HL Deb 12 August 1921 vol 43 cc519-44

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.


Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2:

Permitted Hours on Sundays.

2.—(1) The hours during which intoxicating liquor may be sold or supplied on Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday in any licensed premises or club, for consumption either on or off the premises, shall be five hours, of which not more than two shall be between twelve (noon) and three in the afternoon, and not more than three between six and ten in the evening:

Provided that in Wales and Monmouthshire there shall be no permitted hours for licensed premises on Sundays, or on Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday.

(2) Subject to the foregoing provisions the permitted hours on Sundays shall be such as may be fixed, in the case of licensed premises by order of the licensing justices of the licensing district, and in the case of a club in accordance with the rules of the club:

Provided that, pending any decision under this subsection, the permitted hours on Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday, shall be the hours between half-past twelve and half-past two in the afternoon, and the hours between seven and ten in the evening.


The Amendment in my name is drafting.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line:30, after (" be ") insert (" as follows, that is to say ").—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I formally move the Amendment (to leave out"and Monmouthshire"in the proviso to subsection (1) ) standing in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, in order to hear from the Government what their defence is for including Monmouthshire in the Sunday closing clause. I will only say that, though I have no personal knowledge of the subject, I understand that almost all the authorities in Monmouthshire are opposed to this inclusion. I speak in the presence of noble Lords from Wales who will, of course, be able to inform your Lordships very much more accurately than I can, but I believe I am on sure ground when I say that all the Members for Monmouthshire in another place were opposed to its inclusion, and there is a very large body of opinion which resist it. I believe rumour has it that a petition, a mile and a half long, against the inclusion of Monmouth in the Sunday closing clause has been presented. However, I only move the Amendment formally. Of course, it depends upon the reply of the noble Vis- count how far we proceed with the matter, or whether we resume it upon the next stage of the Bill.

Amendment moved— page 2, line 34, leave out (" and Monmouthshire").—(The Marquess of Salisbary.)


I do not think the noble Marquess is very accurately informed as to the state of opinion, so far as it has been expressed, in Monmouthshire. He says all the Monmouthshire Members of Parliament are against, its inclusion. Four out of six are in favour of it, and so voted. Again, the matter was brought up about a week ago before the Monmouth County Council, and, with one dissentient, the whole council voted for inclusion. I do not know about the petition of a mile in length, or how far it affects the mind of the noble Marquess, but so far as the authorities have been able to express themselves, they have been the other way. As the noble Marquess knows, in most modern legislation Monmouthshire is included in Wales. Moreover, the relative position of such towns as Newport and Cardiff would make it obviously a rather convenient thing to place Monmouth and Wales under the smite law. I could elaborate the matter at greater length, but I think the expression of opinion by the authorities is sufficient.


I want to support this Amendment very strongly. I have been pretty closely into this matter in the last few days, and, for the life of me, I cannot make out that any case has really been established for the inclusion of Monmouth, which is against, I believe, public feeling generally in that county. I think it is a very unfortunate method of forcibly including Monmouth in the Sunday closing clause, and so far as my information goes the great majority of the people there do not want it at all. I want to be as short as I can in this matter, but I wish to point out one or two things which I think ought to guide your Lordships. We hear a good deal now about compromises and agreed Bills. I should like to ask who has agreed to this particular inclusion of Monmouth in the Sunday closing clause.


The Monmouth County Council.


But the Monmouth County Council were not elected for the specific purpose of giving a vote upon the inclusion of Monmouth in the Sunday closing clause. I should have said that the persons chiefly concerned are the inhabitants and they are just the persons who have not been consulted. A good deal has been made of the fact that it is said four Members out of six voted for this inclusion of Monmouth. May I point out to my noble friend in charge of the Bill that one of these four distinctly said, in the other House, that in his opinion it ought to be the subject of a referendum. He pointed out very clearly that the opinion of the County of Monmouth had not been obtained, and that nothing would be satisfactory until there bad been a plebiscite, as be called it. As this is an important matter, I hope the House will allow me to read a short extract from his speech—the speech of one of the four Members who are reputed to have voted for the inclusion of the County of Monmouth.


Who did vote.


Yes; who did vote. He says this:— Monmouth is in a roost difficult position. There are border counties between England and Scotland, and between England and Wales. But there is no county fixed exactly like Monmouth. For that reason my opinion is that a plebiscite of the people of Monmouth ought to be taken to settle this point of principle, and it should not be left to three or four members. The licensed victuallers believe they have a majority and have offered to pay half the cost of a referendum The temperance and Church people— he puts them together— say they would welcome it as they say they have a majority. It is impossible for anybody to show where the majority lies, and for that reason it should be loft to the people of Monmouth to decide for themselves. He proceeded, because he himself, no doubt, supported Sunday closing, to vote in that direction. But he most distinctly said that in his opinion there ought to be a plebiscite, or referendum, of the people of Monmouth to decide this important question.

I wish also to remind the House that when the Liquor Control Board was being formed, Mr. Lloyd George, who was not then Prime Minister, on April 20, 1915, said that these powers which he claimed for the Liquor Control Board were only to be for the period of the war, and that he did not want to raise any doubt about that Monmouth at that time was not included in the Sunday closing provisions for Wales.

Therefore, in this Bill, which puts an end to the powers of the Liquor Control Board, I maintain that it is only fair that the Regulations specially passed with regard to Monmouth should no longer stand.

As to the evidence, it was stated by Mr. John Hinds, in the House of Commons, that the Trades and Labour Council of Newport had passed a resolution in favour of Sunday closing by a large majority. According to my information, that is entirely inaccurate. I am informed that at that meeting no vote was taken, on the ground that the delegates had received no mandate from their lodges on the question, and it was deferred to a meeting to be held on this day, August 12. I do not suppose anyone knows what the decision was, if the meeting has yet taken place. I can only say that, within my knowledge, many meetings have been held, at which resolutions have been passed by very large majorities, if not unanimously, against Sunday closing, and a petition, which has been referred to by the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, has been presented to this House. The signatures were obtained in 48 hours, because that was all the time available, but no fewer than 78,000 names were appended to it.

Some reference has been made to the other cases in which Monmouthshire has been included with Wales in special legislation. The case of the Welsh Church Act is an entirely different matter from this. In the case of the diocese of Llandaff, at least half of which is composed of Monmouth, it obviously was very difficult not to include Monmouthshire. Indeed, I believe. they desired to be so included themselves in working out this very difficult problem of the Welsh dioceses, but your Lordships will remember that there were other places similarly included—parts of Shropshire, for instance, while parts of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire were included in the diocese of Hereford—but these matters were all subject to special examination, and the inclusion of parts of England was for the specific purpose of making the Welsh Church dioceses more conveniently arranged than if there had been a distinct line drawn between England and Wales I think that fact puts the analogy of the Welsh Church Act quite out of court. As to education, surely I am right in saying that Monmouthshire is still under the 1902 Education Act, though some legislation on educational matters may possibly have been passed since, by which Monmouthshire is included for this purpose in Wales.

I object very strongly to Wales imposing Sunday closing for its own convenience upon its neighbours, who, as I maintain, do not want it; and that this should be done simply because a certain number of people may cross the border which lies not far from Cardiff, and make use of the freer conditions in Monmouthshire. I cannot see that that is a valid argument for practically making Monmouthshire, in legislative matters, a Welsh county, and not an English county. I stand as strongly as I can for the privileges of Monmouthshire, to say it is a county of England. If, for good reasons and specific purposes, Monmouthshire itself elects to be regarded as part of Wales, let us then consider the matter on those grounds, and for that specific purpose; but, against the will of the people of Monmouthshire, to force them into this measure, which Wales has adopted (I am not questioning that) is, I think, a most unfair thing, and much to be deprecated.

I do not know what action the noble Marquess (Lord Salisbury) would take but, if the House decides not to cut out Monmouthshire, which I think is the right thing to do, I give notice that on the next stage of the Bill I shall move that this proviso as regards Monmouthshire shall not come into operation until there has been a referendum and a clear majority of the votes have been recorded on paper in favour of the provision in the clause.


I always feel it difficult to oppose anything said by the noble Earl who has just sat down, but the House will allow me very briefly to lay before it the grounds on which I think that the decision already arrived at with regard to the inclusion of Monmouthshire in Wales for Sunday closing purposes should be adhered to. A reference has been made to the petition presented to this House from those who have expressed the view in Monmouthshire contrary to the policy of this Bill. I do not think it is necessary for us at this stage to go into the question of the degree of weight to be attached to evidence of this kind. Before we could come to any decision on that point the petition would have to be scrutinized. But I think I shall carry most of the House with me when I say that the real evidence about local opinion upon a matter of this kind is not a petition of this sort from one side or the other, but what a duly elected and representative body like the County Council of Monmouthshire says upon the point.

Also, it is of some service, I think, to remind ourselves of what has taken place in the past in support of the inclusion of Monmouthshire within the Bill for Sunday closing purposes. Very briefly, I will lay the essential facts before the House. This matter has been carefully examined by two Royal Commissions. Each Commission recommended unanimously in favour of the inclusion of Monmouthshire in Wales for Sunday closing purposes. Moreover, the County Council of Monmouthshire on more than one occasion in the past has had this point before it, and by a large majority has expressed itself in favour of the inclusion of the county within the Welsh Sunday closing area. It may be said that that is more or less ancient history, and what happened eight or ten years ago has no relevance to the present position of things. The reply to that is—and I do not think the noble Marquess was aware of it—that on August 3, this year—I think that was the date—the County Council of Monmouthshire met and passed a resolution, with one dissentient voice, that Monmouthshire should be included in Wales for all legislative purposes.


For all Legislative purposes?


For all legislative purposes, including this legislation which is now before the House.


Had it special reference to Sunday closing?


The: debate took place on Sunday closing. It was admitted and recognised that the point of the discussion was to obtain an expression of opinion at the present time as to the view of the County Council of Monmouth upon the question. The House might also like to be reminded of the opinion of Labour leaders in South Wales upon the point. Within the last fortnight, Mr. Hartshorn, a Labour leader of admitted weight in South Wales, as the noble Marquess knows, expressed his deep conviction that if the vote of the electorate of Monmouthshire were taken to-morrow, there would be an overwhelming majority in favour of closing public houses on Sunday there.

For thirty years this Sunday closing question has been a test question at every Parliamentary election. I do not deny, for one moment, that there is undoubtedly a minority vote against Sunday closing, but it is a minority vote, as the results of Parliamentary elections and the resolutions passed from time to time by the county council, I think, abundantly show. I might also remind your Lordships that in the Standing Committee which considered this Bill in another place this clause was passed by a majority of over two to one, and, on the Report stage in the other House, the majority in favour of the clause was 109 to 18. I hope I do not appear to the House to be over-pressing the case for adhering to the decision which has already been come to with reference to this point in another place. But I happen to have had, I suppose, as good an opportunity as anybody in Wales of following the trend of Welsh public opinion in regard to all Welsh questions, and I have no doubt that not only is the preponderating feeling in Wales strongly in favour of the inclusion of Monmouthshire in Wales for the purposes of Sunday closing, but that the great majority of the people of Monmouthshire are in favour of it.

In view of these facts, and of the fact that Wales and Monmouthshire are historically one and have been recognised as one in legislation in the past for all local government purposes, I express the confident hope that the noble Marquess opposite, in the face of these facts, will not take any action to upset the decision which has already been reached on the subject.


In reference to the Amendment which stands on the Paper in my name, I have been requested to lay before the House a petition signed by 78,102 persons. Those signatures have all been obtained since Sunday last. The petition runs in this way—

To the Right Honourable The Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament Assembled.

The Humble Petition of the undersigned adult inhabitants of the County of Monmouth showeth:

That your Petitioners have considered a Bill before your Lordships, entitled the "Licensing (No. 2) Bill 1921."

That your Petitioners consider the Bill to be objectionable on the following grounds:—

(1) That no mandate by the Electors of Monmouthshire has been given for the Sunday closing of licensed premises in the County.

2. Relying upon the promise of Mr. Lloyd George in the House of Commons on April 20, 1915, namely:— These powers are for the purpose of war only—limited to the period of the war. We do not want to raise any issue beyond that." Seven-day licences have been paid for by owners and tenants of licensed premises from the commencement of the restrictions imposed by order of the Liquor Control Board.

3. We consider the measure of Sunday closing a gross infringement of individual liberty and not a question of the geographical position of the County of Monmouth.

4. That Monmouthshito will compare favour-ably with the most sober counties in England in regard to convictions for drunkenness during the war, and since demobilisation.

5. Sunday closing in Wales has not proved beneficial from a true temperance point of view, as statistics prove that there has been an increased consumption in the homes of the people owing to the flagon trade—a trade we wish to discourage in the County of Monmouth.

6. At only one centre of Monmouthshire has a referendum been taken on the question of Sunday closing, namely, at Pontypool. This referendum was taken by the Pontypool Free Press with the result that 5,167 voted against Sunday closing, 78 in favour, whilst there were 113 spoilt papers.

7. The needs and requirements of the People have been partially and justly recognised by the five hours opening on Sunday granted to members of Clubs.

8. That the Bill goes beyond the object aimed at by the Royal Commissions on Welsh Sunday Closing Act and on the Licensing Laws.

Your Petitioners for these reasons, and others not necessarily here stated, therefore pray that Your Lordships may be pleased to amend the Bill by excluding the County of Monmouth for Sunday closing purposes. And Your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray."

That petition has been duly laid on the Table of the House.

In support of my amendment, I desire to draw attention to the following facts. The question of sobriety is not one that is likely to be very largely influenced by prohibition. It has a nasty habit of reacting the wrong way, and the real thing is to use, not to abuse. Total abstinence may be just as big an abuse as intemperance. In New Zealand, where Local Option was in operation for many years, the result was that the dry sections of the country consumed between two and three times as much liquor as the wet ones. I admit that during the war the people of this country gave up many liberties from necessity, owing to the unusual circumstances then prevailing. But since the Armistice there are many members of the community who do not see why liberties that are justifiable, because they do not impinge upon the rights and liberties of others, should be still further withdrawn from them.

I consider that Sunday closing, so far as Monmouthshire is concerned, is not necessarily of advantage under these conditions. Of course, it may be argued, and I dare say it is argued, that part of Monmouthshire is included under mining districts, and that therefore Monmouthshire should be included in Wales, but if the bulk of the community do not require it, surely it is hardly fair to penalise them, unless there is some exceptional cause such as the existence of a state of war. The cure, if cure it is, for intemperance, must come by inflicting still heavier punishments for drunkenness, or it must he effected by a still more influential power, and one that is outside the control of this House. I refer to wives making their homes more attractive for their husbands, and giving them less excuse for going to public houses. The third influence that can, perhaps, do more is the encouragement by every means of recreation on Sunday afternoon. There should be recreations of a more attractive kind than those offered by the public house for people who toil heavily during the week. We know that in all communities where the toil is exceptionally heavy, as it is in the mining industry, the tendency to find relaxation in the public house is greater than in communities where toil is not physically so heavy. But the cure will come in time through offering greater facilities of enjoyment in a less pernicious war than that of intoxication.

I think we should pay some attention to the demands of the people themselves. The noble Lord who has just sat down referred to the resolution of the Council of Labour on this question. Mr. John Hinds, M.P., has stated that the Trades and Labour Council of Newport had passed a resolution in favour of Sunday closing in Momnouthshire by a very large majority. The facts, given by those who were present, are, I am informed, these: There are 120 delegates to this council, and at the time of the resolution touching Sunday closing being introduced not more than 60 were present. While Mr. Hinds stated that only six were in favour of Sunday opening, the remainder were in favour of Sunday closing, Mr. Bully, who was present, is prepared to come before any court and prove that no vote was taken on the question. It was decided that, as the delegates present had received no mandate from the members of their lodges, the question be deferred. It has to conic up again on Friday, August 12—that is, to-day—when it is known that a decisive vote will be given against Sunday closing.

I consider that the people of Monmouth, having in two days signed a petition without any particular inducement, and under the most careful supervision, should have their views considered. This House certainly has a mandate from a large number of people in Monmouthshire to exclude that county from Wales in this Bill. At a meeting of lodges in Monmouthshire of R.A.O.B., representing 60 lodges and over 20,000 members, a strong protest was made against Monmouthshire being included in Wales for Sunday closing, and a demand was made that a referendum be taken before such an unjust measure becomes law. The resolution passed says"that the vast majority of the public and of our members are against it, and as Englishmen we claim the right to be treated as other English counties." That is given at Newport on August 10, and is signed by the chairman, H. Simpson, and the secretary, G. M. Kelly. I should be prepared, therefore, to move at a later stage of the Bill that a referendum of the people of Monmouthshire be taken.


The discussion to which this Amendment has given rise, has, I think, revealed that the case is riot so complete in favour of Sunday closing as my noble friend in charge of the Bill seemed to have imagined. We have had a very remarkable speech from the noble Earl, Lord Plymouth, who is a great authority on Welsh matters, and who has made a special study of public opinion in Monmouthshire in reference to this very point. He has told your Lordships that he is by no means satisfied that public opinion is in favour of Sunday closing in Monmouthshire. I recognise, of course, that he has not carried with him the whole of Welsh opinion in your Lordships' House. We have also heard the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Clwyd, who told us that in his judgment the balance of evidence is on the other side. I do not gather that he knew more than the actual vote of the Monmouthshire County Council. He was, of course, absolutely correct in what he stated, but I gather that he did not know more than the actual vote of the Monmouthshire County Council, and had not studied in any detail the real opinion of the people of Mon-mouthshire.

It is evident that the case in favour of the inclusion of Monmouthshire has not yet been proved, but my noble friend, Lord Plymouth, made a suggestion of which I propose to avail myself, if your Lordships permit. He said that if this matter were not pressed upon the present occasion, in rather a thin House, he himself would be prepared, at a future stage of the Bill, to move an Amendment in rather a different form—in a form which, I should have thought, was fair. It was that we should leave the matter to the people of Monmouthshire to decide. I do not know what there is to be said against that proposal, but at any rate it seems to be a very reasonable one on the face of it, and I should be ready not to stand in the way of such a proposal. I will not, therefore, on the present occasion, press the Amendment that I have moved, but I hope your Lordships will understand that in asking leave to withdraw it I shall probably refer to it on the next stage of the Bill.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3:

Special provision as to extension of permitted hours in the evening in certain premises.

3.—(I) The provisions of this Act as to permitted hours on week-days shall, as respects licensed premises or clubs to which this section applies, have effect, if the holder of the licence or the committee of the club so elects, as though one hour were added at the end of the permitted hours in the evening:

Provided that any intoxicating liquor sold or supplied during that hour shall be sold or supplied only for consumption at a meal supplied at the same time in such portion of the premises as is usually set apart for the service of meals, and no person shall consume or be permitted to consume any intoxicating liquor on the premises during that hour except at such meal, and any drinking bar in the said premises shall be closed during that hour.

(2) This section applies to any licensed premises or clubs if and so long the licensing justices are satisfied that they are structurally adapted and bona fide used for the purpose of habitually providing, for the accommodation of persons frequenting the premises, substantial refreshment, to which the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor is ancillary.

(3) The holder of the licence, or the secretary of the club, shall give not less than fourteen days' previous notice in writing to the superintendent of the police of the district wherein the premises am situate of the date on which he intends to begin to avail himself of the provisions of this section; and on and after that late shall affix and keep permanently affixed in some conspicuous place in the premises a notice to the effect that the provisions of this section apply to the permises; and the said provisions shall apply accordingly for the period of the current licensing year, and shall continue to apply unless the holder of the licence or secretary gives not less than fourteen days' notice in writing before the expiration of any licensing year to the superintendent of the police aforesaid that he intends to cease to avail himself of the provisions of this section, in which case the said provisions shall cease to apply at the end of that year.


had an Amendment on the Paper to move, in subsection (1) after"which"[" to which this section applies "] to insert"if and so long as." The noble. Lord said: This is practically drafting.


Would the noble Lord consider whether he will move it, because.I should have to oppose it on the ground that it does not mean anything? The sentence will not run if the words are inserted. Would the noble Lord be good enough to consider whether he wishes to move this Amendment? If, on further advice, he wishes to move it, he might do so at a later stage.


I would be quite prepared to do that. I have another Amendment on line 20; perhaps I could refer to the two together. If that Amendment on line 20 were inserted it would do away with that on line 6, which I might withdraw.


I have not seen the suggested Amendment on line 20 (which is not, on the Paper) until this moment, but, so far as I see, the later words are quite unnecessary, and the first words, I submit, do not mean anything.


I would suggest that the noble Lord should not press Amendments of a kind which are either drafting, or which are really matters for the Government themselves to decide as to the exact form of the Bill.


Perhaps I have not expressed my meaning very well, but there is a real point in question as line 20 stands at present. I understand that as it reads now without the insertion of my words in line 20, it would be possible for clubs to be placed in the same position as an ordinary licensed house with regard to that section. The addition after line 20 is suggested with the idea of exempting clubs from having to take the same precautions as ordinary licensed premises. That is the only reason why I suggested the insertion of the words after" so long as." I ask to withdraw the Amendment and I hope that His Majesty's Government will look into the matter.




I understand the Amendment is not moved.

VISCOUNT PEELmoved, after"used"in subsection (2) to insert"or intended to be used." The noble Viscount said: This is almost a drafting Amendment. The Justices ought to have power if they are satisfied of a bona fide intention to use the premises for this purpose, as well as a power to grant if so used.

Amendment moved— Page 3, line 21, after (" used ") insert (" or intended to be used ").—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


had an Amendment on the Paper, at the end of Clause 3, to add the following new sub-section— (4) Where the licensing justices are satisfied that the licensed premises are structurally adapted and used in a bona fide manner as in this section provided, such premises shall be held to be premises to which section forty-five of the Finance (1909–1910) Act, 1910, applies.


I do not know whether it would save the noble Lord's time if I pointed out that this Amendment is outside the scope of the Bill.


In the absence of my noble friend, Lord Laming-ton, I was going to move a much longer Amendment (dealing with improved public houses) which is on the Paper. It will be seen that the Amendment of the noble Lord opposite introduces one of the clauses in Lord Lamington's Notice. I want to be perfectly reasonable in this matter, and I am sure my noble friend, Lord Laming-ton, is also desirous of being reasonable. I do not think it is reasonable to ask the Government at this stage to insert in this Bill a lot of new matter which is not part of the agreement that was arrived at with those with whom he discussed it. The only reason the noble Lord, Lord Laming-ton, wished to move this Amendment was because the House had already in 1919 expressed its assent to a Bill of this nature and it is, as is well known to all your Lordships, perfectly impossible to proceed with a private Bill on the question of licensing in any form.

The sole object of this Amendment is to get recognition of that very important reform which affects the public a great deal more than a restriction or relaxation of hours and many other minor details with which most licensing Bills are mainly concerned, and to provide for the improvement of the public house, making it a decent place in which people can obtain refreshment, and where intoxicating liquors are not entirely prohibited. That was the object, but, as I have said, I see that one cannot press for new clauses to be now introduced into this Bill. I would take this opportunity of appealing to the Government to indicate in some, way that that point shall not be lost sight of. I do not ask as to what is going to be put in sonic future Bill, but the most rev. Primate the other day, on the Second Reading, referred to this as a temporary measure and said that it would necessarily involve—and I think the Government themselves admitted—a larger measure of licensing reform.

I want to appeal to the Government that they should indicate that this important question, assented to by your Lordships two years ago without any real opposition, will not be ignored in the future, and that the improvement of the public house will really be a matter which will receive very serious consideration. If it is out of order, of course, it cannot be pressed, but it is an important Amendment which I should like to see adopted. It gives that inducement to those who desire to improve their premises without which no very great reform is likely to take place. If the Finance Act of 1910 could be made to apply to this Bill I think it would be of great advantage.


I am afraid I am quite irregular in replying to the noble Earl, but perhaps the House will allow me to do so as it will save time. He has referred to an Amendment in the name of Lord Lamington after Clause 19 relating to the improvement of public houses. We are now discussing an Amendment which, I believe, has not been moved, so that we are as irregular as it is possible to be. I am obliged to the noble Earl for stating so clearly the effect of the Amendment to which he has referred, and also for telling us that he does not propose to move it. If lie had done so I should have been obliged to oppose it, not on its merits, but on the ground that it is outside the agreement which has been reached on the Bill.


What agreement?


The agreement reached by the Committee and on which the Bill is based. Unfortunately, the words "improved public house"seems to raise a feeling amongst a certain section of the community, and if the Amendment was pressed and embodied in the Bill it would upset the whole delicate equipoise of the measure. I should be very glad to fall in with his desire and indicate to the Government the great advantages which may be obtained in some future Bill by some such words.

Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 4 agreed to.

Clause 5:

Exemptions and saving provisions.

5. Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act shall be deemed to prohibit or restrict—

  1. (a) the sale or supply to, or consumption by, any person intoxicating liquor in any licensed premises or club where he, is residing; or
  2. (b) the ordering of intoxicating liquor to be consumed off the premises, or the despatch by the vendor of liquor so ordered; or
  3. (e) the supply of intoxicating liquor for consumption on licensed premises to any private friends of the holder of the licence bona fide entertained by him at his own expense, or the consumption of intoxicating liquor by persons so supplied; or
  4. (d) the consumption of intoxicating liquor-with a meal by any person in any licensed premises or club at any time within half an hour after the conclusion of the permitted hours, provided that the liquor was supplied during permitted hours and served at the same time as the meal and for consumption at the meal; or
  5. (c) the sale of intoxicating liquor to a trader for the purposes of his trade, or to a registered club for the purposes of the club; or
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  7. (f) the sale or supply of intoxicating liquor to or in any canteen where the sale of intoxicating liquor is carried on under the authority of a Secretary of State or the Admiralty, or to any authorised mess of officers or non-commissioned officers of His Majesty's Naval, Military or Air Forces.

LORD CLIFFORD OF CHUDLEIGHmoved, in paragraph (d) to substitute "ordered" for"supplied.'' The noble Lord said: It has been argued that in case of a person having a meal so long as the drink was ordered in the open time, it should be consumable beyond the time of closing. However, I shall be quite content to leave the matter to the consideration of the Government.

Amendment moved— Page 4, line 26, leave out (" supplied ") and insert (" ordered ").—(Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.)


I am much obliged to the noble Lord for leaving it to the Government, because I am afraid I shall have to oppose the Amendment on the ground that it is quite inconsistent with the general scheme of the Bill.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


The Amendment in my name to leave out the word"registered"in paragraph (e) is drafting.

Amendment moved— Page 4, line 30, leave out (" registered ").—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6 agreed to.

Clause 7:

Conditions as to distribution.

7. No person shall either by himself or by any servant or agent—

  1. (a) sell, supply, distribute, or deliver, or induce any person to sell, supply, distribute or deliver any intoxicating liquor from any van, barrow, basket or other vehicle or receptacle, unless before the liquor is despatched it has been ordered and the quantity, description and price thereof, together with the name and address of the person to whom it is to be supplied, has been entered in a delivery book or invoice, which shall be carried by the person delivering the liquor, and in a day book which shall be kept on the premises from which the liquor is dispatched; or
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  3. (b) carry or convey in any van, barrow, basket or other vehicle or receptacle, while in use for the distribution or delivery of intoxicating liquor, any such liquor not entered in such delivery book or invoice and day book, or
  4. (c) distribute or deliver any intoxicating liquor at any address not specified in such delivery book or invoice and day book; or
  5. (d) refuse to allow any constable to examine such van, barrow, basket or other vehicle or receptacle, or such delivery book or invoice.

Provided that the holder of a licence shall not be liable to any penalty under this section in respect of an offence committed by his servant or agent if he proves that such offence was committed without his knowledge or consent.

VISCOUNT PEELmoved, at the end of Clause 7, to insert—

(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit or restrict the sale, supply, distribution, or delivery of intoxicating liquor to a trader for the purposes of his trade, or to a club for the purposes of the club."

The noble Viscount said: This clause was never intended to apply to deliveries by brewers to retailers, and the Amendment secures this.

Amendment moved— Page 5, line 36, at end insert the said words.—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 7, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 8:

Restriction on credit for on-soles.

8. No person shall—

  1. (a) either by himself or by any servant or agent sell or supply in any licensed premises or club any intoxicating liquor to be consumed on the premises; or
  2. (b) consume any intoxicating liquor in such premises or club;
unless it is paid for before or at the time when it is sold or supplied:

Provided always that if the liquor is sold or supplied for consumption with a meal supplied at the same time and is consumed with such meal this provision shall not be deemed to be contravened if the price of the liquor is paid together with the price of such meal.

VISCOUNT PEELmoved, at the end of Clause 8, to insert the following new sub-section— Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit or restrict the sale or supply of intoxicating liquor to or in any canteen where the sale of intoxicating liquor is carried on under the authority of a Secretary of State or the Admiralty or to any authorised mess of officers or noncommissioned officers of His Majesty's Naval, Military or Air Forces.

The noble Viscount said: I am sorry I have not been able to give notice of this Amendment.

Amendment moved Clause 8, page 6, line 7, at end insert the said new subsection.—(Viscount. Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 8, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 9 to 15 agreed to.

Clause 16:

State management districts.

16.—( ) Until Parliament otherwise determines, the schemes of State management of the liquor traffic established by the Board under the Defence of the Realm (Liquor Control) Regulations, 1915, in the districts defined in the Second Schedule to this Act (in this Act referred to as State Management Districts) may be continued, by the Secretary of State as respects districts in England, and by the Secretary for Scotland as respects districts in Scotland. For this purpose such of the said regulations as are contained in the extract therefrom which is set out in the Third Schedule to this Act are hereby continued in force in their application to those districts, and shall to that extent have effect as if enacted in this Act:

Provided that references to the Secretary of State or the Secretary for Scotland, as the case may require, shall be substituted for references to the Board, and a reference to an offence against this Act shall be substituted for the reference to a summary offence against the Defence of the Realm (Consolidation) Regulations, 1914:

Provided also that the power to acquire premises compulsorily shall apply only in the Carlisle district.

LORD ERSKINEmoved, in subsection (1) to substitute"liquor trade"for"liquor traffic." The noble Lord said: I hope this Amendment will appeal to the sentimental side of the noble Viscount.


I will accept it.

Amendment moved— Page 8, line 2, leave out (" traffic ") and insert (" trade ").—(Lord Erskine.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 16, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 17 to 20 agreed to.

Clause 21:

Application to Scotland and Ireland.

21.—(l) This Act shall apply to Scotland subject to the following modifications:— (c) The sections of this Act whereof the marginal notes Bile"Special provision as to extension of permitted hours in the evening in certain premises ","Application and adaptation of Licensing Act ","Statement to be included in club rules ", and"penalties ", shall not apply;

THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCHmoved, in paragraph (c) to leave out"Special provision as to extension of permitted hours in the evening in certain premises." The noble Duke said: This Amendment is designed to allow Clause 3 of this Bill to apply to Scotland. For some reason or other Scotland is excluded from the benefits of that clause, and it seems unreasonable why it should not have the benefits as well as England. Even Wales enjoys the benefits of Clause 3. The effect of Clause 3, as your Lordships are well aware, is to enable liquor to be sold at a later hour in specially adapted promises where food is sold. I think it will be universally agreed by many of your Lordships, and certainly of the public, that one of the greatest reforms in the way of temperance is to improve licensed premises and to have food sold where drink is obtained.

I do not wish to take up a great deal of time, but I will read subsection (2) of Clause 3— This section applies to any licensed premises or clubs if and so long as the licensing justices are satisfied that they are structurally adapted and bona fide used for the purpose of habitually providing, for the accommodation of persons frequenting the premises, substantial refreshment, to which the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor is ancillary.

Surely your Lordships will ad in it that that is a wise provision of which the whole of England is to have the benefit. It applies chiefly, of course, to the larger towns, but it does seem rather absurd that when, in any large town in England or in Wales, licensed premises will be able to keep open under these conditions, such important cities as Edinburgh and Glasgow, and other large towns in Scotland, should not have the same privilege.

I do not know what reason can be advanced for excluding Scotland. I believe the only reason is that the system has not obtained before. I hope the Government will accept this Amendment, because I am sure it will be of advantage and will induce temperance by encouraging people to have better premises and to serve thoroughly good food. Advantage cannot be taken of this extension without the consent of the Licensing Justices, so that it is fully safeguarded, apart from the additional safeguard of notification to the police, and so forth. As your Lordships are aware, there is in Scotland a Local Veto Act, and an election upon it has taken place within the last year. There were very few places where they went for total prohibition, and not very many where there was even a. decision in favour of reduction of licences. That shows, I think, in a way which has not been possible for either England or Wales, that the people of Scotland are not in favour of these absurd restrictions I feel that, if your Lordships will accept this Amendment, it will be a great encouragement to holders of licences to improve their premises, and also to encourage the sale. of good food, whereas at present, in many cases, people drink a great deal more than is necessary, because they simply have to throw it down as quickly as they can, or they will not get any more.

Amendment moved— Page 11, line 5, leave out from (" are ") to (" application ") in line 7.—(The Duke of Buccleuch.)


The noble Duke tells us that. he is entirely unaware of the reason which has caused this restriction to be applied to Scotland and not to England, or why, in fact, we in this favoured country should have this"theatre-supper clause"and the people of Scotland should not. The main reason that I have heard is that Scotland is so full of admirably conducted persons who go to bed early that they have never developed the noxious supper habit that we have contracted in this country, and that there is apparently no demand—I say it with all respect to the noble Duke because I do not know what the demands are in Scotland—for this extension. At any rate, none was shown in another place, because this Amendment was not moved or even put down on the Committee stage there.


I think it was put down.


Not on the Committee stage. It was put down on the Report stage, but it was not moved.


Probably it was"guillotined,"


I do not think so. This shows, I think, that there was not a very strong desire to restore the"theatresupper clause"to Scotland. I should like just to give the noble Duke one or two facts as regards the position as it was during the war and before the war. The existing law in Scotland is that licensed premises must close at 11 p.m., Licensing Courts having the power to fix the closing hour at 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. The power to substitute 10 p.m. for 11 p.m. was exercised by all the Licensing Courts, and for many years before the war all licensed premises in Scotland closed at 10 p.m. The noble Duke will see, therefore, that we are only reverting to the practice which existed in Scotland before the war. During the war the closing hour was 9 p.m.; the proposed closing hour is, therefore, an extension from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

I understand that Scotland—again I speak under correction—is not organised in the same sense as this country is for this supper after theatres. The Scottish Office has had no general demand for the change; in fact, very little evidence has come before them as to the existence of any requirement in Scotland on this particular point. There seems to be, if the noble Duke will allow me to say so, no weight of public opinion behind his Amendment. On the other hand, I fear that, if this 10 o'clock closing hoar is interfered with, there may be a good deal of feeling expressed on the other side. I do not know, therefore, that the noble Duke has made out a very strong case for assimilating Scotland to England in this respect.


I have been asked by the Licensed Victuallers' Trade Defence Association to bring this matter forward, and I gave notice privately to my noble friend that I was going to do so, but I found an Amendment already put down in the name of the Duke of Buccleuch. What he has said is perfectly right, and I think something more should be said in reply than has been said by the noble Viscount. It is quite true that the arrangements for supper in Scotland are not organised in the same way as they are in London, but at the same time, a great many people coming from theatres have to go and get supper, and they cannot get a glass of beer or a glass of whisky with their food. Again, if you go into a town like Edinburgh late at night, or, shall we say, Dundee or Perth, and you arrive at half-past ten, with the prospect of driving twenty or thirty miles to your destination, you find, when you have slipper, that you cannot get anything to drink unless von are actually residing in the place. In addition, I think it is very important to remember that there was a Scottish Bill for the purpose of a Local Veto, and that it was practically a failure, in the sense that very few places went "dry." You are trying to arrange matters in Scotland according to the view of a very small minority, instead of truly abiding by the issue of that event. Another point is that the trade has had a very hard life for a long time, and it is surely right that licensed victuallers should be put on a footing which they can understand.


I desire to add only one word in support of this Amendment. In spite of what Lord Peel said on behalf of the Government, I do desire to say that, whereas the Bill meets a real grievance now borne by restaurants and clubs in England and in Wales, by extending the hours during which alcoholic refreshment can be legally sold with meals beyond the hour of ten in the evening, yet, as the Bill stands, if toy reading of it is correct, 10 o'clock, or at latest 11 o'clock, will still remain the latest hour for this purpose in Scotland. If that be so, Scotland will surely have good ground for serious complaint. cannot think that it is equitable or right or fair, that in places such as Edinburgh., Glasgow and elsewhere, late at night, people should be debarred from obtaining that which, in London, they will be able to obtain until midnight, Nor can I believe that the Government desire to shackle this disparity upon my countrymen in Scotland. Therefore, I hope that my noble friend in charge of the Bill will consider whether, at a later stage, he can accept the Amendment.


As an Englishman I sympathise with the views of noble Lords who have advocated this Amendment, and if they go to a Division I shall have pleasure in supporting them.


hope that the Government will give way upon this Amendment. Here we have a case in which there is a lack of similarity between England and Scotland which prima facie is indefensible, and upon that we have noble Lords from Scotland unanimously asking the Government to remove this distinction between England and Scotland. What has the noble Viscount to say in reply? Merely that it was not moved in another place. I really think that this argument from what happened in another place Call be a little overdone, because we really do not know what goes on in another place, except that the business there seems to go through under extreme difficulty. They have all sorts of curious methods by which discussion is abbreviated and Amendments on the Paper are never allowed to be moved at all, owing to the operation of kangaroos and guillotines and various devices. So it is very difficult for us to find out, or to argue from, what may or may not have happened in another place.

All we know is that noble Lords from Scotland in this House unanimously desire that this distinction should be removed, and they adduce as an additional argument, which I think the noble Viscount should reflect upon, that we are not altogether ignorant of opinion in Scotland upon this subject. It is true that there has been no easy way of ascertaining public opinion in Wales, but in Scotland there have been all sorts of plebiscites and referenda under the Licensing Act of the Liberal Government, which is in force, and, I believe, to tile astonishment of the promoters of that legislation, it was found that Scotland was not at all desirous of these restrictive conditions, which everybody up to that time had thought Scotland to be passionately anxious to have. In those circumstances it is no longer possible for the Government, or anybody else, to argue that this restrictive legislation ought to be applied to Scotland more than to any other part of the island, and when we have representative Scottish Peers unanimously asking for this change I think there is no case for the Government to resist.


May I point out that on the Third Reading in another place, Sir John Hope said:"I withdrew my Amendment, which would have removed an injustice in another direction." That was this Amendment, and it was withdrawn for the purpose of getting something else.


I am not at all insensible to the arguments used by noble Lords on the other side as to the results of the recent vote in Scotland on Local Veto, but I was surprised to hear it used by the noble Duke, because I think I am not wrong in saying that the immediate neighbourhood of the noble Duke, and possibly owing to his influence, was the only district where they decided to abolish licences or to reduce them. That was possibly due to certain special reasons. I should have been a little more impressed by the arguments used if noble Lords opposite, in addition to arguing that it was unfair to treat Scotland differently from England—and I hope the argument may be used sometimes by us in this country as regards Scotland—had shown that there was a considerable body of opinion in favour of equalising the law. I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment, but as it is pressed by noble Lords representative of Scottish feeling I would not put your Lordships to the trouble of dividing upon it, and if it is desired to take the feeling of the other House then I will not stand in the way.


With regard to the observation of the noble Viscount I may say that opinion was strongly in favour of continuing licensed premises.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 21, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 22:

Short title, construction and commencement.

22.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Licensing Act, 1921.

(2) This Act shall be construed as one with the Licensing (Consolidation) Act, 1910.

(3) Save as otherwise expressly provided, this Act shall come into operation at the expiration of fourteen days after the passing thereof.


I have to move a drafting Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 12, line 20, at end insert (" and that Act and tins Act may be cited together as the Licensing Acts, 1910 and 1921 "). (3) This Act as it applies to Scotland shall be construed as one with the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, 1903 to 1913, and these Acts and this Act as it so applies may be cited together as the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, 1903 to 1921 ").—(viscount Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 22, as amended, agreed to.

First Schedule: