HC Deb 03 December 1953 vol 521 cc1304-5
40. Mr. Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the White Paper on Offences for Drunkenness discloses that there are three times as many convictions for drunkenness in the City of London as there are in the next worst town for this offence in the whole country and that the figures are 227.66 per 10,000 of the population against 73.98 for Middlesbrough; and whether he will take steps to deal with this state of affairs.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

Yes, Sir; but the actual number of these offences in the City of London was no more than 107. Much as I regret these offences, I see no reason to suppose that the unusually large proportion which they bear to the City's population is due to anything other than the fact that the City's resident population is unusually small in proportion to the number of people who frequent it.

Mr. Gibson

Is the Minister aware that these proportions show quite clearly a drunkenness ratio three times worse in the City than in Middlesbrough? If that is so, would it not be a good idea for the Minister to encourage the Temperance Alliance to run a campaign in the City?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

Great as are the charms of Middlesbrough—Macaulay said, And pined by Arno for my lovelier Tees"— nevertheless, the number of people who visit it is distinctly smaller than the number who go into the City of London.

Mr. Marquand

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that Middlesbrough is an orderly and well-administered town and is not seeking his assistance in this matter?

Mr. J. Hudson

I appreciate the point the right hon. and learned Gentleman made about population, but is it not true that in the City and in London generally there is the special problem of the additional drink facilities which are provided by clubs? As he has done nothing so far, despite his promise, will he say whether he has this matter still in mind?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

I have the problem of clubs very much in mind.

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