§ Debate resumed (according to Order) on the Motion, made by Lord Lamington, yesterday, That this House do now resolve itself into Committee.
My Lords, as I ventured to remind your Lordships when I moved the adjournment of this debate last night, there was not a very ample opportunity for discussion of the Bill on the Second Reading because the House was rather anxious to proceed to other business on that occasion. I do not propose for a moment to detain your Lordships with a Second Reading speech at this stage, but I should like to say that when I read this Bill it did impress me, as I think it impressed some other members of your Lordships' House, as being rather what I might call a brewers' Bill and a trade measure, as being a Bill which did a great deal for the relief of public-houses and not very much for their improvement. In order to test that point, I ventured to put down what I considered some rather searching Amendments, in order to try to make the Bill more of a temperance Bill and less of a trade benefit Bill.
942 During the Second Reading debate I was struck by the speech of the noble Marquess opposite, the Leader of the Opposition, as to the devotion of the noble Lord in charge of the Bill to the cause of temperance. I think it only fair to say that, having put down ray Amendments and having had an opportunity of consultation with the noble Lord in charge of the Bill, he has met me very fairly on those points and has shown himself anxious to make the Bill a good Bill from the temperance point of view. There are others who wish to say a word on this subject, and therefore I will only say, in general terms in order to shorten the discussion afterwards, that the object of the Amendments which I have put down is, as regards the first of them, to give some rather fairer and more definite definition as to what is meant by an improved public-house. "Improved" is an extremely vague word in the Bill as it passed the Second Reading.
The object of other Amendments is to restore that discretion to the licensing justices which it seems to me it is necessary that they should have. The last of my Amendments refuses to pass a Bill with a clause which confers an enormous endowment upon the licensed trade. I will explain all my Amendments more fully when I come to them, but I have stated their main object, and I am bound to say that the noble Lord in charge of the Bill has met me very fairly in the matter. There are some points on which I desire to reserve any final assent until the Report stage, but I do not think I shall be obliged to trouble your Lordships with any long explanation when we come to them.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
My Lords, as the noble Earl has just said, the debating possibilities with regard to this measure have been somewhat interfered with. It was most natural and explicable that an appeal should be made to us a week ago, when this Bill was before the House for Second Reading, not to delay matters then because the House was waiting for other important matters—the speech of Lord Balfour on the Singapore naval base, and other things. We were, therefore, pressed to pass the Second Reading and reserve for Committee Stage anything that we had to say in respect of its provisions. I was perfectly ready to 943 do that, but I must ask leave to explain why I and others who feel with me stand in the position of seeming to be opposed to a Bill for improved public-houses when, as a matter of fact, the establishment and maintenance of improved public-houses has been, to some of us, one of our principal objects for years in all that concerns temperance legislation.
I have been in many different ways concerned in the promotion of some system of improved public-houses, and if I thought that the measure now before us was going to help forward the cause that we have been for years advocating, I should not only not oppose it but I should wish to welcome it in every way I could. I found myself in a peculiar position the other day, and I have actually since been accused of being in the supposed position of an extreme temperance reformer opposed to all moderate measures, of standing against something which, in a moderate way, would bring about the object which in fact, I and others desire. It is an odd position for me to be said to stand in, because I am usually attacked for refusing to go so far as some of my friends would desire me to go. But I believe that instead of really promoting those objects which we desire, this Bill would be ineffective and impracticable.
Put quite shortly, what the Bill, as it now stands, does is practically to enact that if certain licence holders will do certain things that are named—although named in a very odd way, with no one to decide whether those things have been propertly carried out or not, or whether they will be effective—for improving the premises under their control, they shall obtain a relaxation of certain limitations imposed upon others in the trade as to hours of opening, and also certain privileges as to the nature of the entertainments which may take place, and as regards the presence of children. They shall also, after all that relaxation has been granted to them, without the justices apparently having any discretion in the matter, have more secure tenure of the licence granted to them, obtain it much more easily, and be more certain to be able to retain it. Then, most markedly of all, relief is to be given in regard to the compensation levy which falls upon the trade generally, and in regard to the licence duty, which also falls upon the trade generally.
944 I do not believe that you are going to obtain the result which is desired by the proposals which the noble Lord has put before us. I want to see these improved houses all over the land. I believe it to be possible. I believe we are moving in that direction slowly, and I should like to stimulate the efforts which are being made in that direction. I am opposed to the extreme forms which some of my friends desire to see the change take, and I believe that it is on the lines of improved public-houses that we ought to proceed. For that purpose we have already in the field not a few organisations, and plans have not only seen the light but are in practical operation. We have first of all the Public-house Trust, as it is called, which on a small scale—a terribly small and limited scale—is at present making favourable progress, notwithstanding peculiar difficulties upon which it would be out of place at this time to enter.
Then there is an organisation which some of your Lordships know about, and are connected with—namely, what is called the Association for the Promotion of Restaurant Public-houses. That is exactly the purpose which this Bill professes to set forward, and is promoted by a large number of people who are well informed and expert in this matter, including Mr. Chapman, the Police Court Magistrate. That association is going forward with the co-operation and help of not a few of the foremost brewing interests and companies in the land. Some of them have thrown themselves into co-operation with that endeavour, and have freely consented to forego the direct profit on drink. All honour to those who, belonging to the trade, have thrown themselves into this particular endeavour. We. have also the example of all that was done in Carlisle and its neighbourhood during the war. We have there an object lesson given to us in, a way which is often extremely difficult to obtain—the object lesson of how, on a great scale, efforts of this kind can be set forward. I am sorry that Lord D'Abernon is not at present in the House, or, perhaps, in the country, because he could tell us all about it, but the endeavours that were then made were made not merely for the gain of that particular neighbourhood, but, as some of us felt, for the greater gain of 945 presenting an object lesson of what might be done on a larger scale throughout the country for the very purpose which this Bill sets itself to promote, but, I think, would fail to promote.
Besides that, we have had two Bills before Parliament, and before this House, during the last eighteen months or so—one introduced by the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, and the other by the Bishop of Oxford. Both of these Bills have aimed at a reorganisation of our system of the management of licensed houses in a way that would further the very object which this Bill sets itself to promote. In the Bill of the Bishop of Oxford, a whole department or branch of it deals with what is called the reorganisation of public-houses. It is a far more ample development of the plans which are adumbrated in the Bill now before us. All of these are practical plans now in existence for producing the reformed public-house. Two of them at least can go forward without legislation. The latter two would require legislation for their stimulus and encouragement, and, if legislation were passed, the other two schemes which do not require legislation would obviously be stimulated in many ways.
I am anxious to make clear that those of us who take exception to the provisions of this Bill do so, not as people who are objecting in the least to the idea of the reformed public-house, but as people who have given much thought and time to that very object, and believe that there are other modes by which it can be much better done. It would be absurdly out of place to develop here and now rival plans which are not in this Bill, though we shall be perfectly ready to do that when occasion offers. The vital difference between this measure and the procedure to which I have referred is that, in all these different groups of proposed action that I have mentioned, to a large extent you avoid the trade profit on the sale of drink itself going into the pockets of those who are selling it. That is to say, you take care that the profit made on the sale of drink itself shall go into the improvement of the system that you are trying to make a better one, shall go into the plan of making these public-houses more what we desire them to be. For that purpose the management should be to a large extent qualified by the conditions laid 946 down, and taken out of the hands of those who, perfectly honestly, are carrying it on to make money from the sale of drink in its most direct and simplest form. I believe that, for that purpose, we must have an element of popular control somewhere, however you restrict it in its action, if you are to facilitate the provision of the kind of improved public-house of which we speak.
When the noble Marquess who leads the Opposition asked us, the other night, to deal with these matters when we came to them in Committee, I set myself at once to try to see whether I could draft Amendments to this measure which would bring it to some extent into line with the way of getting reform of the public-house that I have for some years advocated. I failed altogether to do it. The noble Earl, Lord Russell, has been more successful perhaps—he has certainly been more adventurous—in getting Amendments on the Paper which are intended at least to go in the direction which I desire. The Amendments of the noble Earl seem to me good so far as they go. They make the Bill, I will not say a better and sounder Bill in all respects, but certainly a less difficult Bill to support and a Bill which has fewer disadvantages than are presented by the measure in its present form. I do not know how far the noble Lord in charge of the Bill is prepared to go in the acceptance of those Amendments. I note that his proposed Amendments to the Amendments touch on the very points which are most acute, in regard particularly to the question of management. He proposes an apparently unobtrusive clause providing that limitations shall be placed on the manager "if there be a manager." That suggests precisely what would happen There would not, be a manager; there would be someone else to whom the place belonged, and, as there was no manager, the clause as drawn would not become operative.
But I wish to say that, if these Amendments are carried, I shall feel that the Bill is a very much better Bill than it was before, although, even then, I should be deceiving your Lordships if I were to say that I thought it would be a measure that would really produce the results at which, with perfect genuineness, the noble Lord who has introduced the Bill aims. I believe that there is another and more 947 excellent way, but I shall support the Amendments which the noble Earl, Lord Russell, has tabled in the belief that we are eliminating some at least of the perils which seem to me to render the Bill, as it at present stands, really not a helpful measure at all for promoting the cause which all of us, I believe, have at heart. I have been anxious to make that clear, lest it should be supposed that I am one of those—and there are such people in England—who are opposed to measures of moderate temperance reform because they would not rest satisfied with something that was not drastic enough for them. That has never been my view, and it is not my view now.
§ LORD CLWYD
My Lords, I desire to make my position clear on this Bill. Your Lordships will remember that I had an opportunity a week ago of moving the rejection of this Bill upon Second Reading, and I then indicated the main grounds of my opposition to the measure. The House will observe that I have not put down in my own name any Amendments to the Bill in Committee, and perhaps it is due to the House and to the noble Lord in charge to explain that the reason why I did not do so is that which has already been expressed by the most rev. Primate. I came to the conclusion that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me, even by a very long series of Amendments, to bring the Bill into a shape which would, from my standpoint, be satisfactory. I recognise, however, that the Amendments of the noble Earl are from my standpoint in the right direction, although, in my judgment, they would not make the Bill completely satisfactory, and I shall, of course, support those Amendments. I was very glad to understand from what the noble Earl said that there was a chance of the noble Lord in charge of the Bill accepting a large number of these Amendments.
§ VISCOUNT ASTOR
My Lords, I should like to take this opportunity of dealing with a rather more personal matter. The noble Lord in charge of the Bill on the Second Reading said that I was associated with a newspaper which had made definite statements containing offensive innuendoes about the association which was promoting this Bill, and with which the noble Lord is connected. I am sorry that the noble Lord did not notify me that he meant to make these 948 statements about me, because I should most assuredly have been here. I had a meeting in Devonshire, but I should have cancelled that had I realised that the noble Lord was going to make a statement of such a personal character. I am sure the noble Lord will agree with me that if one is going to suggest that a colleague is responsible for offensive innuendoes it would be preferable to quote specifically the exact statements.
§ VISCOUNT ASTOR
The noble Lord said that the newspaper with which I was connected "definitely stated "that this was" purely a trade measure," and that there was a second letter in the paper" saying that the money for this Temperance Association is supplied by the trade." Now the first point has been dealt with by the writer of that article, who pointed out in that newspaper last Sunday that the noble Lord had misquoted him. It was not myself, but the writer of this particular article who corrected him.
With regard to the other allegation, I have had the files of the newspaper searched and, so far as I can make out, the letter which the noble Lord had in mind is this one and says:—The True Temperance Association does not in any of its published statements give particulars as to what proportion of its income comes from members of the drink trade.—That is a clear statment for the noble Lord to answer—If the True Temperance Association were financially independent of drink it would state who its subscribers were, and how much each subscriber contributed to the campaign which it wages so ceaselessly on the side of those who make money out of the sale of intoxicants.—That is also a perfectly clear statement—Genuine social or philanthropic bodies are not afraid to say who hold the purse-strings and thereby influence policy.I have made inquiries of all temperance societies, and I do not know a single one which does rot publish in full the complete list of its subscribers, with the amount which each one subscribes, giving a full list to the public of subscribers and subscriptions.
Now the True Temperance Association does not do this. I have made inquiries about a large number of social, of wel- 949 fare, of philanthropic societies, of societies for the prevention of cruelty to children and of charity organisation societies, and I am not able to find a single one which does not give full financial publicity or state exactly where its money comes from and who gives it. The True Temperance Association does not do that. That is the essential and fundamental difference. That is the only statement which the paper with which I am associated made, and I welcome the opportunity of repeating that statement here because I do not want the noble Lord or anybody else connected with this Association to think that I am saying on the public platform or in writing anything which I am not prepared to say here or be substantiate.
There is one other point in connection with this society. I have said on the platform, as regards its policy, that it acts as a kind of auxiliary of the drink trade, that, so far as I have been able to see, it supports every single measure which emanates from the drink trade and opposes every single measure, whatever its character and however moderate it may be, which is put forward by any section of the temperance forces. I need not remind your Lordships that a year ago a Bill came before your Lordships' House with the object of keeping children out of drinking bars. That Bill was supported by every single genuine philanthropic society in the country. That Bill was opposed by the drink trade, and the opposition was led by the True Temperance Association. It is the only society that I know of, except the ordinary recognised trade defence associations, which opposed that measure of social welfare which your Lordships passed without a single Division.
§ VISCOUNT ASTOR
All through the country and in the Press. The True Temperance Association I believe circularised Members of Parliament, and they wrote to the Press opposing the Bill. I do not say that the noble Lord is aware of everything which the association does; I am merely substantiating and justifying what I am saying here and what I have said outside as to the way in which the True Temperance Association conducts its campaign. I am merely justifying the 950 allegation which I have frequently made—that it acts as though it were an auxiliary of the drink trade, and that it is suspect because it does not say exactly where its money comes from. The True Temperance Association is opposed to disinterested management. The True Temperance Association goes out of its way to oppose every single proposal which is put forward by the Temperance Council of the Churches or by any other temperance society that I know of
At the last Election the True Temperance Association invited the voters in the constituencies in which certain Socialist candidates were standing to support those candidates because they gave approval of a particular legislative proposal. The noble Lord spoke the other day as a Conservative of Conservatives. Is he, as a Conservative of Conservatives, prepared to say that he is willing to invite the electors to vote for Labour candidates because they support a particular measure and, it may be, support a Labour candidate against a Conservative candidate? I know perfectly well that the motto of the trade is: "Our trade our politics." But I would not suggest in any way that it was the motto of the noble Lord. What I do say is that the True Temperance Association certainly gives the impression that that motto is its motto.
Another thing that your Lordships will realise is that one of the greatest difficulties in dealing with the temperance question in this country is what is called the tied house system. The true Temperance Association is in favour of tied houses. It issued a pamphlet supporting and advocating tied houses. I should think that everybody who had studied the temperance question was agreed that the first essential was, if possible, to free houses and to do away with the system whereby from 80 to 90 per cent. of the houses are tied to particular brewers. That system is one of the great impediments to moderate progress in temperance legislation. I ask the noble Lord, associated as he is with the True Temperance Association, or any other noble Lord who is connected with that body, to point to any proposal which the True Temperance Association has advocated or supported which was in any way prejudicial to the profits of those unnamed subscribers who give undisclosed amounts to this society.
951 Then there is another point to which I should like to refer. Here I speak as one who has been himself misled. I was for a time a member of the True Temperance Association. I had the impression that it was entirely independent of any sort of association with the drink trade. I saw the names of noble Lords and of others who I knew were independent of the drink trade, as the noble Lord himself is, and the objects of the association seemed to me to be desirable. But as I watched the activities of this society I came to the conclusion that if I continued to be prominently associated with it the public would be misled to a certain extent into believing that it was, in fact, a genuine independent association. It was because of that that I severed my connection with it.
In all the time that I have been interested in the temperance movement I have never said a single word against brewers qua brewers. I have never said that it was unreasonable that they should organise politically to defend themselves. But certainly I did not feel I could be put in the position as an independent individual of leading the public to believe that such a society as this was independent when, in fact, it was acting all along as if it were an ally of the drink trade. I can imagine anybody joining an avowed trade society openly financed by the drink trade. I think it is very much more difficult to justify an association with a society which conducts the sort of campaign that I have outlined to your Lordships, which does not say where its money comes from and, as I know myself, thereby induces members of the public to believe that it is absolutely independent in its object.
I shall be very grateful if the noble Lord would tell us what is the connection between the True Temperance Association and the Freedom Association, and if he will also tell us what the Freedom Association is. I have noticed that in certain cases people who subscribe to the True Temperance Association are thereby considered to be entitled to all the privileges belonging to the Freedom Association. I should also like to ask the noble Lord whether he thinks it is desirable that this association should encourage correspondents in the country to write to the provincial Press as though they were independent whereas, in fact, so far as I am 952 able to gather, they are paid for doing so by the association. So far as I have been able to ascertain, these correspondents in the country have been paid 10s. 6d. if they wrote in their own name : if they merely put their initials they got 7s. 6d.; if they wrote under a nom de plums as a "Lover of Temperance" or anything else they were paid 5s. 3d.; and if they sent in a letter to a provincial newspaper and its editor refused to publish it they got 2s. 6d. from the association if the association considered it is a good effort.
In addition to that, the association, apparently, say to their correspondents that it is often desirable to obtain somebody else's signature to their letters. Is it desirable that an association should incite people throughout the country to write under assumed names, and to do it as members of the public whereas, in fact, all the time they are being paid for doing it? I have stated here quite deliberately many of the things which I have said in public, because I do not want any one connected with this association to say that I was not willing to substantiate here statements that I have made elsewhere. I suggest to the noble Lord, when he invites me to withdraw what he considers to be offensive innuendoes, that he ought to quote specifically what it was the paper with which I am connected said, and not merely give a version from memory. That is not the same thing as quoting the exact words.
§ VISCOUNT ASTOR
The noble Lord said "purely a trade measure." There are many points in connection with this Bill with which I may deal later. As to the association probably the noble Lord is in exactly the same position as I was in of having been taken in by the specious title, by the pamphlets and literature of this association, the only difference being that I have been fortunate enough to find that my name was being used to induce people to believe that this society conducted a social campaign which, in fact, its activities would not justify, whereas he has hitherto not done so.
My Lords, I rise to express a hope that your Lordships will not be persuaded by the appeal of the most rev. Primate. I fancy it was that we should not go into Committee.
The most rev. Primate told us to-night that he objects to the Bill, and I should have thought, in those circumstances, the consistent course was to object to going into Committee. However, if the most rev. Primate is prepared to go into Committee, that will reduce very much what I have to say. I acknowledge that I was deeply concerned to find the most rev. Primate and his episcopal brethren on the Bench opposite going into the Lobby against my noble friend on the right (Lord Lamington). After all, this is an honest attempt to do something that I think we all want to see done. Because other efforts are being made in the country I do not see why we should oppose this effort.
I will give directly the reasons why I think this measure is more likely to be practical than some of the others. I do not speak with any intimate knowledge of the trade. I have nothing to do with the trade. I speak simply as a member of licensing committees and as a man in the street. I confess that I do not observe any great advance towards the establishment of any sort of improved public-house, and, therefore, I welcome any effort that is made in that direction. I am sure this is an honest effort, and I think it is based upon a very practical ground. What it aims at is to induce the owner of the public-house to make the improvement. His interest is in it. It will give him greater freedom, and will induce him to improve his public-house in order to attract a larger number of people to it, not necessarily into the bar where there is intoxicating liquor, but into another part of the premises where non-intoxicants can be consumed and light entertainment obtained. That is, I fancy, what we are all aiming at.
I recognise the audacity of my opposing the most rev. Primate on any practical question, but I confess that I am astounded that he should oppose this measure on principle, when he says that he has always supported the principle of the establishment of improved public-houses. He opposes the principle of this Bill, because he thinks it is a bad Bill. Surely, it is a matter for argument in Committee whether or not it is bad or good. From my personal experience as 954 a man in the street who goes about the country and observes these things, I cannot say that there other efforts, to which reference has been made, are extremely successful. I believe this effort is more likely to be successful, because it holds out an inducement to the owner of the house to improve it. As regards the conditions which were spoken of the other night by the noble Lord, Lord Clwyd, I would point out that you must put trust in somebody, and I do not know whom you can better trust than the licensing committee. By this Bill the whole responsibility is thrown upon the local men who know the conditions, and what the wants of the neighbourhood are, and I think your Lordships may-depend upon licensing committees taking very good care not to grant a licence for an improved public-house without imposing conditions which they consider necessary for its respectable conduct.
§ LORD LAMINGTON
My Lords. I hope we shall go into Committee on this Bill. We have in this debate traversed many aspects of the drink question. As regards the remarks made by the most rev. Primate, apparently his one objection to this Bill is that it does not adopt the policy adumbrated in the other two Bills to which he referred. But those other two Bills advocate more or less State purchase. Those in favour of State purchase, no doubt, are quite right to back such measures, but personally I am strongly opposed to the principle of State purchase. I think many years will elapse before State purchase will be adopted, and this Bill is intended to deal with the situation as it exists at the present moment. Its object is to try to put the public-house system of this country upon a better footing, and that general policy of improvement, to which the most rev. Primate referred, has been endorsed by public opinion in this country.
I do not wish to prolong the debate at this stage, but I must say one word about the remarks of the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, regarding the True Temperance Association with which his speech mostly dealt. I think it would have been more advantageous if he had informed me beforehand of the innumerable points (which were quite novel to me) that he brought forward. The only point with which I was familiar was that in regard to the 955 tied house system. I think I am right in saying that the association stated that it did not approve of the tied house system, but that it was in existence, and had come into existence, as a result of legislation passed by Parliament. I cannot really deal with the other points mentioned by the noble Viscount. I may not have quoted fully. I may have put in the word "purely," but it was stated that it was a trade measure. The noble Viscount was not here on the occasion of the Second Reading debate when I said, most distinctly, that the whole of our income did not exceed £1,000 a year.
§ VISCOUNT CAVE
My Lords, I hope the House will now consent to go into Committee on the Bill. I know nothing about the True Temperance Association, and I do not think we should spend our time discussing one society or another. The Bill is a genuine effort to do what many of us desire to see accomplished—namely, an improved public-house where men may take their wives and children and enjoy themselves without coming in contact with the disagreeable concomitants which are sometimes found in some public-houses to-day.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 :
§ "Improved public-house." certificate.
§ 1.—(1) Where licensed premises are not merely places for the consumption of intoxicating liquors, but contain adequate provision, in view of the character of the house and the want" of the neighbourhood, for the supply of other refreshments, and are airy, commodious and comfortable, and have proper seating and sanitary accommodation, and contain provision for suitable recreation, the licensing justices shall, on the application of the licence-holder, when the application for the grant or renewal of the licence is heard, issue a certificate to the effect that the premises form an "improved public-house"; and thereupon, 956 until such certificate shall have been lawfully withdrawn, such premises shall enjoy all the privileges and exemptions attaching to an improved public-house under this Act or any Act to be hereafter passed. Such certificate shall not he withdrawn except after reasonable notice to the holder thereof, and to the owner of the premises, and after reasonable opportunity has been given to the said holder and owner to be heard in opposition to such withdrawal.
§ (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section seventy-one of the Licensing (Consolidation) Act, 1910, the licensing justices before whom an application for an "improved public-house" certificate is heard, shall not refuse to grant such a certificate merely on the ground that alterations in the premises proposed by the applicant would give increased accommodation or facilities.
§ (3) In the County of London an "improved public-house" certificate shall not be operative until it has been confirmed by the London County Council.
§ EARL RUSSELL had given notice of an Amendment to move, in subsection (1), after "Where licensed premises," to leave out "are not merely places for the consumption of intoxicating liquors, but contain adequate provision, in view of the character of the house and the wants of the neighbourhood, for the supply of other refreshments, and are airy, commodious and comfortable, and have proper seating and sanitary accommodation, and contain provision for suitable recreation," and insert:
- "(a) are so constructed and managed as not to be mainly places for the consumption of intoxicating liquors :
- (b) contain adequate provision for the supply of meals and other refreshments ;
- (c) contain accommodation apart from the bar which is airy, commodious and comfortable ;
- (d) are provided with tables and proper seating and sanitary accommodation :
- (e) and it is provided that the remuneration of the manager shall not depend upon the profits made on intoxicating liquors;
- (f) and are not owned or controlled by, or under binding agreements with, persons, firms or companies interested in the supply of intoxicating liquor to such premises:"
The noble Earl said : I should like to say at once that I cannot claim any special practical knowledge of public-
houses or any considerable knowledge of the legislation connected with them. I feel, therefore, that some of the Amendments I have put down on the Paper may be technically incorrect, or not in apt language, and I shall be extremely grateful to any of your Lordships who, like the noble and learned Viscount, really desire to see this Bill emerge as a genuine temperance measure, who can come to my assistance in these matters, many of which I know are highly technical. I have done the best I can with a certain amount of audacity. The Amendment which we are now considering proposes to leave out some rather vague lines in order to insert more specific words. I will read to your Lordships the first three paragraphs. Paragraph (a) reads—
are so constructed and managed as not to be mainly places for the consumption of intoxicating liquors.
Those words are already in the Bill. Then paragraph (b) says:—
contain adequate provision for the supply of meals and other refreshments.
In that the noble Lord in charge of the Bill has put down an Amendment, to insert the word "food" instead of "meals," and in order to save your Lordships trouble I propose to move the Amendment with the word "food" in. But I must reserve my right to consider this point with my noble friend before the Report stage. The difference between us is rather of words than of meaning. The noble Lord says that the word "meals" may be interpreted to mean a meal of several courses. I am afraid that the word "food" may be interpreted to mean a plate of dry biscuits; and we want to arrive at some words which will ensure that it will be the genuine supply of a meal.
Paragraph (c) reads:—
contain accommodation apart from the bar which is airy, commodious and comfortable;
and paragraph (d):
are provided with tables and proper seating and sanitary accommodation;
Up to that point we are agreed, and I do not know whether the Lord Chairman would consider it more convenient if I move my Amendment down to that point first?
Page 1, line 6, leave out from (" premises ") to the first (" the") in line 13 and insert:
§ VISCOUNT CAVE
I feel some difficulty about the wording of this Amendment, especially with regard to paragraph (a). That paragraph does not agree with the Bill. If my copy of the Bill is right it refers to licensed premises which "are not merely places for the consumption of intoxicating liquors." The Amendment substitutes the word" mainly "for" merely," and there is a great deal of difference between them. As a licensing justice I should find some difficulty in saying whether a house is or is not mainly a place for the purpose of the consumption of intoxicating liquor, and I hope the noble Earl will choose some more definite words.
I think the presence or the absence of a bar is a good ground of distinction. The great trouble is that you go into a room where there is nothing but a bar, at which men may stand and drink what they like and then go away. What many of us want, what the noble Earl wants and what the noble Lord in charge of the Bill wants, is that there shall be a room or outside space in the summer, where there are tables and chairs and where working men may go and spend some time with their families, listen to music, and not feel bound simply to stand up at a bar and drink what is given to them and go away. I have often thought that the beet distinction between the ordinary public-house and the improved public-house is that in the improved public-house there shall be no bar at which liquors shall be consumed. If the noble Earl is inclined to agree I should like him to consider, either at this stage or later, whether instead of putting his distinction 959 as it is in paragraph (a) he would say "are not provided with a bar for the consumption of intoxicating liquors." You would then have a real distinction between the ordinary and the improved public-house. Subject to that suggestion I am entirely in agreement with the Amendment.
I must take the earliest opportunity of apologising to your Lordships for having misled you when I said that paragraph (a) contained the same words as the Bill. That was pure inadvertence on my part. As to the suggestion of the noble and learned Viscount, I should not object to it, but I should like to hear what Lord Lamington has to say, because it is often the case that even when you have a public-house which has tables and chairs it is none the less quite reasonable for it to have a little bar in the smoking room or billiard room where drinks are served. If you say they are not to have a bar at which intoxicating liquors can be sold, it would create a great difficulty. I think the true test is whether the bar is the principal part of the house, or not. I recognise that, the noble and learned Viscount, as Chairman of Quarter Sessions, has great experience in these matters, and if he will allow these words to go through now and then substitute any words of his own on Report stage we shall be glad of his assistance.
I should think that no public-house is "merely" for the consumption of intoxicating liquors. I should prefer the word "mainly," particularly as the noble Lord, Lord Lamington, is willing to accept it.
Every public-house has a bar, and I think the true test is whether the house has some attractions other than the bar. If the noble and learned Viscount would use the words "no extension," I would agree with any practicable suggestion of that kind, but it seems to me that if you say that there shall be no bar at all the whole Bill falls to the ground, so far as I understand the legal interpretation. If the House is satisfied that there should be "no extension" of the bar, or "no enlarge- 960 ment "of the bar, or whatever words are considered most satisfactory, I will accept them.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
To show your Lordships that I am not quite so black in this matter as my noble friend Lord Harris seems to think, let me say that I do not think you can possibly insist that there is not to be a bar. There must be a bar on the premises somewhere. But as regards the position of bars, your Lord ships should compare the arrangements in the improved public-houses under what is known as the Carlisle scheme and in the improved public-houses in London. I know of one particular house, promoted by the trade at Camberwell—
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
Yes, the "Rose." You will find there that practically every room is provided with a bar. In the Carlisle houses, where the object is that profits shall not be made by the sale of drink, the bar is restricted to certain parts of the house, and there are rooms where there is no bar. But there must be a bar somewhere, and a comparison of these two systems, into which I will not go in detail here, will show your Lordships the effect of these arrangements.
I do not know whether the noble and learned Viscount opposite would consider in this connection paragraph (c), which, he will see, uses the wordscontain accommodation apart from the bar which is airy, commodious and comfortable.If the noble and learned Viscount would not mind letting this Amendment go through to-day, and would propose a new form of words later, I am sure the House would be only too glad to have his guidance.
§ LORD BANBURY OF SOUTHAM
May I say, as a licensing justice, that if the word "mainly" is put in it will be very difficult for us to decide what it means and what we are to do. Are we to ascertain whether more people eat than 961 drink, or whether more money is spent on food than on liquor ? I really do hope that for the present the paragraph will be left without the word "mainly," as to which we can easily come to a decision later. If there are to he any further Amendments they should be left to the Report stage rather than that the word "mainly" should be put in now, which will really make it very difficult for the licensing justices. We have very many difficult Acts of Parliament to interpret. Do let us, at, any rate, have something which we can interpret without having our decisions overruled, as they probably will be overruled, if the word "mainly" is used.
That is precisely what Lord Cave has been good enough to promise to consider between now and the Report stage. It is very difficult to draft the words of an Amendment, and if the noble Lord would not mind leaving it in the form in which Lord Cave suggested, I think probably the ultimate result may be more satisfactory.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ EARL RUSSELL moved, after paragraph (d) of subsection (1), as amended, to insert: "(e) and it is provided that the remuneration of the manager shall not depend upon the profits made on intoxicating liquors." The noble Earl said: With regard to paragraph (e), I cannot help feeling that my inexperience of the actual conditions in which these public-houses are carried on has made this Amendment unsuccessful in form, but I think my intention is clear enough. It is provided "that the remuneration of the manager shall not depend upon the profits made on intoxicating liquors." The noble Lord in charge of the Bill tells me that in many of these public-houses, even in the tied houses, there is not a manager. I always understood that in a tied house the person who ran the house was, to some extent, the creature of the brewer. I thought I had heard that said in previous debates, but I may be wrong. The noble Lord proposes to insert the words "if there is a manager." I do not know what the effect of that insertion would be. If there is a manager, it will apply to him; if there is not a manager, I fear it will be rather otiose; but I am anxious to have something like what is 962 known as disinterested management, by which the actual person who is running and managing the house has not an immediate personal interest in forcing liquor upon his customers. That seems to me to be the real distinction between the improved and unimproved house, and, from my point of view, some words which effect this—I do not know whether the words I have suggested are proper or not—seem to me to be vital, as making a distinction between the drinking shop and the improved public-house. I could, of course, modify the form of the Amendment, and I should be very glad if any noble Lord would suggest a better form of words.
After paragraph (d) insert the said new paragraph (e).—(Earl Russell.)
§ LORD LAMINGTON, who had given Notice to move, after "manager," to insert "if there is a manager," said : I think the noble Earl opposite really answers his own objections. I understand that most houses do not have managers. Like the noble Earl, I am not well acquainted with the interior of public houses, but many publicans are the holders of licences themselves and are their own managers. If this Amendment applies to them they are not to receive any profit. I understand that those who are acting for the tied houses work under some kind of mortgage. If I understand the matter aright, their salaries are not dependent on the amount of drink they sell, in so far as they are paid salaries at all. Consequently, I think the words "if there is a manager" would meet the purpose of the noble Lord in eases where there are managers who receive a salary which varies according to the amount of liquor which they dispense In those cases they would not be entitled to benefit.
I confess that I am rather doubtful how the Amendment of the noble Earl opposite may be construed in a court of law, and I am rather doubtful if the noble and learned Viscount on the Opposition Front Bench will venture an opinion now as to what the view of a court might eventually be. How is the remuneration of these managers to be paid unless there are profits? There must be profits made out of the licence, or there will not be a manager or a 963 public-house at all. If you eventually have a court of law deciding that every manager is dependent for his remuneration on the profits made by a house, you will not have any improved houses at all. The words seem to me to be too wide.
§ LORD STUART OF WORTLEY
I think the noble Lord in charge of the Bill will be well advised not to press the Amendment which he proposes to move to the Amendment of the noble Earl opposite. It is proposed to create a special class of house which will undoubtedly enjoy advantages, and I think that, as in many other kinds of industry the law has insisted upon the existence of a responsible manager, it ought to go further and even insist upon the creation of a manager in such a case as this. In many cases, of course, the licensee himself is the manager, but there are cases where he is not, and I think that in those cases the person charged with the actual distribution of drink ought not to have the amount of his remuneration varying with the amount of profit made by the establishment. That is really the test, and I think the noble Lord, Lord Harris, has failed to see it. It is not that he receives remuneration, but that his remuneration may be made, and sometimes is made, to vary with the amount of profit made on drink and not with the entire profits of the establishment. I think the law ought to require the existence of a responsible manager, and that the principle of disinterested management should be carried even further, for it is possible even for minor attendants to promote the sale of liquor in various ways. I think you might even require that the principle of disinterested management should apply to them as well.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
I think the objections raised on this Amendment show that some members of your Lordships' House are unfamiliar with the actual working of the trust system in regions like Carlisle. There a distinction is drawn between profit made from intoxicating liquor and profit made in the general running of the establishment. One is restricted in the manner of its application, and the other is not. I admit that I do not think it is possible to bring that distinction very satisfactorily into this Bill, but there is not much difficulty in the 964 point that Lord Harris made as to there being no profits anywhere, for the restriction would apply only to the profits from intoxicating liquors, as distinct from those which, if this Bill produces all the results which I hope it will produce, will be obtained in other ways. This is not at all an unusual arrangement, and you find it in many establishments of this kind.
THE LORD CHAIRMAN
In the interests of order I think I should point out that Lord Lamington has given Notice of his desire to move an Amendment to this Amendment. He did not say whether he wished to move his Amendment, and I should like to know whether he desires that it should be put to the Committee or not?
§ VISCOUNT CAVE
I really think we are on a question of form and not of substance. There is an objection to the form of the Amendment moved by the noble Earl. His Amendment says "and it is provided," and I do not know where it is to be provided. Then there may be cases where there is no manager, but some other servant in the same position, and I have tried to frame something to cover the point, I do not know whether the noble Earl would adopt these words "are not under the management of a person who is remunerated by a salary the amount of which depends upon the profits made by the sale of intoxicating liquors."
I am extremely grateful to the noble and learned Viscount. I think his words would certainly cover the cases where there is a manager, but I understood that the noble Lord in charge of the Bill raised a greater difficulty. He tells me that oven in the case of tied houses there is a quasi-independent person who takes the whole of the profits. If that is so it is difficult to understand how his remuneration does not depend upon the sale of intoxicating liquors. Perhaps the noble Lord in charge of the Bill will think that these words do not cover all the practical cases.
§ LORD PARMOOR
I have had considerable experience in these matters, 965 and I think that the words suggested by the noble Viscount, Lord Cave, are extremely apt to cover what is practically happening in the management of licensed houses. I think they would be a very valuable addition to the Bill.
I shall have the greatest pleasure in adopting the words suggested by the noble Viscount if he will permit me. First of all, I would ask leave to withdraw the Amendment now before the House.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
After paragraph (d) insert:
(e) Are not under the management of a person who is remunerated by a salary the amount of which depends upon the profits made by the sale of intoxicating liquors.—(Earl Russell.)
THE LORD CHAIRMAN
The Question is that, after paragraph (d), there be inserted paragraph (e) : "Are not under the management of a person who is remunerated by a salary or commission the amount of which depends upon the profits made by the sale of intoxicating liquors."
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ EARL RUSSELL moved the insertion of the following new paragraph (f): "and are not owned or controlled by, or under binding agreements with, persons, firms or companies interested in the supply of intoxicating liquor to such premises." The noble Earl said : I was endeavouring by this paragraph to avoid extending these privileges to tied houses. I understand from the noble Lord in charge of the Bill that such a vast proportion of the houses are tied houses that the Bill would practically be inoperative if some such a provision were adopted. I cannot help feeling favourable to if. but I promised the noble Lord that I would not press it at this stage, although I think perhaps I ought to move it in order to 966 give others an opportunity of making any observations they wish to make upon it. I think it is very difficult to draft a paragraph which would exclude houses where profits are made by somebody who does not own the house, by selling beer to the house, and I am not sure that a house is necessarily a bad house because it is a tied house.
After paragraph (e) insert the said new paragraph (f).—(Earl Russell.)
§ LORD LAMINGTON
I understand that the noble Earl does not wish to press his Amendment at this stage. Of course, if any such Amendment were carried it would render the whole Bill nugatory. There seems to be quite a misapprehension with regard to the tied house question. So far as I am aware tied houses are better conducted, perhaps, than where the holder of the licence owns the house. Tied houses belong to rich companies, and there are most disinterested men in the trade who wish to improve the character of their tied houses, and to do everything possible which is conducive to the welfare of the people. The noble Earl himself said that he was not against the tied house necessarily, and I think it would render the Bill fruitless if the Amendment were carried. I do not see any reason for it.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ EARL RUSSELL moved, in subsection (1), to leave out "shall" ["the licensing justices shall"] and insert "may." The noble Earl said: This is in order to restore full discretion to the licensing justices, and the noble Lord in charge of the Bill is willing to accept this Amendment.
Page 1, line 13, leave out ("shall") and insert ("may").—(Earl Bussell.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ EARL RUSSELL had given Notice to move, in subsection (1), to leave out "shall not be withdrawn except after reasonable "and insert" may be withdrawn by the licensing justices upon any change in the nature of the accommodation or the character of the management as provided by this clause after." The 967 noble Earl said: This alters the form of the Bill, which, as it stood, rather suggested it would be the duty of the licensing justices not to withdraw a certificate. I want to give them full discretion, and I therefore leave out the words "shall not be withdrawn except after reasonable" in order to insert the words of my Amendment. I think that the Amendment which the noble Lord in charge of the Bill has placed on the Paper is reasonable. It is to insert in my Amendment, after the word "management," the words : "which causes the premises to cease to form an improved public-house." That, of course, is my meaning, which without those words is not clear, and I am prepared to move my Amendment with the insertion of those words.
Page 1, lines 21 and 22, leave out (" shall not be withdrawn except after reasonable") and insert (" may be withdrawn by the licensing justices upon any change in the nature of the accommodation or the character of the management which causes the premises to cease to form an improved public-house as provided by this clause after ").—(Earl Russell.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ EARL BUSSELL had on the Paper an Amendment to move to add at the end of subsection (2) : "for non-alcoholic refreshment." The noble Earl said: This is a subsection the object of which, as I understand it, is to exclude the operation of a section of the Licensing (Consolidation) Act, 1910, which I think directs the justices to refuse a certificate where there has been an alteration of the premises without their consent. I think my Amendment, read in conjunction with Section 71, which I only looked at after my Amendment had been put on the Paper, would make nonsense, and that the Amendment of the noble Lord in charge of the Bill really meets the case better. He proposes to insert after the word "facilities," "if such alterations are incidental to forming the premises into an improved public-house."
§ As I understand the meaning of the noble Lord it is this : Section 71 says you are not to have increased facilities for the consumption of alcoholic liquors—or practically says that. Obviously, if you are enlarging your public-house and generally reconstructing it, it may perfectly well happen that a bar which was 968 five feet long will become six feet long or something of that sort. And if these alterations are merely incidental to the improvement of the public-house then probably it would be right that that section should not apply. But whether any dangers are involved by excluding it I do not know. I propose not to move my Amendment, but to leave it to the noble Lord in charge of the Bill.
§ LORD LAMINGTON
I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name, to insert certain words at the end of subsection (2).
Page 2, line 2, after ("facilities") insert ("if such alterations are incidental to forming the premises into an improved public-house").—(Lord Lamington.)
§ VISCOUNT CAVE
I think these words might go in now. We will consider them between now and the next stage.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ LORD LYELL
My Lords, subsection (3) of this clause refers to the County of London as a special area, and the County Council become the authority to deal with the question of what is an improved public-house. I think that what is necessary in this Bill, seeing that a separate class of public-house is being set up and that the authority of the licensing justices is somewhat impaired, is that we should see that some other authority should take their place to some extent. It is here suggested that in London the London County Council should be the authority. Cannot the same authority be recognised all over the country? The county councils are in touch with the community as a whole, and, seeing that the greatest amount of liquor is consumed by the working classes, who have no direct representation on most licensing committees, and that they cannot use their influence there directly, it would be a real improvement in the whole question of the proper management of public-houses if the county councils had a direct voice in the organisation of public-houses, and were required to signify then-approval before a house is deemed to be adequately equipped so as to be entitled to ask for the certificate of an improved public-house.
§ LORD LAMINGTON
This subsection did not appear in the original Bill which 969 I introduced in 1919, but was added when it went down to another place by the hon. Member who was in charge of it. That was done at the request, I believe, of the London County Council. Of course, the extension of this principle all over the country was never contemplated, and the noble Lord, I think, ought to bring in a separate measure. It is quite outside the scope of this particular Bill. I do not think I could charge the Bill with the very extensive proposal adumbrated by the noble Lord.
§ LORD LYELL
I do not think that other authorities have had the matter brought to their notice, but I will bring up the question on Report.
§ On Question, Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 2 to 4 agreed to.
§ Clause 5:
§ Children on licensed premises.
§ 5. No prohibition of the presence of children upon licensed premises contained in any Act for the time being in force shall apply to premises to which an "improved public-house" certificate is attached, unless the licensing justices deem it desirable, owing to the special circumstances of any premises, that a specified part of such premises should be reserved for adults.
EARL RUSSELL had an Amendment on the Paper to omit all words after "desirable." The noble Earl said: Clause 5 is the clause which seeks to remove the prohibition of the presence of children upon licensed premise. I think the noble Lord and I were at one in what we desired to do in this matter when we discussed it together. I do not like the form in which the clause is cast, because it says that no prohibition shall apply unless the justices deem it desirable. Since putting down my Amendment a better form of words has been suggested to me, which would make both the noble Lord's Amendment and mine unnecessary. What I propose is, at the beginning of Clause 5, to leave out the word "No," and to put in the word "The"; and, at the end of the clause, to strike out the last three words "reserved for adults," and put in "open to children." The clause would then read:
The prohibition of the presence of children upon licensed premises contained in any Act for the time being in force shall apply to premises to which an "improved
public-house" certificate is attached, unless the licensing justices deem it desirable, owing to the special circumstances of any premises, that a specified part of such premises should be open to children.
It seems to me that that would better meet the spirit of the Bill for keeping children off licensed premises, while at the same time giving full discretion to the justices to admit them if they thought the premises were suitable. I propose therefore to move the Amendment in that form.
Page 2, line 38, leave out ("No") and insert ("The").—(Earl Russell.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
Page 3, line 3, leave out ("reserved for adults") and insert ("open to children").—(Earl Russell.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.
§ Rebate of licence duty.
§ 6. The holder of an "improved public-house" certificate shall be entitled to a rebate of one-half the amount of any licence duty payable by him under the Finance, 1909–1910, Act, 1910, or any Act amending the same, in respect of the premises to which the certificate applies.
§ EARL RUSSELL moved to leave out Clause 6. The noble Earl said: I consulted the Lord Chairman, who is the best authority in the House on these matters. This clause and the next clause rather seem to me to be financial clauses, with which your Lordships cannot really deal effectively. I do not know how far it is proper or useful for us to debate them, but, as was pointed out from the Government Bench on the Second Reading, this clause certainly provides for a possibly very large change in the amount of licence duty payable under the Finance Act. It is clearly not within the competence of this House, and I do not think it is desirable or reasonable as part of this Bill. Presumably those who improve their premises do not do so to improve you or me, but because they think it will bring more grist to their 971 mill. They are not doing it from philanthropic motives, and they do not require subventions of public money to persuade them to do it. As the noble Lord agrees with me about the clause, I beg to move that the clause be omitted.
Page 3, leave out Clause 6.—(Earl Russell.)
§ LORD LAMINGTON
I quite see the force of the argument of the noble Earl as regards the competence of this House on questions of finance, and, having consulted the Lord Chairman, I think perhaps it would be better to omit the clause now, and let the Bill go down without it to another place.
THE LORD CHAIRMAN
I hope I did not deceive the noble Lord. Of course, this clause would be struck out on Third Reading as a privilege clause. If he prefers to have it struck out now, of course it is open to him to do so.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 7:
§ Remission of compensation charge.
§ 7. No charge shall be payable to the compensation authority under Section twenty-one of the Licensing (Consolidation) Act, 1910, in respect to premises by the holder of the licence for which an "improved public-house "certificate has been granted.
THE LORD CHAIRMAN
On this clause the noble Earl and the noble Lord in charge of the Rill have given Notice of an Amendment at the beginning to substitute "The charge" for "No charge shall be."
Clause 7 is also a financial clause and there is no doubt that the same objection applies to it, so that it will have to be struck out at a later stage. As it stands it provides that in the case of improved public-houses no charge whatever shall be payable to the compensation authority. Exactly the same objection applies as I mentioned in regard to the last clause both as to privilege and as to remunerating the licensee for improvements which, after all, he is making in the interests of his own business. I was, however, subject to the assent of the House, prepared to meet the noble Lord in charge of the Bill, who 972 seemed to think that some inducement was required by licensees beyond the mere improvement of their trade, to the extent of letting them have a reduction of the compensation levy equivalent to 10 per cent. of the amount which the licensing justices certify as having been expended on any structural alteration of their premises.
That would at any rate more than cover the interest on the money they had borrowed for the purpose and is quite as much as should be allowed for the purpose. But if it is allowed, I think it should also be provided, as I am suggesting in the proposed new clause after Clause 7, that if, at some later stage, this public-house which had paid the diminished compensation levy came upon the compensation fund to be compensated, the amount of compensation received from that fund should be reduced by the amount which they had failed to pay in respect of it. That seems to me to be a matter of ordinary financial justice. I shall be glad to hear the view that your Lordships take about the matter, feeling, as I cannot help doing, that we are not really competent to discuss it.
§ LORD BANBURY OF SOUTHAM
If the Amendment suggested by the noble Earl is carried will it not altogether alter the effect of the compensation clauses which were put in some years ago by another place ? If you begin to alter the amount of the contribution you must, unless you alter the amount these people are to receive, differentiate unfavourably in respect to one person ; because one person who only pays a certain amount will receive as much as the person who has paid a larger amount. I do not know whether I am right, but it seems to me that it is an unfortunate provision to put into the Bill.
The noble Lord is absolutely right, but I think that he has not followed this, that whereas the disturbance that the noble Lord in charge of the Bill proposed to introduce was the large one of 100 per cent. to the compensation fund, mine was the smaller one of 10 per cent. But I think both proposals are wrong.
§ LORD PARMOOR
I think that the noble Lord, Lord Banbury, is quite right. He is familiar with the way in which those compensation matters work. It seems to me that it would be upsetting the whole thing to keep this clause in.
§ LORD DANESFORT
The only course that can be taken here is to strike out Clause 7, because, as has already been pointed out, if either the original clause in the Bill or the Amendment suggested by the noble Earl opposite is inserted, it makes the compensation scheme in the existing Licensing Act unworkable. Therefore I venture to suggest that it should be struck out altogether.
In view of the statement made by the noble Earl and the fact that it is questionable whether your Lordships' House is competent to deal with this matter, I agree that the clause should be struck out.
§ Clause 7 negatived.
§ Remaining clause agreed to.
I should like to ask the noble Lord in charge of the Bill when he proposes to take the Report stage. He will notice, and your Lordships will notice, that the Bill has emerged from Committee a good deal changed from the form in which it went in. It is necessary that it should be reprinted and that the House should have an opportunity of considering it. I do not know whether the noble Lord, Lord Lamington, could name a day for the reception of the Report.
§ LORD LAMINGTON
I would suggest a day in the week after next; but I cannot name a definite day at present.