HC Deb 20 May 1971 vol 817 cc1509-10
23. Miss Joan Hall

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in considering appointments to the com- mittee to review the licensing laws, what inquiries he made as to the qualifications of potential members for assessing the views of regular customers at their local pub.

Mr. Maudling

I had this consideration much in mind in issuing invitations.

Miss Hall

Will my right hon. Friend tell us whether these people do know what goes on in the ordinary good old British pub and not just in the flashy joints? It is a big mistake that there should be no representative from the licensing trade.

Mr. Maudling

I considered this, and I thought it wrong to have representation of any particular interest, be it the brewing or the drinking interest.

Mr. Lipton

Does not the Home Secretary know that the composition of this committee is regarded as a joke by everyone in the licensing trade? What are the qualifications of this variegated assortment of people who know nothing at all about the licensing laws?

Mr. Maudling

I thought they were rather a good selection. Certainly many of them, like the Home Secretary, have some knowledge of the effects of the licensing laws. The expert and interested bodies in the licensing trade will have a full and complete opportunity to put their views before the Committee.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Will the Home Secretary assure the House that the interests of the licensees, who form one of the most long-suffering sections of the public, will be fully protected?

Mr. Maudling

Yes, Sir, I am sure they will be. The whole point is that they should have a full opportunity, as they will have, of stating their views in detail to the Committee.