§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE
, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, that as he understood there was no opposition to the Bill he should confine himself to stating its principal provision. Their Lordships were, of course, aware that in the last Session of Parliament a Bill was passed by which certain public-houses and other places of refreshment where disorderly assemblages had taken place, and which in some instances were allowed to keep open day and night, were closed at one o'clock. That bill, he believed, had effected much good in that part of the town for which it was intended; but, on the other hand, it had been found to bear rather hard on certain classes of persons engaged in occupations the very nature of which required that they should work late at night, and who found themselves debarred from obtaining necessary refreshments. Their Lordships could not fail to have observed that large numbers of persons were, in fact, employed at almost all hours of the night, and it was undoubtedly true that the Act of last Session operated harshly in their case by keeping them until four o'clock before they could obtain refreshment, however much they might require it. Those who attended the markets at an early hour, and the compositors and others 1117 engaged in newspaper offices, and some other places where documents had to be printed for circulation early in the morning, especially felt the inconvenience to which he had referred. The Bill, therefore, proposed to allow certain houses to be open for the convenience of those persons in certain localities between two o'clock and four, still compelling even those houses to be closed for one hour, and thus tending much to prevent any abuse of the Act. Ample power, too, was provided in the Bill for the closing of any houses specially licensed under this measure in case of disorderly persons being permitted to make use of them as places of resort.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a—(The Marquess of Clanricarde.)
§ EARL GRANVILLE
thought that the Bill was a very desirable one, and would not oppose the second reading. There were, however, a few Amendments which might be made in Committee, and to which he hoped the noble Marquess would not object.
§ LORD REDESDALE
said, that it would be very difficult to carry out the Bill in such a way as not to give an undue advantage to the owners of houses that were fortunate to obtain licenses; or, on the other hand, to open the whole of the houses in a particular district, and thus to do away with much of the benefit that had been derived from the Act of last Session. He would not, however, oppose the second reading.
§ Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly; and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday the 13th Instant.