HL Deb 28 July 1858 vol 151 cc2242-3

said, he wished before their Lordships adjourned to ask the noble Earl at the head of Her Majesty's Government whether he could hold out any hope to those who were anxious for some alteration or revision of the law affecting the sale of beer, especially in beerhouses, that that subject would be brought under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government before Parliament reassembled? He was sure that every one of their Lordships who knew anything of the present law must agree with him that its operation produced the greatest possible mischief and demoralization, especially among the rural population. That law did not act as it was intended to act. This was a matter which he, for one, would very much rather leave in the hands of the Government, who he was sure could deal with it much more effectually than any independent Member. Indeed, it would only be in the event of the Government holding out no hope of their undertaking to deal with it that he should take any step concerning it. If the Government had no intention of dealing with it he should next Session move for a Select Committee to consider the matter. But he hoped that during the recess the Government would consider it with the view of amending the law.


said, he could have no difficulty in stating that the Government would direct their attention to the subject. His right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for the Home department had during the present Session prepared the outline of a Bill on the subject, but he found that the subject was so difficult that it was quite impossible for him to propose a satisfactory measure this Session. The subject would therefore be taken into serious consideration by the Government during the recess. He was not at all prepared to say what course should be taken, but he thought that one of the most advantageous modes of bringing the subject under the consideration of the House would be by the appointment of a Select Committee, as suggested by the right rev. Prelate. At the same time he did not wish to be bound by any opinion, and would simply promise that the subject should engage the anxious consideration of the Government.

House adjourned at Six o'clock, till To-morrow, at a quarter before Five o'clock.