HC Deb 01 March 1960 vol 618 c1023
37. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now consider restoring to private enterprise the State drink monopoly in the Burghs of Annan, Dingwall, Invergordon, and neighbouring parishes, so that the licensing laws of Scotland will prevail throughout the country.

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Member's Question raises the whole principle of the disinterested management schemes operating under Acts of 1921 and 1949 on both sides of the Border. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary referred to this subject during the debate on 29th January and I have nothing to add at the present time to what he then said.

Sir D. Robertson

Is it not intolerable that Regulations which were brought in under D.O.R.A. in 1916 should be still continued since the causes that brought them about disappeared forty years ago? As a member of a Conservative Government, does my right hon. Friend think it right to go on showing a complete lack of will to right this situation?

Mr. Maclay

My hon. Friend will be aware that this problem raises major questions of principle which need the most careful consideration. I do not think that I should add to the reply which I have already given.

Mr. MacLeod

Could not this matter be considered by the Guest Committee?

Mr. Maclay

It is not specifically included in the Guest Committee's terms of reference, but I have little doubt that during its hearings it will learn a certain amount about public opinion in respect of State management areas.