§ Major HILLS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the concession granted in the Budget to holders of a Justices' certificate to sell half-bottles of spirits extends also to holders of Excise licences?
An excise licence is necessary in every case for the sale of spirits by retail for consumption off the premises. But I presume that my hon. and gallant Friend is referring to the limited class of persons who can obtain the Excise retail spirit off-licence without a Justices' licence. These constitute an exception to the general rule that all sales of intoxicating liquor by retail must be subject to a Justices' licence, and the Government are not prepared to enlarge their privilege by extending to them the half-bottle concession. In view of a certain amount of misunderstanding which appears to have arisen, I take this opportunity of explaining that the half-bottle concession cannot come into force until the necessary legislation, which it is proposed to include in the second Finance Bill, has been passed.