HC Deb 27 January 1972 vol 829 cc1603-4
14. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in the selling of the State-owned public houses in the Carlisle State Management District.

Mr. Carlisle

Thirty-seven of the smaller public houses in the Carlisle district have been offered to the tenants or managers, over half of whom have already accepted. Details of sale of the remaining public houses will be announced when preparatory work has been completed.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the hon. and learned Gentleman tell us where individual tenants are getting the money from? Is there any indication that they are getting it from the big brewers? Will the hon. and learned Gentleman tell us why Watney has not so far made its £25,000 contribution to Tory Party funds this year? Is it because the chairman is no longer an official in the Tory Party?

Mr. Carlisle

In reply to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I cannot say where individual tenants or managers are getting their money from. I should have thought that it was a personal matter for them to decide where they raise the necessary money to buy their public houses and not necessarily a matter for this House. The second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question does not appear to arise from the Question.

Mr. Ron Lewis

Will the Minister confirm that some of the brewery companies have refused to lend money to would-be tenants because they themselves are in the queue? Does he care to comment on that?

Mr. Carlisle

With respect, one hon. Gentleman complains because they are lending money and another complains because they are not. As I said, it is a matter purely for the individual tenant who is given the opportunity to purchase to decide whether he wishes to purchase and to make his own arrangements for obtaining the necessary finance to do so.