The Bishop of London
presented a Petition from ninety-five Clergymen, of the county of Stafford, praying for an alteration in the Sale of Beer Act. The petitioners stated, that the alteration proposed to be made in the Beer Act, by the bill brought into their Lordships' House by the noble Secretary for the Home Department, would be inadequate to the purpose. They also stated, that the Sale of Beer Act had entirely failed in procuring for the poor better and cheaper beer. The right reverend Prelate added to this, that he had received a letter from the churchwardens of a parish in Staffordshire, stating that a public meeting had been held in the parish, where 2 certain Resolutions had been passed, setting forth the alterations that must be made in order to place the matter on a proper footing. It was considered, that the price of the licenses should be increased; that the licenses should be granted only to such persons as should procure unexceptionable testimonials to their respectability and good characters; that none of the bear should be allowed to be consumed on the premises; that the beer-houses should be closed on Sundays, except during such time as was absolutely requisite for supplying poor families with beer; and also (a very material provision), that no skittle-playing should be allowed on the premises where the beer was sold. The letter added, that a great increase had taken place in the profanation of the Sabbath in the place to which it referred, in consequence of the Beer Act.
§ The Petition to lie on the Table.