HL Deb 10 November 1976 vol 377 cc413-5

[Nos. 1-2.]

Clause 5, page 4, line 35, leave out paragraphs ((h)) and (i).

The Commons disagreed to this Amendment and proposed the following Amendment to the words so restored to the Bill:

Clause 5, Page 4, line 36, at end insert 'other than an application under paragraph 11A of that Schedule where no objection is made in relation to the application'.


My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth not insist on their Amendment No. 1 to which the Commons have disagreed, and agree to Amendment No. 2 proposed by the Commons to the words restored to the Bill. All the Amendments with which we are concerned tonight deal with the question of safeguards against Sunday opening. The issue of Sunday opening has been debated in both Houses and a decision has been reached in favour of the principle of Sunday opening. The other place has considered on two occasions the need for safeguards and has reached the same conclusion both times. That conclusion is that safeguards under which an application has to be made to a licensing board are necessary. The matter was considered very thoroughly last week in the other place, and by a majority of approximately three to one the safeguards were approved. They received support from all Parties and the vote was decisively in favour of the safeguards.

Moved, That this House doth not insist on the said Amendment to which the Commons have disagreed, and agree to the Commons Amendment to the words so restored to the Bill.—(Lord kirkhill.)


My Lords, I find it very disappointing that in your Lordships' House we are debating at great length the question of the Sunday opening of public houses in Scotland. We agreed that they should be open and we agreed that the conditions under which they were open should be of the highest, but we thought that that also applied to all the other days in the week; that is to say, that if a public house is badly run it should not be open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. In other words that the special licence for Sunday was really not necessary. I have read the report of the debate in the other House and we had quite a lot of support from both sides of the House. There were members of the Labour Party who supported us and also members of the Conservative Party. Equally there were members of the Labour Party and of the Conservative Party who were on the other side, and in the end the Division discarded our views in favour of the views of the other people.

I am not going to oppose this Motion because, as the noble Lord has rightly said, this subject has been discussed in your Lordships' House, it has been discussed in the other place and it has now come hack to us. However, I find it rather short-sighted of the other place. I also think it is treating the Scots differently from the English. Public houses in England are open on Sundays and nobody worries particularly about it. Of course if they are badly run on Sundays they should be stopped, but I would stop them on any other day of the week if they were badly run and caused a nuisance. I think it is wrong that just because it is Sunday one has to have special licensing. It is a great pity that the other House did not agree with your Lordships, because I consider that on this occasion our view was a more liberal one, more forward looking and wiser. We shall not oppose it but I wish to make my protest, as I did in the Committee stage in your Lordships' House.

On Question, Motion agreed to.