§ Mr. GRETTON
asked the Home Secretary if he has issued a circular to licensing justices suggesting that they should make it known to licence-holders that the keeping of books showing the takings and outgoings up to date was to be regarded as an essential item in the proper management of licensed premises; if so, will he state whether it is thereby intended to suggest a belief that failure to keep such books will entail the refusal of the licence without compensation?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The answer to the first question is in the affirmative; to the second, in the negative. The suggestion made in the circular, which was addressed to Chairmen of Licensing Justices, was as follows:—It has been represented to the Secretary of State that licensed victuallers very often fail to keep proper books of account. This failure no doubt occurs among all clashes of traders, but the neglect of good business methods seems to the Secretary of State to be particularly undesirable, from every point of view, in the case of a trade carried on under the statutory conditions which apply to the liquor trade.I am to suggest that, if you agree with this view, it might be useful for you in any address on licensing matters which you may deliver at the meeting, to take the opportunity of drawing attention to this point, and of making it known that the keeping of proper books of account, showing the takings and outgoings up to date, is to be regarded as an essential item in the proper management of licensed premises.1149W No suggestion was made other than that which is here expressed in plain terms, and which is based, inter alia, on the stringent provisions as to the keeping of proper books by traders which Parliament enacted in the Bankruptcy Act of last Session.