HL Deb 12 July 1839 vol 49 cc218-9
Lord Brougham

, in rising to move the resolution of which he had given notice said, after what had fallen from him on a former evening, he felt it necessary to go into details, and he would therefore content himself with simply moving this resolution— That it is the opinion of this House, that with a view to the improvement and happiness of the people, and the good order of the community, it is expedient, as speedily as possible, to place all the beer-houses on the same footing as the houses of licensed victuallers, in all respects whatsoever? The effect of this would be, that all beer-houses might be licensed by the magistrates, if they were considered fit to receive licences.

The Marquess of Westminster

objected to this resolution, as an irregular proceeding. He also objected to it on the score of the object the noble and learned Lord desired to attain by it. If the beer-shopkeepers were really placed on a footing with the licensed victuallers, and allowed to sell spirits as well as beer, he could understand the resolution; but only to place them, in other respects, on a footing with the licensed victuallers, would be to subject them to taxation without giving them a corresponding advantage.

Lord Brougham

denied that the resolution was irregular. The circumstances which induced him to take this course were themselves almost unprecedented, and justified a proceeding which, though unusual, was perfectly regular. The House of Commons, during the interval between the third reading of the Bill in their Lordships House, virtually negatived that bill, by deciding on an amendment to the bill in that House, which embodied its principle. He conceived, therefore, that a resolution expressive of their Lordships opinion would be more effective than the sending down the bill to the other House. The principle of the resolution, he apprehended, was quite fair—it would put the beer-houses, in all particulars, on a footing with the licensed victuallers.

Viscount Melbourne

said, whatever was the object of the resolution, it seemed to him to be useless. It was already ascertained that the House of Commons entertained a view on this question different from that of their Lordships, and to expect to induce them to concur by means of this resolution, seemed to him an idle mode of proceeding. He was opposed to the resolution as explained by the noble Lord. In all that related to hours, and other minor regulations, he was for putting the beer-houses on a footing with the licensed victuallers' houses, but he was decidedly opposed to a return to the old licensing system. The noble Viscount concluded by moving the previous question.

Lord Brougham

had thought the resolution would be a better course of proceeding; but if their Lordships thought it better to send clown the bill, he was in their Lordships' hands, and would acquiesce in that course.

The Marquess of Salisbury

was of opinion that the beer-houses would always continue a nuisance so long as they were only dependent on excise licences. He thought it would be more expedient to send down the bill, than this resolution.

Lord Portman

objected to the resolution, as it would tie their Lordships' hands in dealing with the bill when it came up from the House of Commons. He thought, that if their Lordships were to pass this resolution, they would preclude themselves from taking that course which they might be disposed to adopt, and if the question should be put to a division, he should be compelled to vote against it.

The Duke of Richmond

said, that the difficulty which he felt was, that the resolution, if adopted, would produce no practical result in the House of Commons, and he thought that it would be better for their Lordships to amend any bill which might come up from the other House, if they thought it absolutely necessary to pass any measure this session. If they were to do so, he thought that some good result might be obtained this year, but otherwise another winter would pass, with all the inconveniences which now existed, without any change being effected.

Their Lordships divided, and the numbers were—Contents 41; Not-contents 34: Majority 7.

Resolution carried.

Back to