§ Mr. Driberg
I beg leave to present a Petition signed by a number of electors in the ancient Borough of Maldon, Essex. This Petition shows that from time immemorial the citizens of Maldon have been accustomed in certain of their inns and public houses to purchase beer and other liquors obtained from the various breweries and other manufactories whose products they prefer; that this freedom of choice of beverage is not only a right greatly valued for its own sake by the Petitioners but also a source of profit to the borough, in that it has attracted thereto visitors in search of their favourite brews; that in recent years this freedom of choice has been impaired by restrictive arrangements devised in the interest of brewers seeking to establish their private monopolies; that, of the two remaining free inns within the borough, one, the King's Head Hotel, has been purchased in recent weeks by Messrs. Mann, Cross-man and Paulin, brewers, on terms which will restrict and infringe still further this ancient freedom; and that the growth of the system of tied houses is a grievous burden to the people of the Borough of Maldon and to those who commonly resort thither from other parts of the county of Essex and elsewhere. The Petition ends with the customary prayer:Wherefore, your Petitioners humbly pray that your Honourable House shall as soon as may be convenient approve legislation designed to terminate such restrictive practices and to 1160 set free all inns and public houses in Maldon and elsewhere. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
§ Petition to lie upon the Table.