HC Deb 19 February 1959 vol 600 cc527-8
25. Dr. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that no review of the Carlisle experiment in State-owned public houses has been made for over twenty-five years; and when he proposes to make his next review of the working of the experiment.

Mr. R. A. Butler

With the assistance of the Local Advisory Committee and the State Management Districts Council I keep the working of the experiment under constant review.

Dr. Johnson

In addition to all the other factors in connection with this experiment, is my right hon. Friend aware of the recent comments of the chairmen of the city magistrates and the chairman of the county magistrates about the invidious position which they feel their benches are in on licensing matters and the extremely false position which they are in when they grant a licence which is not confirmed by the Advisory Committee? Does not my right hon. Friend think that it is only by a review such as I suggest that a matter of this nature can be considered?

Mr. Butler

It is true that the last review was in 1929–31 by the Royal Commission on Licensing. I feel that it is quite reasonable to say that it is the sort of experiment which needs review, but at the moment it is under my own personal review in the Home Office and I do not think that I can be helped at the moment by an outside body. If my hon. Friend, who knows the district well, chooses to tell me anything about the matter, I shall be only too glad to hear what he has to say.