HC Deb 11 July 1962 vol 662 cc1470-3
Mr. Ross

I beg to move, in page 21, line 36, after "to", to insert "or for".

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I think that it would also be possible to discuss with this Amendment that in page 23, line 13, after "to", insert "or for".

Mr. Ross

This Schedule contains a catalogue of do's and don'ts relating to new forms of certificate. Line 35 on page 21 of the Bill states: … the certificate holder shall not sell or supply any exciseable liquor to persons who are in a state of intoxication. If my suggested words are inserted after the word "to", it will read: … the certificate holder shall not sell or supply any exciseable liquor to or for persons who are in a state of intoxication. That seems to me to be reasonable. The only question will be whether or not it is possible to place this responsibility upon somebody or other.

It amazes me when we hear how good everybody is in this trade and that nobody gets drunk. But, at least, once a person is intoxicated I am sure it ought to be possible to recognise the fact and a licence-holder should be able to take some steps to ensure that such a person gets no more to drink. That is the simple intention of these added words.

This is about our last chance to get some crumb of comfort from the Under-Secretary. I have never known a Bill of this character go through the House with so little amendment. This does not indicate perfection in the Bill. It shows weakness and lack of confidence on the part of the Government. They do not know what they are handling and they do not know how far they can go, so they tend to leave things alone. I am sure that this is not the best of the Amendments which have been moved by my hon. Friends either here or in the Committee, but I think it is worthy of consideration. If we are going to give these new certificates it will be much easier to administer this condition than it would be in many other licensed premises.

I hope that the Under-Secretary will discard his brief and will not turn down this Amendment, telling us that it would be impossible to administer and that it would be unfair, but will accept it. If he finds that he has made a mistake he can rectify it in the next Licensing and if, on the other hand, he finds that it is a worthy addition to our licensing laws he can incorporate it in the next Measure.

Mr. Brooman-White

I hope that I will not raise false hopes in the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) by leaving my brief on the bench, but I have been so convinced by its merits that I must deny the hon. Member his crumb of comfort. We entirely accept the object which he is trying to achieve but I do not think that the insertion of the words would help in a practical way. The licence holder is already obliged to prevent drunkenness on the premises and therefore he would be committing an offence if he gave a drink to somebody who was drunk or to somebody who was on the verge of being drunk or in peril of being drunk.

The Amendment would make him guilty of an offence for serving a drink which might be taken outside by somebody who was drunk or about to be in a drunken condition of which the licence holder could not reasonably be expected to be aware. If the licence holder served a drink to be handed on to somebody else who was hovering on the brink of inebriation we are satisfied that the law as it stands is adequate to deal with the situation.

Mr. Stan Awbery (Bristol, Central)

If a publican supplied a sober man so that he could give the drink to a drunken man he would be perfectly in order according to the terms of the Bill.

Mr. Brooman-White

A man might get away with it once but the publican would be very careful not to let him get away with it a second time.

Amendment negatived.

The Chairman

I call the next Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), in page 21, line 41, leave out first "other", and with it can be taken the Amendment in the hon. Member's name in page 23, line 18, leave out first "other".

Mr. Ross

I really do not think that they are worth moving.

Mr. Brooman-White

I beg to move, in page 22, line 3, to leave out from "committed" to the end of line 5.

This and the Amendment in line 46 are drafting Amendments to bring the Schedule into line with the provisions of the Betting and Gaming Act.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made:In line 46, leave out from "or" to "for" in line 49 and insert: by a private friend of such a person who isbona fideentertained by, and at the expense of, that person; (c) the certificate-holder may supply such liquor to any private friends of a person residing in the premises who arebona fideentertained by, and at the expense of, that person In page 23, line 4, leave out from "or" to "with" in line 6 and insert: by a private friend of such a person who isbona fideentertained by, and at the expense of, that person".

In line 6, leave out "with" and insert "as an ancillary to".

In line 32, leave out from "committed" to end of line 33.—[Mr. Brooman-White.]