§ On the motion of the Earl of Shaftesbury the Liverpool Improvement Bill was read a third time.
§ The Duke of Richmond
wished to have two clauses struck out, by which the public-houses in the town were to be kept closed from twelve o'clock on Saturday night until one o'clock on Sunday afternoon. The House of Commons had refused to put similar clauses in a general bill, and he saw no reason why they should be inserted in a merely local measure. It was unfair to the houses on one side of the river that they should be shut to that hour of the day, when people who were resolved to 1089 have drink could easily get over to the Cheshire side and find all the public-houses open. He would, under these circumstances, move that clause 247 be struck out.
The Bishop of Salisbury
supported the clauses, which, he observed, had met the approbation of nearly all parties in the town. It had been proved that one-fifth of the commitments in Liverpool were of drunken persons, who were taken up as disorderly at an early hour on Sundays. He had been requested by his right rev. Friend the Bishop of London to state the very good effects which had followed the closing up of the public-houses in the metropolis from midnight of Saturday until one o'clock on Sunday afternoon.
The Bishop of Norwich
also approved of the clauses in the bill, and concurred in the remarks made by his right rev. Friend who had preceded him. The police force of Liverpool, he added, was obliged to be increased on a Sunday, on account of the drunkenness, and he hoped that their Lordships would concur in the bill in its present shape, and that the noble Duke would not press his objection.
§ Lord Skelmersdale
said, he should vote for the clauses, which had been supported by the magistrates of Liverpool of all shades of political opinions.
§ The House divided on the question that the clause stand part of the bill:—Contents 48; Not-Contents 15: Majority 33.
§ The Duke of Richmond
then moved that clause 248, prohibiting the sale of liquors to persons apparently under the age of sixteen, be expunged.
§ Their Lordships again divided on the question that the clause stand part of the bill: —Contents 38; Not-Contents 32: Majority 6.
§ Bill passed.