§ 31. Mr. Hannan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has given consideration to the representations made to him by the Presbytery of Lanark of the Church of Scotland that the licensing laws in respect of Sundays should be amended; and what was the nature of his reply.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
I have nothing to add to the Answer my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lanark (Mr. Patrick Maitland) on 14th March.
§ Mr. Hannan
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in that reply it was stated that there was not sufficient evidence that such legislation was necessary? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these representations are supported by over seventy town and county councils throughout Scotland? What further evidence is necessary to induce legislation on this topic? Is he aware of the disgraceful scenes which take place in quiet communities throughout Scotland?
§ Mr. Macpherson
The trouble is that while everyone recognises that a problem exists, there is no unanimity about what is the right solution. When my right hon. Friend has asked for suggestions, he has been told that it is a matter for him to decide, but any decision he may come to would certainly not find favour with everyone who wants action in this matter.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is a tremendous waste of petrol on Sunday by this "pub-crawling" on wheels? Would not it be better if arrangements were made so that people could do this at home rather than disturb other villages?
§ Mr. Macpherson
There are many uses to which spirits are put in this regard, but I do not think that this can necessarily be considered as entirely a question of wasting petrol in going about the country.