G.||Nutting, Anthony|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Orr-Ewing, I. L||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Mr. Drewe and Major Conant.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill"872
§ The House divided: Ayes. 185;Noes, 238.873
|Division No.79.]||AYES.||[7.43 p.m.|
|Aitken, Hon. Max||Haughton, S G.||Peto, Brig C H M|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Henderson, John (Catheart)||Pickthorn, K.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Pitman, I. J.|
|Astor, Hon M||Hogg, Hon Q||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Ayles, W. H||Howard, Hon. A.||Prescott, Stanley|
|Battley, J. R.||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)||Prior-Palmer, Brig O|
|Beeclrman, N. A||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Raikes, H. V.|
|Birch, Nigel||Hurd, A.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Boles, Lt -Col D C (Wells)||Jarvis, Sir J.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Renton, D.|
|Bower, N.||Joynson-Hicks, Lt..-Cdr. Hon L. W||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Keeling, E. H.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|Braithwaite, Lt -Comdr. J. G.||Kenyon, C||Roberts, H (Handsworth)|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col W||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Brooks, T J. (Rothwell)||Lambert, Hon. G.||Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P G T||Lancaster, Col. C G.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Lang, G.||Ross, Sir R. D (Londonderry)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Royle, C.|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Salter, Rt Hon Sir J. A|
|Byers, Frank||Lenn[...] Boyd, A. T.||Savory, Prof. D L|
|Carson, E||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Sharp, Granville|
|Challen, C||Linstead, H. N||Shepherd, W. S (Bucklow)|
|Channon, H.||Lipson, D. L.||Skeffington-Lodge, T C|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Smith, E. P (Ashford)|
|Colman, Miss G. M.||Longden, F.||Sorensen, R. W|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E||Low, Brig A. R. W||Stanley, Rt Hon. O|
|Cooper-Key, E. M||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Stewart, J Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F C||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Strauss, H. G (English Universities)|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)|
|Cuthbert, W. N||Macdonald, Sir P (I. of Wight)||Studholme, H G|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||McGhee, H G.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Taylor, D. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Davies, R J. (Westhoughton)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Taylor, Vice-Adm E. [...] (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|De la Bere, R.||Maclay, Hon. J. S||Teeling, William|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D||MacLeod, J.||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)|
|Drewe, D.||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Thomas, J. P L. (Hereford)|
|Dumpleton, C. W||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F|
|Eccles, D M.||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Touche, G. C.|
|Eden, Rl. Hon. A.||Marlowe, A. A. H||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Edwards, A (Middlesbrough. E)||Marples, A. E.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Marsder, Capt. A.||Walker, G. H.|
|Erroll, F. J||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)||Ward, Hon G. R|
|Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone)||M dlicott, F.||Watkins, T E|
|Fraser, Sir I (Lonsdale)||Mellor, Sir J.||Watt, Sir G. S Harvie|
|Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Molson, A H. E.||Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon Sir D P M||Moors, Lt.-Col Sir T.||West, D. G|
|Gage, C.||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. [...]||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|George, Maj Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Morris-Jones, Sir H.||White, J B (Canterbury)|
|George, Lady M Lloyd (Anglesey)||Morrison, Maj. J G. (Salisbury)||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W S. (Cirenesster)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col A. G||Mott-Radeclyffe, Maj. C. E||Williams, W R. (Heston)|
|Gooch, E. G.||Murray, J D.||Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.|
|Grenfell, D. R||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lore|
|Grey. C. F.||Nield, B. (Chester)||York, C|
|Grimston, R. V||Noble, Comdr A. H P||Young, Sir A S. L. (Partick)|
|Gunter, R. J.||Nutting, Anthony||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Hannon, Sir P (Meseley)||Orr-Ewing, I L|
|Harris, H. Wilson||Osborne, C||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Commander Agnew and|
|Hastings. Dr Somerville||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Major Ramsay.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Bacon, Miss A.||Blackburn, A. R|
|Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)||Baird, J.||Blenkinsop, A|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V||Batfour, A.||Blyton, W. R.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J||Bowden, Fig.-Offr. H. W.|
|Allighan, Garry||Barstow, P G.||Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)|
|Alpass, J H.||Barton, C||Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)|
|Anderson, F (Whitehaven)||Bechervaise. A. E.||Braddock, T. (Mitcham)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Bramall, Major E. A.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Benson, G||Brook, D (Halifax)|
|Austin, H Lewis||Beswick, F||Bruce, Maj. D. W. T|
|Ayrt[...] Gould, Mrs. B||Binns, J||Buchanan, G|
|Burke, W. A.||Hughes, H. D. (W'lveth'pton, W.)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Ranger, J.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Hynd, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Attercliffe)||Rees-Williams, D. R|
|Chamberlain, R, A.||Irving, W. J.||Reeves, J.|
|Chater, D.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A||Reid, T. (Swindon)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Janner, B.||Rebens, A.|
|Clitharow, Dr. R.||Jay, D. P. T.||Rogers, G. H. R|
|Cobb, F. A.||Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Scott-Elliot, W.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley)||Segal, Dr. S.|
|Coldrick, W.||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr. E. A. A|
|Collins, V. J.||Jones Elwyn (Plaistow)||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)|
|Comyns, Dr. L,||Jones, J. H. (Bolton),||Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)|
|Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Silverman, J. (Erdington)|
|Corlett, Dr. J||Keenan, W.||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)|
|Cove, W. G||King, E. M.||Simmons, C. J|
|Crawley, A.||Kinley, J.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S||Kirby, B. V.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Lavers, S||Snow, Capt. J. W|
|Daines, P.||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Solley, L. J.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Lever, N. H.||Soskice, Maj. Sir F|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Levy, B. W.||Stamford, W.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Lindgren, G. S.||Steele, T.|
|Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Deer, G.||Lyne, A. W.||Strachey, J.|
|Diamond, J.||McEntee, V. La T.||Stross, Dr. B.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Mack, J. D.||Stubbs, A. E.|
|Donovan, T.||McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)||Swingler, S.|
|Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||McLeavy, F.||Symonds, A. L.|
|Durbin, E. F. M.||Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Dye, S.||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Marshall, F. (Brightside)||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Edelman, M.||Middleton, Mrs. L||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Mikarde, Ian||Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)|
|Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Millington, Wing-Comdr E. R||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Edwards, W. J. (Whitechape)||Mitchison, Maj. G. R.||Thurtle, E.|
|Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Montague, F||Tiffany, S|
|Ewart, R.||Morley, R.||Titterington, M. [...]|
|Fairhurst, F.||Mort, D. L.||Tolley, L.|
|Field, Capt. W J.||Moyle, A.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Nally, W.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Foot, M. M.||Naylor, T. E.||Usborne, Henry|
|Foster, W. (Wigan)||Neal, H. (Claycross)||Vernon, Maj. W. F|
|Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)||Walkden, E.|
|Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford)||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Gaitskell, H. T. N.||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)||Warbey, W. N.|
|Gibbins, J.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby)||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Noel-Buxton, Lady||Weitzman, D.|
|Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||O'Brien, T.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Goodrich, H. E.||Oldfield, W. H||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)||Oliver, G. H||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)||Orbach, M.||White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Grierson, E.||Paget, R. T.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Wigg, Col. G. E.|
|Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Wilkes, L.|
|Guy, W. H.||Palmer, A. M. F.||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Pargiter, G. A.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Hale, Leslie||Parker, J.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T (Don Valley)|
|Hall, W. G.||Parkin, B. T.||Williamson, T.|
|Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R||Paton, J. (Norwich)||Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J|
|Hardman, D. R.||Pearson, A.||Wilson, J. H|
|Harrison, J.||Peart, Capt. T. F.||Wyatt, W.|
|Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Perrins, W.||Yates, V. F.|
|Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Piratin, P.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Hewitson, Capt. M||Platts-Mills, J. F. F.||Zilliacus, K,|
|Hicks, G.||Popplewell, E.|
|Holman, P.||Porter, E. (Warrington)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Price, M. Philips||Mr. Collindridge and|
|House, G.||Pritt, D. N.||Mr. Hannan|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Proctor, W. T|
§ Commander Maitland
I beg to move, in page 1, line 15, to leave out "as they consider necessary or expedient," and to insert:
in so sat as such incidental or ancillary activities are requisite for the purpose of providing meals in the restaurant.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
On a point of Order. I understood, from Mr. Speaker's Ruling earlier this afternoon, 874 that it was the agreed intention that the other Amendment on the same subject should be called so that we might have an opportunity of voting upon it.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hubert Beaumont)
That is true, and hon. and right hon. Members will have the opportunity of voting upon it. We must, however, take the Amendments in their order upon the Order Paper, and the one 875 which has now been moved precedes the one to which the hon. and gallant Member referred in his point of Order.
§ Commander Maitland
On the Second Reading we were definitely given to understand that the object of the introduction of the Bill was to extend the service which had been provided for the community by British restaurants during the war. With that proposal we are in entire agreement. It is not until we go a little further into the Bill that we see the real meaning behind the proposal. When I was in the Service I was on one occasion advised to read for the Bar, but I was prevented, providentially, from so doing. One reason was that I did not think that I should be able to make much money at it. Had I waited until this Bill became law I think I should have been able to get an income for life out of the term "ancillary service". The expression is so wide and so vague that any lawyer ought to be able to make a fortune out of it.
Let us take the little ancillary activities. For example, I presume it is intended that the civic restaurants shall be allowed to sell sweets, biscuits and tobacco. If that is so, it is very unfair upon the small traders. The civic restaurants will be run with ratepayers' money. Moreover, they will be able to run at a loss for two years out of three. There is no such help for the small man. He has to stand or fall by whether he makes a success of his small business or not. That is why we do not think that the small ancillary activities are desirable or necessary. When we come to the larger ancillary activities, there seems to be no end to what can be done under the Bill. I am trying to keep within reason, but I would ask whether it would not be possible for a local authority to buy up Butlin's Camps. There is a provision enabling local authorities to have power delegated to them. We remember learning from the newspapers a short time ago that the London County Council had, I think it was, £14 million of hidden reserves, or something which the auditor did not like very much. Would it not be possible for a local authority running a seaside resort to which large numbers of Londoners go for their holidays to take over and run a privately-owned camp, such as Butlin's? Under the Clause, all those things are possible. Not only can a local authority 876 run farms to provide food and so on for the civic restaurants, but they can probably provide shops. We are today going through a period of shortage, and naturally of licences as well. We are going through a rationing period, but we would all like to go out and get our food at restaurants, if it is available. It is not so easy to start up a restaurant. One has to have a licence to do so. One of my friends in the catering trade has told me that it is extremely easy to make money in that trade. This is an easy time for trading. If the Bill becomes law, and if we are to allow local authorities to go into the market to start up restaurants with the ratepayers' money behind them, they may make a success of them to start with. They have not to make profits. They have to make a profit during the third year, and then they will be all right. It will lead to considerable losses for ratepayers and also most unfair competition in trade against people who have a perfect right to set up restaurants. In Committee we were told that if people did not like what was going on— municipal trading and so on— they could throw out their council at the next election. It is the ratepayers who pay, and the electors who put the council in their places. We will find a considerable Lumber of people who are non-ratepaying voters.
§ Mr. Marlowe (Brighton)
I beg to second the Amendment.
This is a very important Amendment, which goes to the root of the Bill. Hon. Members may recall that the Minister of Food, when he was moving the Second Reading, put forward the case that it was the intention of the Government to provide suitable establishments in which people could get meals. There was a good deal of misunderstanding by hon. Members opposite. It seemed to them that we were anxious to block that very desirable procedure, but we never were. I have always taken the view that where a case had been made out for them, such facilities should be provided. Our objection was to the giving of this universal power without a case being made out. The object of this Amendment is not so far-reaching as the Amendment in Committee when we endeavoured to prohibit dealing in ancillary trades to any extent at all. The present Amendment only seeks to ensure that the ancillary business is 877 limited to what is necessary for the serving of meals in a restaurant.
If the original object of this Bill was to provide meals, what possible objection can there be to limiting the sale of ancillaries to that purpose? If this Amendment is not inserted, the Bill will go beyond the original intention which the Minister of Food expressed on Second Reading. He said he wanted to provide meals for Britain. We have passed the point where we can argue about that, but we are still opposed to the principle. We must accept it that the Government will get those powers, but what is the reason for going right beyond the original object to the point where these restaurants can enter into quite different trades which have nothing at all to do with the serving of food?
It is difficult to see why the Minister can object to this Amendment, for it leaves him free to bring in any ancillary services which may be necessary and limits the restaurants so that they cannot go beyond that in order to run shops and to have people coming in and buying things whether or not they take meals in the restaurants. The Parliamentary Secretary will find it difficult to justify that position within' the ambit of what was said by the Minister at the start, that the whole object was merely to provide meals. This Amendment does not prevent meals being served and does not prevent the things which are necessary being served with the meals. All it does is ensure that only the people who are having meals in the restaurant avail themselves of the ancillary services—
§ Mr. Gallacher
Is it not the case that some of the biggest restaurants also have shops from which they serve food, and if that is so, why prohibit civic restaurants which wish to do so from doing exactly the same facilities as other restaurants?
§ Mr. Marlowe
That begs the whole issue of this Bill. If this is a Bill for the Government to set up shops, it would be far better for the Government to say, so frankly and bring in a Bill for that purpose. But this Bill is to set up restaurants. If the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) is unable to distinguish between a restaurant and a shop, I am afraid I cannot assist him —
§ Mr. Marlowe
I have dealt fairly with the point of the hon. Member for West Fife. If a civic restaurant has the power to bring in ancillary services, that may include the selling of cigarettes to people who are dining in that restaurant. What is the objection to limiting that service to the people using the restaurant for meals? I can see no possible objection. If this Amendment is not accepted, it is because it is desired to go further than the Minister of Food said and to use the restaurant as a shop.
My second point is as to the meaning of the word "ancillary." I should not have thought it was very difficult to define what is meant by "ancillary service." I referred just now to the selling of cigarettes, and my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Horncastle (Commander Maitland) referred to the selling of sweets and chocolates. They might legitimately be considered ancillary to the service of meals in a restaurant. Many people who go into a restaurant want to buy cigarettes as well. I suppose they would be ancillary services, but there is nothing in the Bill to define what is meant by an "ancillary service." I see no reason to limit the meaning of the word even to the extent that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Horn-castle suggested. The Government can run firms to supply restaurants—
§ Mr. Marlowe
They can run shops alongside restaurants, selling anything they like, and say that it is an ancillary service—
§ Mr. Marlowe
The hon. Member for West Fife goes on saying, "Hear, hear," but I realise that he does not belong to the same party as the hon. Lady. I am not sure that they are putting forward the same policy. The hon. Member for West Fife is putting forward a policy of Government shops, but the Parliamentary Secretary is not, as I understood it originally. If it is so, it would have been more honest for the Government to have said so and not to have brought in a Bill called the Civic 879 Restaurants Bill, which gives the impression that the Government are setting up only civic restaurants, and that to have made out a case that all they are doing is extending the wartime facility of British restaurants. The wording in this Clause is going much further, and trading is getting the support of the Communist Party.
My third point is that this Bill, without the limitation we are seeking to put in, will not only allow that trading but will give— I feel that I must give the hon. Member for West Fife his "Hear, hear" before I get to the end of the sentence, because I know it will come— the municipalities the right to trade in competition with the small trader and to do so on unfair terms. I am glad I was able to forestall the hon. Member for West Fife. If this Bill is passed without this Amendment and these ancillary services are permitted, the municipal authorities may enter into any trade that is regarded as ancillary— I have already said how difficult it is to know what "ancillary" means— and do so on terms grossly unfair to the small trader because the civic restaurants are virtually subsidised out of the rates. The unfortunate small trader is in this position, that not only has he his own local authority competing against him— I do not know whether that is considered good Socialism — and at the same time he is compelled to pay rates to subsidise his own competitor. If that is good Socialism, it is certainly understandable that a good many people in this country are getting fed up with Socialism. [Laughter.] Again the hon. Member for West Fife, in his ardour to support the Labour Party, is laughing to keep up his courage. The people of this country have had enough Socialism. If we can impose a limit here by the inclusion of this Amendment, we shall be doing some service. This is the position. The small trader is threatened by the powerful monopoly of the local civic restaurant. The Government, who profess to be the anti-monopoly party, are setting up powers under this Bill to create monopolies which will drive the small trader out of business.
My final point is that right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench, with the well-known lack of logic which characterises them, run about the country calling for 880 more production and fewer working hours in the same breath, two things I have never been able to understand. Is it not remarkable that this Clause, as it will stand without the Amendment, will create a situation in which we are enlarging the field of distribution at the expense of the field of production? I thought the whole object of the Government nowadays was to increase production and to limit the avenues of distribution. That has been part of their stated policy; indeed, they have set about shutting down and limiting the number of retail shops; yet by this Bill at it stands, they are enlarging the field of distribution at the cost of production. At a time when all the manpower available is wanted in production, the Government are increasing the field of retail trade. That it is illogical is not surprising—one would expect nothing less —but to my mind it goes a good deal further than that—it is not only illogical, it is unfair. Again, I suppose, one must not be surprised at a Socialist Government being unfair, but so long as we can protest against it, we are entitled at least to do that, and I shall go into the Lobby in favour of this Amendment in order to do my best to protect the interests of the small trader.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summer-skill)
Although the hon. and learned Member for Brighton (Mr. Marlowe) tells the House that this Amendment has been drafted a little differently, the arguments he has advanced are very similar to those he advanced upstairs.
§ Dr. Summerskill
The arguments which I shall advance now will be very similar to those used hi Committee, and I shall ask the House to reject the Amendment for the same reason. The hon. and learned Member for Brighton asked what were the functions of these restaurants. I think we have made it clear that we shall allow the civic restaurant to engage in al1 those activities which are normal to a catering establishment run by private enterprise. If this Amendment were accepted, it would preclude the cash and carry service to which we attach great importance. The hon. and gallant Member for South Blackpool (Wing-Commander Robinson) fairly recently charged me with sentimentalising over the old age 881 pensioners. I do not apologise for saying a word for the aged, but the reason I said that the cash and carry service is of inestimable value to this particular category, is that these people often live in one or two rooms where they have inadequate cooking facilities, and we at the Ministry of Food know full well that one or two rations go a very little way. Therefore, we would not like to preclude a service which has already proved invaluable. Furthermore, the hon. and gallant Member for South Blackpool and the hon. and learned Member for Brighton, who represent well populated constituencies, have probably forgotten that the cash and carry service also serves their schools and their building sites. We have recently asked the builders if they would make arrangements so that men working in isolated spots could have a hot meal. In many cases, they have contacted the British restaurants, who have sent these hot meals in containers to the builders. There are the factory canteens which these cash and carry meals supply. If we accepted the Amendment now before the House —
§ Mr. Marlowe
On a point of Order. The hon. Lady is directing her argument to an Amendment that we have not yet reached, dealing with consumption off the premises. That argument of cash and carry has nothing to do with the Amendment we are dealing with now, of limiting ancillary services to those taking meals in the restaurants.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I agree that there is another Amendment coming, and this argument will also apply to it, but, if the hon. and learned Gentleman reads this Amendment, surely he will agree that it would preclude cash and carry meals, because such a meal has nothing to do with providing a meal in a restaurant. The present Amendment is:to leave out 'as they consider necessary or expedient,' and to insert 'in so far as such incidental or ancillary activities are requisite for the purpose of providing meals in the restaurant.Surely a cash and carry service might be regarded as incidental or ancillary, but it certainly cannot be related to a meal in a restaurant?
§ Mr. Marlowe
If the hon. Lady will forgive me, this Amendment has nothing to do with that point. I agree that her argument relates to the subsequent Amend- 882 ment about consumption off the premises, namely:In line 15, at the end, to insert,— Provided that such activities, incidental or ancillary, shall not include sale of food for consumption off the premises.but if somebody comes into a restaurant to buy a meal to take away—which is the case with which the hon. Lady is dealing—that is buying a meal in a restaurant. We are saying that they cannot take away a packet of "Gold Flake" at the same time.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Surely that is a quibble? I ask hon. Members who are supporting this Amendment whether they believe that that is the correct interpretation.
§ 8.15 p.m
§ Mr. Marlowe
On a point of Order. All I want to know is, are we taking both these Amendments at once? If so, is it in Order to discuss on this Amendment the subsequent one relating to consumption off the premises?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
That Amendment is not being called. The hon. Lady will be in Order in discussing this question now.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I think that this is a matter for interpretation. A meal provided in the restaurant could not be regarded as a meal which is taken away from the restaurant.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I accept the hon. and learned Gentleman's interpretation and I will pursue my argument on the next Amendment. May I, therefore, say something about the ancillary activities concerned with providing meals in the restaurant, that is one that is consumed in the restaurant? I have already said that we intend to allow these restaurants to engage in the same activities as those normal restaurants run by private enterprise. We feel, therefore, that, if necessary, they should be allowed to do outside catering. I think the hon. and learned Gentleman will agree that that is relative to this Amendment. We suggest that they may cater for weddings, for parties, even for funerals.
I feel that hon. Members opposite should regard this matter in an entirely different spirit from the way they do. On the one hand, they are saying that 883 these catering establishments must remain solvent. The hon. and learned Member for Brighton has already talked about the ratepayer in a private enterprise establishment subsidising his competitor. He quite rightly says that these civic restaurants should remain solvent, and should not be subsidised by the ratepayer. We feel very strongly about that, but hon. Members opposite cannot have it both ways; they cannot, on the one hand say that these civic restaurants must remain solvent and, on the other hand, say that these civic restaurants cannot enjoy what is, after all, the cream of the catering trade. I have been told by someone engaged in the catering trade that there is very little profit in a cheap meal; they make their profits from snacks, teas, and these ancillary activities such as weddings and parties and so on. Therefore, it would be grossly unfair to prohibit a civic restaurant from making a little profit and so helping to balance their budget, in the same way. For that reason, I must oppose this Amendment.
§ Sir Harold Webbe
The fact that this Amendment has been put on the Paper only illustrates clearly what happens, and what must happen, under the new procedure devised by the present Government for streamlining legislation and hoodwinking the public. When this Bill was brought forward for its Second Reading, we heard from the Minister and from the Parliamentary Secretary speeches of extreme suavity and innocence. We were told, "This is quite a minor matter, quite a small Bill. It is designed to ensure that where a public need exists, local authorities may provide establishments in which people may get decent meals at reasonable prices." In her concluding speech on that occasion, in one of her more purple passages, the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary became quite lyrical on the contribution this new service was going to make to the policy of the Government in regard to the workers. The emphasis was entirely on the fact that people who could not get a decent meal in an establishment run by private enterprise, could get a good meal, at a proper price, in a civic restaurant. We were told that these establishments would be run on businesslike lines, in fair and open competition with private enterprise. She emphasised that they were to serve a strictly limited purpose.
884 Some of us, not having the same blind confidence in the Government Front Bench as hon. Members who sit behind it, were a little suspicious that that was not the whole story. Indeed, a glance at the draft of the Bill suggested that there was more behind it. Then the Bill, in accordance with the new procedure, was wafted upstairs to the comparative obscurity of a Standing Committee,' and we found how completely hollow and misleading had been the representations made by the Minister and his Parliamentary Secretary when the Bill was before the House. We found in the first place that the Minister stolidly and steadily resisted any suggestion that there should be machinery for ascertaining whether or not there was a public need for any service at all. Then we found these establishments were not to be in anything like fair competition with private trade.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
The hon. Member is now getting exceedingly wide of the Amendment. He must keep to the Amendment.
§ Sir H. Webbe
I will try not to get too wide in my observations. But, surely the Clause we are now discussing widens the scope very much.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
We are not discussing the Clause, we are discussing the Amendment. The hon. Member must bear that in mind.
§ Sir H. Webbe
I wish to address myself to the Amendment The Amendment seeks to bring the Bill within the original purpose which the Minister presented to us. Without this Amendment, the Bill will go much further than was adumbrated by the Minister when he introduced it. The hon. Lady said it was the intention of the Government that these restaurants shall engage in all the activities in which private enterprise restaurants normally engage. She instanced the selling of cigarettes, and so on. I invite the hon. Lady to go to any private enterprise restaurant in London, and try to buy a packet of cigarettes without taking a meal. I am afraid she will get a very chilly reception. The selling of cigarettes, and things of that kind, in ordinary private enterprise restaurants is confined to people who are customers of the restaurant, 885 taking their meals there. There is nothing in this Bill which prevents these restaurants competing indirectly with the individual tobacconist, the established sandwich bar, and the established tea-shop, regardless of whether the customers who want to patronise those sections of the establishment, are going to use the restaurant portion or not.
That goes far beyond anything proposed by the Minister when he introduced the Bill. In my constituency there is a very considerable number of small traders who will be directly affected by competition of this kind—competition they have not had from the British restaurants and the Londoners' Meal Service, and which, as far as I know, is not suffered in the provinces. This Bill is not to carry on the admirable work done by British restaurants. As we know, it is a Bill which will allow local authorities to set up pubs. That was never envisaged when the Bill was introduced. It is a Bill to allow civic restaurants to compete directly and on completely unfair terms with the small traders who have catered for the public for so many years. They are not merely purveyors of goods; in the large majority of cases these small traders are friends of their customers, and their establishments are centres of local life and interest. It is scandalous that under the conditions laid down in this Bill completely unfair competition by local authorities will be extended to a wide range of trades and occupations. The local authorities will be able to compete with people who have to earn their living by their own efforts. If the Bill had been confined to its original purpose of providing meals, with the accompaniments which such meals demand
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
The hon. Member is making a speech on the whole Bill. He must keep to the Amendment.
§ Sir H. Webbe
I am trying to stick to the question of ancillary services and to make the point that, if this Bill had been concerned only with meals, there would have been very little opposition from this side, or from other parts of the Chamber. It is because it has extended beyond that into trades which are not directly concerned with the service of meals, but which are treated as ancillary, that I hope the House will accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. Dye (Norfolk, South-Western)
If the Amendment were accepted, and if the later Amendment on the same point, which I understand is not to be called, were also accepted, the work of civic restaurants would be very much curtailed. The hon. and gallant Member for Horn-castle (Commander Maitland) said that he was speaking on behalf of his friends the caterers. Like myself, he represents a large rural constituency. I want to speak on behalf of my friends the farm workers, their wives and the farmers in rural England. As chairman of a British restaurant committee in a rural district, I have had three or four years' experience in endeavouring, during the war years and since, to have food provided for people who work on farms. In the district for which I am a rural district councillor we have been successful in supplying people with an adequate amount of food to enable them to do their work. But we have not provided it in restaurants in which people could go to consume their meals. That would have been a hopeless proposition in the villages of rural England. When we first considered this matter, we visited other parts of the country and saw what efforts were being made to supply farm workers with food, in Cambridgeshire and elsewhere. Efforts were being made to supply meals in restaurants where customers could sit down and have their meals. That was a failure, and we came to the conclusion that the only way in which the need could be met was to set up cookhouses, where the food could be cooked. It is then taken away to be eaten in the fields. This Amendment would destroy that service.
§ Commander Maitland
Will the hon. Member explain how the Amendment would destroy the ability to take food away from a restaurant? The Amendment says:providing meals in the restaurant,not "consumed in the restaurant.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Dye
I think the hon. and gallant Member will agree that, as I said earlier in my remarks, if this Amendment plus the later one which also stands in the name of hon. Members opposite were accepted, it would deprive civic restaurants in the future from supplying meals—[Horn. MEMBERS: "No."]—I am 887 sorry. I do not wish to argue with people who cannot read the import of the Amendments which they put upon the Order Paper.
§ Mr. Niall Macpherson (Dumfries)
On a point of Order. I understood we were discussing the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman and not a later Amendment which is down in the name of six entirely different hon. Members
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
It is perfectly true that we are considering the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members, and it is quite in Order to discuss what the hon. Member is now discussing.
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
Further to that point of Order. As it is not intended to call the second Amendment, surely we are not in Order in discussing it, and I submit, with respect, that it is certainly not in Order for the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk (Mr. Dye) to say that if it were carried something or other would happen. We cannot discuss an Amendment which has not been selected, and which does not come within the scope of the Amendment under discussion.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
In the Amendment under discussion are the words:'for the purpose of providing meals in the restaurants.Therefore, I think it is quite in Order to advocate, as an alternative, that meals may be provided from the restaurant.
§ Mr. Hudson
I quite agree, with respect, but the hon. Member was arguing what an entirely different Amendment sought to do. That Amendment seeks to ensure that these meals shall not be consumed off the premises. Surely, the hon. Member is not entitled to argue about that, or we shall have a long interminable discussion to show that what he suggests will not be the case.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
This, again, shows the danger of informing the House of what Amendments are to be called. The fact that the hon. Member knew that may have led him slightly astray.
§ Mr. Dye
I only went slightly astray, but since I have been in this House I have noticed hon. Members go well astray. Of course, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I accept your Ruling. Even the Amend- 888 ment which has been moved would clearly limit the rural civic restaurants in the service they are now giving. I am talking about something I know, and about which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson), in spite of his activities, knows little. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will wait a short time. I understand he is to have his chance in a minute or two.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
There is nothing to indicate who will catch the eye of the Chair. The hon. Member does not know who will be chosen.
§ Mr. Dye
I caught sight of the notes the right hon. Gentleman has on the Table. It is quite clear that if this Amendment is carried the efforts which have been made in rural districts to continue the good work that is now being done, will be limited and made impossible. It is only possible for these civic restaurants to make and supply food, almost entirely, for people to consume outside the restaurant.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
As the hon. Member referred to my county of Bedford, where he said they had been for experience, may I ask him whether the provision would not be understood to mean providing meals for consumption on or off the premises?
§ Mr. Dye
Hon. Members opposite can draft their Amendments as they choose. I can only read them as they are on the Order Paper. I cannot know what is at the back of their minds, if they fail to place their intention on the Order Paper. Neither did I refer to the hon. Member's constituency. A far better example, in Cambridgeshire, was the one to which I referred.
We have been successful in supplying people in the villages with the kind of food they require. They require variety, not just meat pies, but all classes of food for the people. Biscuits, buns, cakes, tarts of all descriptions are supplied from our rural civic restaurants, to be consumed by people either in their homes or in the fields. I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman and Members opposite take a line against supplying the people working on our farms today with food additional to that which they get in their ordinary rations. We know quite well that throughout our villages have been hindered, and still are, in the supply of food, except in those areas such as those to which I am referring, in my own Division, where 889 the rural district council have established a scheme of civic restaurants in the past, and where they have decided to continue them. Therefore, I ask the Parliamentary Secretary and the Government to continue the same powers and the same facilities, to enable the rural districts to supply the farm workers and their wives with food, on a similar basis to that on which they are being supplied at present.
§ Mr. Challen (Hampstead)
I wish to stress one or two points which I do not think have been brought out clearly. I would like to draw attention to the precise words which we are seeking to amend. They are:Such activities incidental or ancillary to the activities aforesaid, as they consider necessary or expedient.In the Standing Committee the hon. Lady was asked just what she meant by "ancillary" If my recollection is correct, she started to tell us a little bit of learning from her childhood, which told her that "ancilla" was the Latin for "handmaiden" She was interrupted, and did not enlarge on the point. I think it is true to say that she was on the right line "Ancillary" is something which ministers to the activities in question. When we are talking about cigarettes, tobacco, etc., I should think that "incidental" covered such activities, and that "ancillary" really covers those much wider activities such as running farms, keeping pigs, keeping a fishing fleet or a brewery, or anything which ministers to the business of supplying meals and refreshments in a restaurant. If I am correct about that, these are activities and not merely services. I thought that my hon. Friend rather strayed in referring to ancillary services. The wording of the Bill is "ancillary … activities," an extremely wide term,
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Horncastle (Commander Maitland), in moving the Amendment, said he would like to be at the Bar, so as to have a lucrative practice for the rest of his life in interpreting this Clause. One of my objections to the Clause as it stands is that the interpretation of the law will never come into it. There will be no means, or hardly any, of testing in a court of law whether a local authority was or was not entitled to engage upon certain activities, because these activities are such 890 as they consider necessary and expedient. They have not even to consider whether it is necessary. They merely need think that it would be a rather nice thing to do. There is no power which can prevent them from doing that. No Minister can tell them they are acting ultra vires or surcharge them. The only reference to Ministers is to the Minister of Health, when they need to requisition land, and to the Minister of Food, when they want to run their business at a loss. Those two Ministers come into the Bill with severely defined functions. There is no Minister who can say to a local authority, "Really you cannot do this."
I think that an individual might possibly take a case into the High Court, if he had the money and the hardihood to do it, and seek to test whether the activities of a local authority were going too far. My submission is that a court would find it very difficult to say that they were going too far, because the local authorities have a complete and absolute discretion to do precisely what they like. Therefore, the purpose of this Amendment is that it lays down that the activities shall be necessary and not merely that they shall be considered necessary. In those circumstances, it would he possible to surcharge a local authority, and for a court to form a conclusion whether or not the services were necessary. This is a reasonable and proper Amendment in order to prevent local authorities from acting entirely according to their own sweet will.
§ Mr. Walkden
I am concerned with the final words which it is proposed to insert and which declare that theactivities are requisite for the purpose of providing meals in the restaurant.That is where we see the danger. The hon. Member for South-West Norfolk (Mr. Dye) referred to agricultural areas. I wish to speak of industrial areas. I am sorry that the hon. Member for the Abbey Division of Westminster (Sir H. Webbe) has departed. I wished to say to him that I do not think we shall set up the kind of enterprise which we experienced during the war in the borough of Westminster. I believe it was Lord Woolton who, during the war, had the idea, which I thought was very sensible, that in certain industrial areas it was necessary to provide for the "cash and carry" worker. He was the person who earlier 891 was able only to do as they do in Blackpool and that was to have fish and chips and peas. That was the only thing that some workers could get. We witnessed a different enterprise during the war. British restaurants provided our housewives with a variety of diet in a way that made us feel very proud. The arrangement went so far that where a family wished to have their meal together at home instead of at the restaurant, they could get the food in order to enjoy it together. A sweet or a tasty pudding, which normally could not be cooked in the home was provided. The same idea is behind the suggestion of the Minister in the Bill.
It would be a menace to that form of enterprise if this Amendment were approved. I am sure the Minister will resist it. I think that we shall see many changes in our civic restaurants. As the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk said, experience gathered in one area will be used in other areas. As many hon. Members know, in many small factories during the war the workers were not able to enjoy canteen facilities. It is intended to provide that kind of service wherever possible. The facility was provided by British restaurants in the war years. Every industrial worker could purchase his meal from a British restaurant if he wished. He could send a basin, or three or four, and have the meal brought to him in the office or factory. That was a very fine convenience. I feel very concerned that the many enterprising boroughs, who wish to administer their enterprise in such a way as to supply all classes of workers with a good midday meal, should have that opportunity. It will be a distinct advantage to get away from the regular fish and chips which we had to endure for generations. The Civic Restaurant should be able to provide a meal with a tasty sweet, some kind of trifle which is interesting and makes life tolerable and more cheerful. We should encourage that form of enterprise.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
I would like to draw the attention of the House to what will be the effect of this Amendment. The hon. Member for South-West Norfolk (Mr. Dye) and the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Walkden) did not appear to grasp the full effect of it. If the Amendment is approved the Clause will read: 892… may establish and carry on restaurants and otherwise provide for the supply to the public of meals and refreshments… and may carry on such activities incidental or ancillary to the activities aforesaid in so far as such incidental or ancillary activities are requisite for the purpose of providing meals in the restaurant.I understand that it would be possible to provide meals in Thermos flasks or otherwise, to factories, as was done during the war. At the same time, it would not be possible to provide anything incidental or ancillary unless it was in direct connection with the provisions of meals in the restaurant. I suggest that that would be strictly in accordance with the intentions of the Bill, which are to provide meals to the public. Those meals may be consumed in the restaurant or the meals may be obtained from the restaurant and consumed in the factory. In my view, when public money is concerned, those responsible for providing the restaurants should not be allowed to enter into competition with other merchants and traders. In other words, whatever is provided must be directly incidental and ancillary to the meals in the restaurant. The meals themselves could be provided outside, but nothing else—
§ Mr. Walkden
Is it the hon. Gentleman's argument that they must not engage in competition with any other trader? That being so, they may sell a steak pudding or a milk pudding, but not fish and chips. Is that the theory?
§ Mr. Macpherson
The idea is that meals may be provided to a factory but the civic restaurant should not send round a canteen selling all kinds of things from silk stockings to cigarettes. That kind of thing could develop into a sort of travelling warehouse. They could do that and send it out. to factories, because it would not, strictly, be ancillary. In the restaurant itself, only those things that are incidental to the supply of meals may be provided. That is my understanding of it, and I submit that it is establishing a reasonable position, and that we should not go beyond that in this initial experiment.
§ Mr. Gallacher
I would ask hon. Members opposite not to carry on with this Amendment. It is a very foolish Amendment. We hear hon. Members talking about free and fair competition, and they are great believers in it, but, at the same time as they talk about free and fair competition, they want to hamstring the 893 civic restaurants. They do not know how to do the job. One hon. Gentleman opposite has said that the local authorities running these restaurants might go too far. He said they might go in for farming. Well, what will keep them from going in for farming? Thu Bill might prevent them from serving a few odd cigarettes here and there, but it would not prevent them from having a farm or a shop. Look at the big restaurants anywhere. There is a huge building for the restaurant and there is also a shop, and they will demonstrate to anyone that the shop and the things in the shop, which are similar to the goods offered in the restaurant, are ancillary to the business. Take this question of farming. The Glasgow Corporation is farming, and farming very successfully. The hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) knows quite a lot about it.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Does the hon. Gentleman mean to tell me that the Glasgow Corporation should not use any of the products of its farm for its own civic restaurant, or that, if they have a civic restaurant, they would have to close down the farm? Hon. Members opposite are trying to hamstring the civic restaurants from functioning properly, and this attempt is made by people who have nothing in their minds on how to do the job. I would advise them to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Mr. John Henderson
Would the hon. Member not agree that the Glasgow Corporation farm is attached to the Health Department of Glasgow, and that the products are exclusively used for hospitals and not sold to the public?
§ Mr. Gallacher
Of course, but, if they have a civic restaurant, is there anything to stop them using anything from their own farms in the civic restaurant? I say to hon. Members opposite—and I am not particularly hostile to them at the moment—that, if they have a little ordinary commonsense, they will withdraw the Amendment.
§ Mr. C. Williams
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has again been very useful to me, because, with his intense knowledge of the law, he has confirmed what I have thought for 894 a long time in listening to this Debate. I am not sure whether the hon. Member is an hon. and learned Gentleman or otherwise, but he confirmed my opinion. Although I think this Amendment to leave out certain words is quite correct, I had rather hoped that a chance would come to vote on the second Amendment. I had thought, on looking at the second Amendment, that there was one point in it, on which there is feeling on both sides of the House, where it was possible to come closer to a common denomination than on anything I have heard today, and that is the general desire of both sides of the House that, where we have restaurants of this kind, it is desirable that in some cases food should be produced to be taken outside. I entirely agree with that, having had to spend a considerable amount of time in the country in the war, and knowing the difficulties of the countryside because of the lack of restaurants, which is infinitely greater than in the towns. There is no intention in this Amendment in any way to cut out this development, and I do not see that there is any real opposition between the two sets of opinion in the House.
§ Mr. Williams
If the hon. Member had been patient, he would have seen that that is what I am going to do. I am going to explain the purpose of this Amendment. For that reason, I should like to thank the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary for the expansive and kindly speech which she made, which was so very different from the querulous stuff we are now getting from her boss, and in which she really was helpful. When I read the Amendment, I understood that its purpose was to limit the amount of incidental and ancillary service which these restaurants could provide. So far as distributing food in the way I have mentioned is concerned, I see no great objection to that, but, as the hon. Member who preceded me said, under either of these Amendments the word "ancillary" might include farms. That is so, and that is why I object to the original wording in the Bill; it confers powers which are very much too wide.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Does not the hon. Gentleman understand that any corporation can have farms, whether they have this Bill or not? They can have farms now.
§ Mr. Williams
Yes, I know that, and I thank the hon. Gentleman for confirming the fact that he also knows it. These are the ordinary corporation farms, but a farm in connection with this particular service would mean an increased number of farms, in all probability. But that is only one side of the question. It might be considered necessary that they should have a brewery in. say, Glasgow, in connection with the civic restaurant. There is nothing to prevent that. In other words, we have now come to the pitch which some of us knew all along would be reached—the pitch that this Bill is not mainly concerned to provide civic restaurants, but is to enable any kind of manufacture or distribution of goods mainly used in those restaurants.
That is the real object of the Bill. If tonight hon. Members put forward the case of the small or the large shop, I think that that case is a strong one, but there is one set of people about whom we have not heard They are the people that I represent. I am not one of the great plutocrats, such as I see oh the benches opposite; I represent a vast number of poor, hard working and industrious people. This Bill is designed to attack the food producing capacity of the co-operative societies just as much as the private shopkeepers. Just as it is an attack on the ratepayers, so it is an attack on the members of the co-operative societies. For that reason, I hope that the Amendment will be accepted. The Minister has made it quite clear that it is an attack on every kind of production of the things I have mentioned.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
I am sure that the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) could not have been serious when he asked us to oblige him by withdrawing this Amendment.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
Hon. Members on this side of the House have their principles just as have hon. Members opposite, but, in our case, they are sound principles; in the case of hon. Members opposite they are not.
896 This is a very simple Amendment. I had hoped that when the hon. Lady got up early in the Debate she was going to make some concession which would save the time of the House. However, she seems to be getting into the unfortunate Ministerial habit of saying, "No," and we are unable to get any of our Amendments accepted. The purpose of this Amendment is, in a sense, to keep the hon. Lady and the Minister of Food honest; to see that they carry out the principles of the Bill which they expressed so clearly to us in the House, and which are part of the national food policy of this Government—the carrying on of the old British restaurants. We want them to carry out the pledge given in the speeches made by the Minister and his Parliamentary Secretary in the Second Reading Debate. But things seem to have changed very much indeed. The Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister would appear to have been encouraged by the speeches of hon. Members behind them, such as that of the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Walkden) who, I understood, regarded the Copenhagen concept as something of a shibboleth and wished for a combination of Blackpool Tower and the parks, run on municipal lines. Let us get down to the basic food policy of the country, and, if we can, help our people. Do not let us extend it to the whole sphere of retail trading, which will happen if this Amendment is not adopted.
The Minister of Food changed his tone entirely when he was upstairs in Committee. When heckled, he said he would try to repair an omission. He said that Socialist enterprise has just as good a right to trade as private enterprise. They were using public funds, and, for that purpose, had the authorisation of the ratepayers. I am quite sure that the last part of his remark was a slip, or, perhaps, he had forgotten that it is not the ratepayers or the general electorate who solve these problems. It is a matter of serious complaint that the Government, instead of coming to us openly and saying, "We want to go into the retail trade and to introduce a Bill to enable us to do so," let it creep into another Bill in the form of an ancillary measure. I think we must take note of that, and fight the proposal very hard. The hon Lady gave this the very graceful name of "fetch and carry." I hope that before the Debate 897 closes she will tell us if that is an announcement of a new concession in food rationing. She referred to the problem of the old people who could go to a civic restaurant, get their food and carry it away. Is that meant as a new concession? As I understand the position in regard to rationed food, it can be obtained provided it is eaten on the restaurant premises. Is the hon. Lady now saying that people can go into a restaurant, give an order and have meat sent to them off the ration, and consume it in their own homes? Or, alternatively, if I am a little short of meat, could I go to the nearest restaurant—
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
Can I go to the restaurant and say, "I would like to have a joint for Sunday," although I have no meat coupons? This is quite a serious question. The hon. Lady put her case as high as that. If I misunderstood it, or if I have perhaps carried it a little too far, I will gladly give way to enable her to deny it.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I shall certainly deny it. I talked about old people collecting a meal, not collecting a joint. That is an entirely different matter.
§ Dr. Summerskill
They would enjoy a meal in the same way as the hon. and gallant Member enjoyed a meal in this House tonight.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
Except that the hon. Lady wants them to take it away with them, and not to eat it on the premises. There is a very big difference between the two under the rationing laws of this country. The hon. Member for Doncaster said it had been done all during the war. It has certainly not been done by me or my hon. Friends.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hubert Beaumont)
We cannot have the Debate conducted in this very irregular manner.
§ Wing-Commander Robinson
Like you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I prefer not to be interrupted. I wish to raise one more 898 point in relation to the retail trade and the food policy of the country. The fact that municipalities can use part of the premises will not make available to the general public one more- loaf of bread. That is already controlled by the rationing system of the country. It cannot make any difference to the price of bread which is sold in the shops, because the ancillary activities must be conducted under the same conditions as those in any other shop in the country. It will not help the people of the country in regard to cigarettes; not one more cigarette will be manufactured; the price of the standard brands in the civic restaurant shop will remain at 2s. 4d., as it is elsewhere. Therefore, there can be no real benefit in that direction, although they are entering trade and competing, with rate-aided subsidies behind them, against the ordinary people who run small shops all over the country.
The hon. Lady did not answer the question which I asked her in Committee, whether the policy in this regard has been co-ordinated with the Board of Trade. It is a well known fact that for a long time the Board of Trade has taken the view that there are too many shops in this country already. It is very difficult indeed to get a licence to open a new shop in this country, and yet the Minister of Food says, "We propose to open these shops for ourselves" For Heaven's sake let the Government agree among themselves and get co-ordination, and let the different Departments speak with one voice instead of 20 different voices on this subject. I hope that, even at this late stage, the matter can be reconsidered. Hon. Members on this side of the House have pledged themselves to support the cause of the small trader. And unlike hon. Members opposite we will not break our pledges in this, or indeed in any other direction.
§ Mr. McAllister (Rutherglen)
I intervene very briefly, particularly because the speeches to which we have just listened represent the Tory Party at its worst. This Amendment, which looks so innocent on the surface, is really vicious, for it has no purpose other than to cripple and confine civic restaurants once they are established; and the real intention is disguised by a masquerade of sympathy with the individual private trader the ex-Serviceman, and so on It is quite nauseating. I think I can speak with some authority here, because I had considerable respon- 899 sibility for the organisation of British restaurants in North-West England and the whole of Scotland when they were started during the war. It is very odd, but I came against opposition to British restaurants in two places. One was Blackpool, and the other was the city of Glasgow with its Socialist Corporation. It is very interesting, since we are considering ancillary services and the protection of the private trader, to consider the reasons for the opposition in those two cases. In Blackpool it was quite obvious; Blackpool is very largely a town of people engaged in the catering trade. Quite naturally— and I do not blame them for it—they desired to protect the interests of the catering trade in a holiday resort.
§ Mr. McAllister
The facilities, to a very large extent, were already there; and to do the Blackpool caterers full justice, they did co-operate with the Ministry in establishing British restaurants. In Glasgow the opposition was rather different. Glasgow is the restaurant city of the United Kingdom. It is a city which first gave rise to every form of restaurant now operating throughout the civilised world. I could go on at length on that theme, but I am restricted by the rules of Order. The cafeteria was first invented by the Glasgow restaurateur John Laing. That great restaurant system that went right through Europe—
§ Mr. McAllister
I shall attempt to be very brief, but if I could develop this point for one moment I would point out that Kate Cranstoun and Charles Kennie Mackintosh first created the restaurant tea room—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
However interesting it may be historically, I do not think I can allow the hon. Member to continue.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
But, Sir, this is extremely interesting, and of great importance in relation to the subject we are discussing.
§ Mr. McAllister
I have promised—and shall faithfully honour my promise—to be brief, but this is, as the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the Scottish Universities (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) has just said, absolutely germane to the point and to the argument.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
No. The hon. Member has promised to be brief. He must also be relevant. He is developing an argument and giving a survey which is not in Order.
§ Mr. McAllister
I shall endeavour to submit to your Ruling, Sir. But in Glasgow there was enormous opposition to British restaurants, because the facilities were already there. In Glasgow, one had to admit, there was a restaurant service offering to the people of Glasgow facilities incomparably good, which everybody, every section of the community, could afford, and therefore there was opposition to the idea of civic restaurants. But I wanted to see them in Glasgow—and I still want to see them in every industrial town—provided the civic restaurants are first-rate restaurants. The effect of this Amendment, if accepted, would be to turn them into second-rate or even third-rate restaurants. A civic restaurant is not merely a place where one receives a poor quality meal at a cheap price. It can be the sort of restaurant which hon. Gentlemen opposite frequent, and we want our civic restaurants to be as good as any hon. Members are in the habit of going to. I hope, for that reason, that the Amendment will be rejected.
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
It is precisely because the Amendment would do nothing to stop civic restaurants being as good as any other restaurants, that I still believe it is a sound Amendment. We have had a considerable discussion on this Amendment, and I, personally, would not have risen, but for the speech of the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk (Mr. Dye). It seems he has not really understood what we are driving at in this Amendment. I have no doubt that his misunderstanding was to a large extent due to the fact, as so often happens both on the Floor of the House and upstairs in Committee, that the hon. Lady, like other Members on the Front Bench, did not take any trouble to address herself to the speeches made on this side of the House setting out what we were aiming at.
901 9.15 p.m.
The object of this Amendment is not to destroy the chance of a civic restaurant being a properly-run and attractive place where people can go and get food; what we are endeavouring to do is to confine the local authority to the provision of a restaurant—however good they may seek to make it—and prevent the local authority from extending its functions away outside the provision of meals. After all, the main object of a restaurant, as hon. Members have reminded the House, and the declared object of the Government in introducing this Bill, was to provide adequate supplementary nourishment to the people of this country, carrying out what they were pleased to call their nutritional policy. We take no exception to that definition, but if that is the object, let us confine the restaurants to fulfilling that purpose and not, by a side wind, as is done in this Bill which is so widely drawn, allow the local authority to go far outside what everyone regards as the primary purpose of the Bill.
The hon. Member for South-West Norfolk described what was being done in his constituency for the farm labourers. Considering that I was very largely responsible, with Lord Woolton, for getting arrangements made for the supplementary feeding of farm workers during the war, and for introducing "cash and carry" and extending it to hot meals because, from the nature of their work, they could not go to a canteen like the men in a factory, I am the very last person to endeavour in any way to limit what can be done for farm workers. But this Amendment would not limit it. All that this Amendment would do would be, for example, to allow a civic restaurant in a rural area to continue to provide an agricultural labourer with a sausage roll, shall we say, but prevent it from sending a raw sausage out to him. What we are trying to do is to prevent the local authority, quite definitely, from starting a retail shop.
§ Mr. Mitchison (Kettering)
Could the right hon. Gentleman explain to me how sending out a meal, cooked or uncooked, for the use of an agricultural labourer would be something "requisite for the purpose of providing meals in the restaurant"?
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
If the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) had been in his place during the Debate, he would have heard that point explained at considerable length, but for the sake of hon. Members who have sat through the Debate, I do not propose to waste time by going over it again.
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
If it is not a meal, it is ancillary to a meal, and there is nothing in our Amendment which would prevent the provision of one or even more buns, as many buns as he likes, to an agricultural labourer. What it would do, as I say, is to prevent the civic restaurant from becoming a retail shop and selling raw food for subsequent cooking in the man's own house. The speech of the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk has, perhaps, thrown a light on the real reasons underlying the support given by so many hon. Members opposite to this Bill, especially as far as the rural workers are concerned. Experience of the war definitely indicated that as far as rural areas are concerned, the rural worker would prefer his wife to be able to buy the food herself and cook it for him, rather than go to a British restaurant. It was only because food was drastically rationed that we had to consider this system of sending out food to the workers. The view of hon. Members on this side of the House is that we want to get the country back to a condition in which we shall not need this supplementary feeding, because people will be able to buy as much as they like, and one of the reasons which actuated the hon. Member is that he is afraid, so long as his party is in power, they will have to have supplementary feeding.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill".904
§ The House divided: Ayes, 296; Noes,139905
|Division No. 80.]||AYES||[9.25 p.m.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Ede, Rt. Hon. J C.||Lindgren, G. S|
|Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)||Edelman, M.||Longden, F.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A V.||Edwards, A (Middlesbrough, E.)||Lyne, A W|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Edwards, N (Caerphilly)||McAllister, G.|
|Alpass, J. H||Edwards, W. J (Whitechapel)||McEntee, V. La T|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||McGhee, H. G.|
|Anderson, F (Whitehaven)||Ewart, R.||Mack, J. D.|
|Attewell, H. C.||Fairhurst, F.||McKay, J. (Wallsend)|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon C||Field, Capt W. J.||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)|
|Austin, H Lewis||Fletcher, E G M. (Islington, E.)||McLeavy, F|
|Awbery, S. S||Follick, M.||Ma. Millan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Ayles, W H.||Foot, M. M.||Macpherson, T. (Romford)|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Foster, W. (Wigan)||Mallalieu, J. P. W|
|Bacon, Miss A||Fraser, T (Hamilton)||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)|
|Baird, J||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Marshall, F (Brightside)|
|Balfour, A||Gaitskell, H, T. N.||Mayhew, C. P.|
|Barnes, Rt Hon. A. J||Gallacher, W.||Mcllish, R. J.|
|Barstow, P. G.||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||Messer, F.|
|Barton, C.||Gibbins, J||Middleton, Mrs. L|
|Battley, J. R.||Gibson, C W||Mikardo, Ian|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.|
|Bellinger, Rt Hon. F. J||Gooch, E G.||Mitchison, Maj. G. R.|
|Benson, G||Goodrich, H. E||Monslow, W|
|Berry, H.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A (Wakefield)||Montague, F|
|Beswick, F.||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)||Moody, A S|
|Bing, G. H C||Grentell, D. R.||Morley, R|
|Binns, J.||Grey, C. F||Morris, P (Swansea, W.)|
|Blackburn, A. R||Grierson, E||Mort, D L|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Moyle, A.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Griffiths, W D (Moss Side)||Murray, J D|
|Boardman, H||Gunter, R J.||Nally, W.|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr H. W.||Guy, W. H||Naylor, T. E.|
|Bowles, F G (Nuneaton)||Haire, John E (Wycombe)||Neal, H. (Claycross)|
|Braddock, Mrs E M. (L'p[...] Exch'ge)||Hale, Leslie||Nichol, Mrs. M. E (Bradford, N.)|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Hall, W. G||Nicholls, H R (Stratford)|
|Bramall, Major E. A||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P J (Derby)|
|Brook, D (Halifax)||Hardman, D R||Noel-Buxton, Lady|
|Brooks, T J. (Rothwell)||Hardy E A||O'Brien, T|
|Brown, T. J (Ince)||Harrison, J||Oldfield, W H|
|Bruce, Maj. D W. T||Hastings, Dr Somerville||Oliver, G H|
|Buchanan, G||Henderson, A (Kingswinford)||Orbach, M.|
|Burden, T W.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Paget, R T|
|Burke, W. A.||Hewitson, Capt M||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)|
|Butler, H W (Hackney. S.)||Hicks, G.||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Holman, P||Pargiter, G A|
|Chamberlain. R. A||Holmes, H E. (Hemsworth)||Parker, J|
|Champion, A. J||Hoy, J||Parkin, B [...]|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Hudson, J H. (Ealing, W.)||Paton, J. (Norwich)|
|Clitherow, Dr. R||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pearson, A.|
|Cobb, F A||Hughes, H. D (W'lverh'pton. W.)||Peart, Capt. T F|
|Cocks, F. S||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Perrins, W|
|Coldrick. W||Hynd, Rt Hon. J. B. (Attercliffe)||Piratin, P|
|Collick, P||Irving, W J||Platts-Mills, J. F. F.|
|Collindridge, F.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon G. A.||Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)|
|Collins, V. J||Janner, B||Porter, E (Warrington)|
|Colman, Miss G M.||Jay, D. P. T||Price, M. Philips|
|Comyns, Dr L||Jeger, G (Winchester)||Proctor, W T|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.||Jeger, Dr S W (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Pursey, Cmdr. H|
|Corbet, Mrs. F K. (Camb'well, N.W)||Jones. Rt Hon A G. (Shipley)||Randall, H E.|
|Corlett, Dr J.||Jones, D T (Hartlepools)||Ranger, J|
|Crossman, R H. S||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Rees-Williams. D R|
|Daggar, G||Jones, J H (Bolton)||Reeves, J|
|Daines, P||Jones, P Asterley (Hitchin)||Reid, T (Swindon)|
|Dalton, Rt Hon H||Keenan, W||Rhodes, H|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Kenyon. C||Robens, A|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Key, C W||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||King, E M||Robertson, J. J (Berwick)|
|Davies, R J (Westhoughton)||Kinghorn, Sqn-Ldr E||Rogers, G. H. R.|
|Deer, G||Kinley J.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)|
|Delargy, Captain H J||Kirby, B [...]||Sargood, R|
|Diamond, J||Kirkwood, D.||Scott-Elliot, W|
|Dodds, N. N||Lang, G.||Segal, Dr S|
|Donovan, T||Lavers, S.||Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr E. A. A|
|Driberg, T E. N.||Lee, F. (Hulme)||Sharp, Granville|
|Dugdale, J (W Bromwich)||Lee Miss J. (Cannock)||Shawcross, C. N (Widnes)|
|Dumpleton, C. W||Lever, N. H||Shawcross Rt Hn Sir H. (St. Helens)|
|Durbin, E. F M||Levy, B. W||Silverman, J. (Erdington)|
|Dye, S||Lewis, A. W J. (Upton)||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)|
|Simmons, C. J.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E)||While, C F. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Skeffington, A. M||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W|
|Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Thurtle, E||Wigg, Col. G. E|
|Snow, Capt. J W||Tiffany, S.||Wilkes, L.|
|Solley, L. J.||Titterington, M F||Willey, F T. (Sunderland)|
|Sorensen, R. W.||Tolley, L.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Soskice, Maj. Sir F||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon G||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Sparks, J. A.||Ungoed-Thomas, L.||Williams, W. R (Heston)|
|Stamford, W||Usborne, Henry||Williamson, T.|
|Steele, T.||Vernon, Maj. W. F||Willis, E|
|Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Viant, S. P.||Wilson, J. H.|
|Strachey, J.||Walkden, E||Wise, Major F J|
|Stross, Dr. B.||Walker, G. H.||Woodburn, A|
|Stubbs, A E.||Wallace, H. W (Walthamtow, E)||Woods, G. S|
|Summerskill, Dr. Edith||Warbey, W. N.||Wyatt, W.|
|Swingler, S.||Watkins, T. E.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Symonds, A. L.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)||Younger, Hon Kenneth|
|Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)||Weitzman, D.||Zilliacus, K|
|Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)||Wells, W. T (Walsall)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)||West, D. G||Mr. Hannan and|
|Thomas, I. O (Wrekin)||Westwood, Rt Hon. J||Mr. Popplewell.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G||Gruflyd, Prof. W. J.||Noble, Comdr. A. H P|
|Aitken, Hon. Max||Harvey Air-Comdre. A. V||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Haughton, S. G||Osborne, C|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R||Henderson, John (Catheart)||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Peto, Brig. C H. M|
|Beechman, N. A.||Howard, Hon. A.||Pickthorn, K|
|Birch, Nigel||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R S (Southport)||Prescott, Stanley|
|Boles, Lt -Col D. C. (Wells)||Hurd, A.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O|
|Boothby, R.||Hutchison, Col J R (Glasgow, C.)||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Bossom, A. C||Jarvis, Sir J.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Bowen, R.||Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon [...] W||Renton, D.|
|Bower, N.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Lambert, Hon G.||Roberts, H. (Handsworth)|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J G.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Robinson, Wing-Comdr Roland|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W||Langford-Holt, J.||Ropner, Col L|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Ross, Sir R D (Londonderry)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Lennox-Boy[...], A. T.||Sanderson, Sir F|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A (S'ftr'n W'ld'n)||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Byers, Frank||Linstead, H. N||Stanley, Rt. Hon. O|
|Carson, E||Lipson, D. L.||Stoddart-Scott, Col M.|
|Challen, C.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Strauss, H. G (English Universities)|
|Channon, H.||Low, Brig A. R. W||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Cot. G||Lucas, Major Sir J||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Taylor, Vice-Adm E.A (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)||Teeling, William|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F C||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||MacLeod, J.||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F|
|Darling, Sir W. Y||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Touche, G. C.|
|De la Bére, R.||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Digby, S. W.||Manningham-Buller, R. E||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D||Morlowe, A. A. H.||Ward, Hon G R.|
|Drewe, C.||Marples, A. E.||Watt, Sir G. S Harvie|
|Eccles, D. M.||Marsden, Capt. A.||Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon Walter||Marshall, S. H, (Sutton)||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L||Medlicott, F.||While, J B. (Canterbury)|
|Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Mellor, Sir J.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Fox, Sir G.||Molson, A. H. E.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone)||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||York, C.|
|Gage, C.||Morris-Jones, Sir H.||Young, Sir A S. L. (Partick)|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W S (Cireneester)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Mr. Studholme and|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Nicholson, G.||Major Ramsay.|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G||Nield, B. (Chester)|
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Westwood)
I beg to move, in page I, line 15, at the end, to insert:Provided that this subsection shall not authorise the grant of a certificate under the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, 1903 to 1934, for the sale of excisable liquor in any such restaurant in Scotland.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
This Amendment was discussed along with a previous Amendment and is now being put formally.
§ Colonel Gomme-Duncan
With great respect, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, two other Amendments were also joined with a previous Amendment, but discussion was allowed on them.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
I am afraid that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has not been in the House, and has not followed what happened.
§ Mr. Marlowe
On a point of Order While it is perfectly true that these matters were discussed together, and it may have been generally understood that the discussion should be brought to an end, I did not understand that the discussion would be concluded by the
§ Government moving the Closure, and, therefore, hon. Members who wished to discuss this matter were prevented from so doing.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Goronwy Roberts
I beg to move, in page 1, line 15, after the words last inserted, to insert:Provided that this subsection shall not authorise the sale or supply of exciseable liquor in any such restaurant in Wales and Monmouth.
§ Question put, "That those words he there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 159: Noes, 247911
|Division No. 81.]||AYES||[9.38 p.m.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G||George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Aitken, Hon Max||George, Lady M Lloyd (Anglesey)||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)|
|Amory, D Heathcoat||Glossop, C W H||Morris-Jones, Sir H.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G.||Morrison, Maj. J G. (Salisbury)|
|Astor, Hon. M||Grenfell, D. R.||Morrison, Rt. Hon W S. (Cirencester)|
|Ayles, W. H||Grimston, R. V.||Murray, J. D.|
|Battley, J. R.||Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)||Neven-Spence, Sir B|
|Beechman, N A||Harvey Air-Comdre. A. V||Nicholson, G|
|Birch, Nigel||Hastings, Dr Somerville||Nield, B (Chester)|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C (Wells)||Haughton, S G||Noble, Comdr A. H. P.|
|Boothby, R.||Henderson, John (Catheart)||Orr-Ewing, I L.|
|Bossom, A. C||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Osborne, C|
|Bowen. R.||Howard, Hon. A.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M|
|Bower, N.||Hudson, J H. (Ealing, W.)||Pickthorr, K|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Hudson, Rt. Hon R. S. (Southport)||Prescott, Stanley|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr J. G||Hurd, A.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W||Hutchison, Col J. R. (Glasgow, C.)||Ramsay, Maj S|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P G T||Jarvis, Sir J.||Rayner, Brig. R|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr Hon. L. W||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Kenyon, C.||Renton, D.|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Roberts, H (Handsworth)|
|Byers, Frank||Lambert, Hon. G||Robinson, Wing-Comdr Roland|
|Carson, E||Lancaster, Col. C G||Ropner, Col L|
|Challen, C||Lang, G.||Ross, Sir R D (Londonderry)|
|Channon, H.||Langford-Holt, J||Sharp, Granville|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E A H||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Conant, Maj R J. E||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Skeffington-Lodge, T. C|
|Cooper-Key E. M||Linstead, H. N||Stanley, Rt Hon. O|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Lipson, D. L.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M|
|Crookshank, Capt Rt. Hon. H. F C||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Strauss, H. G (English Universities)|
|Crowder, Capt. John E||Low, Brig A. R. W.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)|
|Cuthbert, W N.||Lucas, Major Sir J||Studholme, H G|
|Darling, Sir W Y.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Da la Bére, R||Macdonald, Sir P. (I of Wight)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S)|
|Digby, S. W.||McGhee, H. G.||Teeling, William|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D||Mackeson, Brig. H R||Thomas, D E. (Aberdare)|
|Drewe, C.||McKie, J H. (Galloway)||Thomas, J. P L. (Hereford)|
|Eccles, D M.||MacLeod, J.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P (Monmouth)|
|Eden, Rt. Hon A.||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Thorp, Lt-Col R. A. F.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon Walter||Maitland, Comdr J. W.||Touche, G C.|
|Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr E. L.||Manningham-Buller, R. E||Ungoed-Thomas, L|
|Fletcher, W (Bury)||Marlowe, A A. H.||Vane, W M F.|
|Foster, J. G (Northwich)||Marples, A. E.||Viant, S. P|
|Fox, Sir G||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Fraser, Maj H. C. P. (Stone)||Marshall, S H (Sutton)||Ward, Hon G R.|
|Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Medlicott, F.||Watkins, T E.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D P. M||Mellor, Sir J.||Watt, Sir G S Harvie|
|Gage, C.||Monslow, W.||Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T||Wheatley, Colonel M. J|
|White, Sir D. (Fareham)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|White, J. B. (Canterbury)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Williams, C. (Torquay)||York, C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Williams. Gerald (Tonbridge)||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)||Mr. Goronwy Roberts and|
|Mr. Emrys Roberts.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Follick, M.||Neal, H. (Claycross)|
|Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)||Foot, M. M||Nichol, Mrs. M E. (Bradford, N.)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V||Foster, W. (Wigan)||Nicholls, H R (Stratford)|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P J (Derby)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Gaitskell, H. T. N.||Noel-Buxton, Lady|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Gibbins, J.||O'Brien, T|
|Attewell, H. C.||Gibson, C. W.||Oldfield, W. H|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Oliver, G. H|
|Awbery, S. S.||Gooch, E. G.||Paget, R. T|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Goodrich, H. E||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Greenwood, A. W J (Heywood)||Palmer, A. M. F|
|Baird, J.||Grey, C. F||Pargiter, G A|
|Balfour, A.||Grierson, E||Parker, J|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J||Griffiths, Rt Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Parkin, B. T.|
|Barstow, P. G||Griffiths, W D (Moss Side)||Paton, J (Norwich)|
|Barton, C.||Guy, W. H||Pearson, A|
|Bechervaise, A. E||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Pearl, Capt. T F|
|Belcher, J. W.||Hale, Leslie||Perrins, W|
|Bellinger, Rt. Hon. F. J||Hall, W. G||Piratin, P|
|Benson, G||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R||Platts-Mills, J. F. F.|
|Berry, H.||Hardman, D. R||Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)|
|Beswick, F||Hardy, E A||Popplewell, E.|
|Sing, G. H. C||Harrison, J.||Porter, E. (Warrington)|
|Binns, J.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Price, M Philips|
|Blackburn, A R||Hewitson, Capt. M||Pritt, D. N|
|Blenkinsop, A||Hicks, G||Proctor, W. T|
|Blyton, W R||Holman, P.||Pursey, Cmdr H|
|Boardman, H.||Holmes, H E (Hemsworth)||Ranger, J.|
|Bawden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||House, G.||Rees-Williams, [...] R|
|Bowles. F. G. (Nuneaton)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Reeves, J.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)||Hughes, H D (W'lverh'pton, W.)||Reid, T (Swindon)|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Robens, A.|
|Bramall, Major E. A.||Hynd, Rt Hon. J B. (Attereliffe)||Rogers, G. H. R|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Irving, W J.||Royle, C.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Isaacs, Rt Hon. G. A||Scott-Elliot, W|
|Brown, T J. (Ince)||Janner, B||Segal, Dr S.|
|Bruce, Maj D W. T||Jay, D. P. T||Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr. E. A. A|
|Burden, T. W.||Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)|
|Burke. W. A.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A C. (Shipley)||Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)|
|Butler, H W. (Hackney, S.)||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)|
|Castle, Mrs B. A.||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Simmons, C. J.|
|Chamberlain, R. A||Jones, J H. (Bolton)||Skeffington, A. M|
|Champion, A. J.||Jones, P Asterley (Hitchin)||Smith, S. H (Hull, S.W)|
|Chetwynd, G. R||Keenan. W||Snow, Capt J W|
|Clitherow, Dr. R||Key, C. W||Solley, L J|
|Cobb, F. A.||King, E M||Sorensen, R. W|
|Coldrick, W||Kinghorn, S[...].-Ldr E||Soskice, Maj. Sir F|
|Collindridge, F.||Kinley, J.||Stamford, W|
|Comyns, Dr. L||Kirby, B. V||Stewart, Michael (Fulham. E.)|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.||Lavers, S.||Strachey, J.|
|Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well. N W)||Lee, F. (Hulme)||Stross, Dr. B|
|Corlett, Dr. J||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Stubbs, A. E.|
|Grossman, R H. S||Lever, N. H||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Daines, P.||Levy, B. W.||Swingler, S.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H||Lewis, A. W. J (Upton)||Symonds, A. L.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Lindgren, G. S||Taylor, H B. (Mansfield)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Longden, F.||Taylor, R J. (Morpeth)|
|Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W)||Lyne, A. W.||Taylor, Dr. S (Barnel)|
|Deer, G||MeEntee, V. La T.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Delargy, Captain H [...]||Mack, J D.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)|
|Diamond, J.||McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Dodds, N. N||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N W)||Thurtle, E|
|Donovan, T.||McLeavy, F.||Tiffany, S|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||Mallalieu, J P. W.||Titterington, M. F|
|Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Tolley, L.|
|Durbin, E. F. M.||Marshall, F. (Brightside)||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Dye, S||Mayhew, C P.||Usborne, Henry|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C||Middleton, Mrs. L||Vernon, Maj W F|
|Edelman, M.||Mikardo, Ian||Walkder, E|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R||Walker, G H.|
|Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Mitchison, Maj G R||Wallace, H W. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Montague, F||Warbey, W N.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Moody, A. S||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Morley, R.||Weitzman, D.|
|Ewart, R.||Mort, D. L||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Fairhurst, F.||Moyle, A.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Field, Capt W J.||Nally, W.||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J|
|Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Naylor, T. E||White, P F. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Whiteley, Rt. Hon W||Willey, O G. (Cleveland)||Zilliacus, K|
|Wigg, Col. G. E.||Williamson, T|
|Wilcock, Group. Capt. C. A. B||Wilson, J H||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Wilkes, L.||Wyatt, W||Mr. Joseph Henderson and|
|Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)||Younger, Hon Kenneth||Mr. Hannan.|
Amendment made: In page 1, line 24, after "thereto," insert:
including, in England and Wales, the enactments relating to the sale of intoxicating liquor"—[Mr. Strachey.]
§ 9.45 p.m.
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
I beg to move, in page I, line 25, at the end, to insert:(5) No member of a civic restaurant authority shall sit on any tribunal which is considering any application made to it for any purpose under the provisions of this ActIn view of the discussion which took place earlier in the day on the difficulties of allowing civic restaurants to sell drink in Scotland, I hope the hon. Lady will not need to detain the House long over this Amendment, and that she will see the desirability of accepting it. It is quite clear that it is undesirable that anyone should be both advocate and judge in his own case, as I think the Attorney-General would agree. All we are asking is that no member of a local authority who is applying for facilities under this Act should sit on any tribunal that is to consider the application. Indeed, it seems so obvious and so fair to everyone concerned, including, I think, the members of the local authorities themselves, that I hope the hon. Lady will see her way to accept it.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I will not disguise from the right hon. Gentleman that we approve the principle embodied in this Amendment, but I think that perhaps more attention might have been given to its wording. The discussion on an earlier Amendment showed the House, I think, that the Opposition had not given that careful attention to the wording that they might have given. In the same way this wording is much too vague. I would remind the House that it is the common practice in this country for an interested party not to serve on a licensing tribunal, and we therefore feel that it would he a mistake to include the provision in this Bill. I do not wish to make a debating point of this, but I should like to point out that there is rather defective wording in the Amendment in that the application will be made under the Licensing Acts and certainly not under any provision of this Bill
§ As I say, I do not emphasise that, but am just drawing attention to it.
§ Dr. Summerskill
What I say is right. The application will be made under the Licensing Act and not under any provision of this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman's friends agree with me.
§ Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)
The hon. Lady is wrong. The Amendment says:… for any purpose under the provisions of this Act.An application can be made under this Bill for many purposes.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I think that the interpretation of the Amendment as it is on the Paper would be that the application for a licence would he made under this Bill
§ Dr. Summerskill
As I told the right hon. Gentleman, I do not want to emphasise the point, but the Amendment is a little vague and obscure.
§ Mr. Hudson
All applications in respect of civic restaurants do not come under the Licensing Acts by any means A civic restaurant cannot be started without food. and an application for a licence for that will not be made under the Licensing Acts. It will be made to a tribunal set up under the auspices of the hon. Lady's own Department and the chairman of it is, I believe, the town clerk
§ Dr. Summerskill
I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree with me that this Amendment refers to an application for a licence for alcoholic liquors.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I accept that, because I am going to deal with the other applications which a civic restaurant can make. As far as licences for alcoholic liquor are concerned, I would remind the House that it is customary in this country for an interested party not to serve on a bench of magistrates concerned with that application, and if we were to include it in this Bill it might have a different effect. A member of a local authority might be a licensing justice. If he saw this provision in the Bill he would not, therefore, serve on the licensing bench when an application from his own authority was being heard, but he might argue that, as far as any other new licence was concerned, there was no enactment which prohibited him from serving on a bench when an application from a neighbouring catering establishment was heard. As matters stand at present, a member of a local authority would not do that, and we think it wrong, in view of the established practice, to include this in this Bill.
I have a much stronger argument than that. The right hon. Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson) has just agreed with me that there would be other applications to be made, and he has forgotten the very important point that applications are made by British restaurants now—they will be called civic restaurants after this Bill has become law —for music and dancing licences. If we accepted this Amendment it would proclude restaurant authorities in certain parts of the country—I think in London, in the Home Counties, in Leeds, and in Southampton—from applying for music and dancing licences, because the tribunal which decides that is the local authority itself. Surely, the House does not expect us to set up some new machinery for this purpose. I am informed that in these areas—and many hon. Members represent these areas—licences have been applied for during the past few years, and I am told that there is no evidence at all that the authorities have abused their trust. Therefore, it would be unwise for us to include this very vaguely-worded Amendment in the Bill and prohibit those authorities from obtaining a dancing and music licence.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)
I find the Parliamentary Secretary's answer most unsatisfactory. Her answer was two-fold: first, quite apart from any provision in the Bill, 914 no member of any local authority would ever sit on such an application; and, second, that a prohibition of this sort would be highly inconvenient because so often they had to sit. The hon. Lady cannot have it both ways. She really accepted the principle which my right hon. Friend the Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson) put forward, that it was wrong for anybody, be it an individual or a public authority, to be at the same time applicant and judge. She then made a certain number of comments upon the drafting of the Clause—
§ Dr. Summerskill
I do not want the hon. Member to be misled. I think he misunderstands the case. I was talking about two tribunals—the licensing authority, and the tribunal, which is the whole local authority and not the licensing authority which grants music and dancing licences.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Do I understand that the hon. Lady accepts that it is undesirable for members of a local authority to sit as licensing justices when licensing application is made?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I understand the hon. Lady to indicate that. In that case surely it is incumbent upon her, if she attempts to indicate willingness, to insert the necessary provision? She cannot say, first, that this is highly desirable and, second, that the Government will do absolutely nothing about it. That is treating the House with contempt. The hon. Lady knows, or if she does not, the Attorney-General does, that any person who holds even shares in a brewery company is under the Licensing Acts debarred from sitting as a licensing justice. That is a very proper provision, but it is surely quite wrong that members of a local authority should be able to sit when applications by their own authorities are before them I do not know how the hon. Lady thinks this will work out. She has indicated the undesirability of the practice. but, none the less, if she and her Government reject this Amendment it will he perfectly apparent that in the view of the Government there should he no statutory bar upon it, and such justices will feel perfectly free to sit.
§ The Secretary of State for the Horny Department (Mr. Ede)
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Notwithstanding the vibrations of the Home Secretary's head, which has obtained a very high muzzle velocity, I hope that the hon. Lady or some other member of the Government will come forward to indicate that they are prepared to do something to deal with this matter which they themselves regard as at fault. There are many unsatisfactory features in the Bill which are the result of the deliberate action of His Majesty's Government. Is it really necessary to add one more out of sheer carelessness?
§ Mr. J. Hudson
The only point on which I should be interested and at all likely to be on the same side as hon. Members opposite is if there were any doubt about the question of those who were interested in an application for a liquor licence sitting on the magistrates' bench to grant it. It is quite clear to me from what the hon. Lady has said—and, I take it, the violent agreement expressed by the Home Secretary at the same time —that there cannot be sitting on a bench of magistrates any town councillor who has already agreed to ask for a licence of this sort. That being so, under the present law there is no need on that issue to put in this Amendment at all. On any other ground I do not see why this Amendment was necessary. I want to say —and I hope the hon. Lady will pass this on to the Minister—that on many town councils which make this application, so many will become involved, that on the bench of magistrates there will be very few left sitting to make this judgment, and I am not altogether sure whether the objection which has been expressed by the Minister of Food with regard to Scotland will not begin to apply also to benches of English magistrates.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Nicholson
I hope the hon. Lady will consider carefully what she has said. I feel that she is lacking in her usual acuteness. She said she agreed in principle with the Amendment. I always think that is the most gloomy thing to be said to any one, for it is usually followed by the word "but" and on this occasion the "but" was that it was badly drafted. Will she draft her own Amendment to achieve the same result, and put that on the Paper? She also said that she would not have anything to do with it, although she agreed with it in principle. That is 916 a confession of failure. The principle behind this Amendment is sound. After all, if a body is sitting on judgment upon its own application, it will be difficult for the members of that body to be fair and impartial. If it is an application for a dance hall, are the members of that body, who may be interested in dance halls, able to give a perfectly fair decision? Perhaps they are, but will they not lay themselves open to misrepresentation and criticism on that subject? I do not think the hon. Lady is being fair to the local body, and I beg her to give the House a little more of her mind on this question.
§ Mr. Hopkin Morris
I, too, hope that the hon. Lady will reconsider this, for she has admitted the principle. It may be that the wording of the Amendment requires redrafting. There are two classes of application which could be made. The first is to the licensing justices in respect of alcoholic liquor. It is clear that no member of the licensing authority could sit as a licensing justice in that case, but when you come to the other class of licence mentioned by the hon. Lady, licences for music and dancing, the local authority making that application will have already said quite clearly that it is desirable and necessary, and a decision by them will be purely farcical. On the other hand, supposing there is competition between applicants, one from the civic restaurant and the other from another restaurant, before the authority at the same time, and only one is to be granted, to which applicant will they grant it? They are bound to grant it to their own application, that is, to themselves. They cannot be fair and impartial in those circumstances, and some sort of tribunal ought to be devised to deal with that special circumstance within the principle which the hon. Lady has accepted.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I wonder if the House would allow me to answer that point? I see there is confusion in the minds of hon. Members opposite. Let me take first the point raised by the hon. and learned Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Hopkin Morris). That will answer also the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). Hon Members find it difficult to understand why, on the one hand, I say it is undesirable for members of the local authority to serve on a licensing bench when they are 917 considering the licence for a civic restaurant, but that it is a matter of indifference to us that the civic restaurant authority, as the local authority, decides whether its establishment shall have a dancing licence. The hon. and learned Member for Carmarthen said that if there were a private enterprise establishment and a civic restaurant establishment competing, obviously they would be biased.
The answer to both hon. Members is that they must consider the question which is to be decided. The licensing bench have to decide whether the licence is desirable. That is the question put to them as far as the licence for alcoholic Liquor is concerned. The tribunal which is to decide whether the music and dancing licence is to be given, has to decide an entirely different question. Evidence has to be produced that it is undesirable to give it. Very often there are two establishments, and if they are conducted ore desirable lines, and there is no evidence that people have misconducted themselves, both establishments will get the licence automatically.
§ Commander Galbraith
I would like to get one thing absolutely clear. The hon. Lady said that there appeared to be confusion on this side of the House. I think there is also confusion elsewhere. The
§ hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) put a very specific point. He seemed to consider that it was against the law as it stands for someone having an interest to serve on a licensing bench. The hon. Lady seemed to suggest that it was a custom, and that if she put something into the Bill it might destroy the custom, except in these specific cases. Is it illegal, and against some statutory provision, for people who are interested to sit on the licensing bench? If not, it seems to me that these words should go into the Bill.
§ Dr. Summerskill
People who are interested may not serve on the licensing bench, certainly. But, as I understand it, it is not laid down anywhere that members of a local authority may not serve on a licensing bench.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I am glad to have the confirmation of the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter).
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 127; Noes, 298.921
|Division No. 82.]||AYES||[10.5 p.m.|
|Aitken, Hon. Max.||Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R||Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Foster, J G (Northwich)||Manningham-Buller, R. E.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone)||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Birch, Nigel||Gage, C.||Marples, A. E.|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)|
|Boothby, R||George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)|
|Bottom, A. C||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Medlicott, F.|
|Bowen, R||Glossop, C. W. H.||Mellor, Sir J.|
|Bower, N.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G||Molson, A. H. E.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Grimston, R. V.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Morrison, Maj. J G. (Salisbury)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Haughton, S. G.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirenoester)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Henderson, John (Catheart)||Neven-Spence, Sir B.|
|Butcher, H W.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Nicholson, G.|
|Byers, Frank||Howard, Hon. A.||Nield, B. (Chester)|
|Carson, E||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.|
|Challen, C.||Hurd, A.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Channon, H.||Jarvis, Sir J.||Osborne, C.|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G||Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J, E.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Pickthorn, K.|
|Cooper-Key, E M.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Prescott, Stanley|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C||Langford-Holt, J.||Ramsay, Major S.|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||Linstead, H N.||Renton, D.|
|Davies, Clement (Montgomery)||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)|
|De la Bére, R.||Low, Brig A. R. W.||Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland|
|Digby, Maj S W.||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Ross, Sir R.|
|Drewe, C.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Sanderson, Sir F.|
|Eden, Rt Hon. A.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Sloddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||MacLeod, Capt. J.||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)|
|Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)||Touche, G. C.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Studholme, H. G.||Vane, W. M. F.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Sutcliffe, H.||Walker-Smith, D.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)||Ward, Hon. G. R.||York, C.|
|Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'ton, S.)||Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie|
|Teeling, William||Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.||Sir Arthur Young and|
|Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)||White, Sir D. (Fareham)||Commander Agnew|
|Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.||White, J. B (Canterbury)|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Oriberg, T. E. N.||Kirby, B. V.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V.||Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Dumpleton, C. W||Lang, G.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Durbin, E. F. M.||Lavers, S.|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Dye, S.||Lee, F. (Hulme)|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Edelman, M.||Lever, Fl. Off. N. H.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Levy, B. W.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)|
|Ayles, W. H.||Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Lindgren, G. S|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Longden, F.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Lyne A. W.|
|Baird, J.||Ewart, R.||McAllister, G.|
|Balfour, A.||Fairhurst, F.||McEntee, V. La T|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Farthing, W. J.||McGhee, H. G.|
|Barstow. P. G.||Field, Captain W. J.||Mack, J. D.|
|Barton, C.||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||McKay, J. (Wallsend)|
|Battley, J. R.||Follick, M.||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Foot, M. M.||McLeavy, F.|
|Belcher, J. W.||Foster, W. (Wigan)||McMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Macpherson, T. (Romford)|
|Benson, G.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.|
|Berry, H.||Gaitskell, H. T. N.||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)|
|Beswick, F.||Gallacher, W.||Marshall, F. (Brightside)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Ganley, Mrs. C. S||Martin, J. H.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Gibbins, J.||Mayhew, C. P.|
|Binns, J.||Gibson, C. W.||Medland, H. M|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Mellish, R. J.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Gooch, E. G||Messer, F|
|Blyton, W. R.||Goodrich, H. E.||Middleton, Mrs. L.|
|Boardman, H.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Greenwood, A. W J. (Heywood)||Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Grenfell, D. R||Mitchison, Maj. G. R.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Grey, C F.||Monslow, W.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Grierson, E.||Moody, A. S|
|Bramall, Major E. A.||Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Morley, R|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Gunter, R. J||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Guy, W. H||Mort, D. L.|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Hale, Leslie||Moyle, A.|
|Bruce, major D. W. T||Hall, W G.||Murray, J. D|
|Buchanan, G.||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.||Nally, W.|
|Burden, T. W||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)||Neal, H. (Claycross)|
|B[...]ke, W.A||Hardman, D. R.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Hardy, E. A.||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Harrison, J.||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)|
|Chamberlain, R. A.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon P. J. (Derby)|
|Champion, A. J.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Noel-Buxton, Lady|
|Chetwynd G. R.||Hewitson, Capt. M||O'Brien, T.|
|Clitherow, Dr. R||Holman, P||Oldfield, W. H|
|Cobb F. A||House, G||Oliver, G. H|
|Cocks, F. S.||Hoy, J||Orbach, M.|
|Coldrick, W.||Hudson, J H. (Ealing, W.)||Paget, R. T.|
|Collick, P.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)|
|Collindridge, F.||Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Collins, V.J.||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)|
|Colman, Miss G. M.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Irving, W. J.||Parker, J|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr, G.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Parkin, B. T.|
|Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)||Janner, B.||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)|
|Corlett, Dr. J.||Jay, D. P. T.||Paton, J. (Norwich)|
|Crossman, R. H. S||Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Pearson, A.|
|Daggar, G.||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Peart, Capt. T. F|
|Daines, P.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley)||Perrins, W.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Piratin, P.|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Platts-Mills, J. F. F.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Jones, J. H (Bolton)||Porter, E. (Warrington)|
|Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Price, M. Philips|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Keenan, W.||Pritt, D. N.|
|Deer, G.||Kenyon, C.||Proctor, W. T.|
|Delargy, Captain H. J.||Key, C. W.||Pursey, Cmdr. H|
|Diamond, J.||King, E. M.||Randall, H. E.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E||Ranger, J.|
|Donovan, T.||Kinlay, J||Rees-Williams, D. R.|
|Reeves, J.||Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)||Weitzman, D.|
|Reid, T. (Swindon)||Strachey, J.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Rhodes, H.||Stross, Dr. B||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Rubens, A.||Stubbs, A. E.||West, D. G.|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Summerskill, Dr. Edit[...]||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J|
|Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||Swingler, S.||White, C. F. (Derbyshire. W.)|
|Rogers, G. H. R.||Symonds, A. L.||Whiteley, Rt Hon. W.|
|Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Taylor, H B. (Mansfield)||Wigg, Col. G E.|
|Royle, C.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Wilcock, Group-Capt C. A. B|
|Sargood, R.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)||Wilkes, L.|
|Scott-Elliot, W||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Segal, Dr. S.||Thomas, I. O (Wrekin)||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Shackleton, Wing-Com. E. A. A||Thomson, Rt Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Sharp, Granville||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Williams, W. R (Heston)|
|Shawcross, C N. (Widnes)||Thurtle, E||Williamson, T|
|Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (St. [...])||Tiffany, S.||Willis, E.|
|Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Titterington, M P||Wilson, J. H.|
|Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)||Tolley, L.||Wise, Major F J|
|Simmons, C. J.||Ungoed-Thomas, L||Woodburn, A|
|Skeffington, A. M||Usborne, Henry||Woods, G. S.|
|Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Vernon, Maj. W [...]||Wyatt, W.|
|Snow, Capt. J. W||Viant, S P.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Solley, L. J.||Walkden, E||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Sorensen, R. W.||Walker. G H||Zilliacus, K|
|Soskice, Maj Sir F||Wallace, H. W (Walthamstow, E)|
|Sparks, J. A.||Warbey, W. N.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Stamford, W||Watkins, T E.||Mr. Joseph Henderson and|
|Steele, T||Webb. M (Bradford, C.)||Mr. Popplewell.|