§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Mr. Speaker
I have considered the scope and object of this Bill in the light of precedents, the representations of the promoters and the advice available to me.
The Bill is concerned with an important matter of public policy lying outside the normal functions of local authority administration, namely, the jurisdiction of magistrates' courts in and about the registration, renewal of registration, and striking off of clubs where intoxicating liquor is supplied.
The topic is one which has never previously been dealt with by Private Act.
The Bill affects the wide area and vast population of the whole administrative County of London and also, no doubt, the interests of many members and potential members of clubs who live outside the country.
The existing law is laid down by public general Statute, the Licensing Act, 1953, which itself contains provision special to the Metropolis.
The Bill does not propose to confer new powers upon the promoters or upon any other local authority. Its purpose, and its sole purpose, is to repeal the substance of the relevant public general law and to put in its place a different code more acceptable to the promoters which would confer upon magistrates' courts a new power to refuse the registration of a club upon successful objection by the police or the Common Council of the City of London or a Metropolitan borough, as the case may be.
200 Having given the fullest consideration to the question, in view of the subject matter, the important question of public policy involved and the extent and multiplicity of the interests affected, I have been driven to the conclusion that the Bill should not be allowed to proceed as a Private Bill: and I so rule.
§ Whereupon Order for Second Reading discharged.
§ Bill withdrawn.