HC Deb 03 December 1970 vol 807 cc1440-1
6. Mr. Hamling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will set up an inquiry into the operations of laws relating to Sunday entertainments, Sunday trading, shop hours, and the licensing of premises for the consumption of intoxicating liquor.

Mr. Maudling

I am considering the position on liquor licensing. I do not think that an inquiry is necessary to forward consideration of the other matters.

Mr. Hamling

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that reply. Is he aware that he has a great reputation for being an apostle of freedom? In these days of the alleged permissive society, is it not true that a lot of old-fashioned restrictions still prevent the ordinary citizen from exercising quite a legitimate amount of freedom?

Mr. Maudling

I have a great deal of sympathy for what the hon. Member says. I hope to be able to make some contribution.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Could my right hon. Friend say whether he feels that he will be able to make a fairly early announcement of his views about licensing? Will he particularly bear in mind the great call in the country now for the family as a whole to be able to use the premises and also the desire of the industry to keep some reasonable hours with first-class management while at the same time obtaining that greater flexibility in the choice of those hours?

Mr. Maudling

I am aware of these considerations and hope to be able to put something to the House on this subject in the very near future.

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