in rising to move for leave to bring in a bill "to alter and amend the present mode of licensing ale houses," observed, that under the present system an individual who solicited a license was obliged to give in a certificate of character. It might naturally be supposed that this certificate would be derived from the place where he had last resided. No such 561 thing; it was required to come from the place to which he was going. He would alter this practice, and provide that the certificate should be signed by some individuals living in the parish in which the publican had last resided, and state particularly what business he had formerly pursued. The next point was that of recognizances. Under the present law, a publican was required to enter into recognizances for his proper behaviour; but this was merely a matter of form, no real securities being ever given. His bill would provide that substantial securities should be given. It was an evil of the existing system that it presented no intermediate degrees of punishment for the improper conduct of publicans, between absolute ruin by the deprivation of licenses and the infliction of slight fines. He proposed to remedy this by giving magistrates the power to proportion the fines to the offences; and, in an instance of very gross misconduct, to send the case before a jury. If the jury should return a verdict against the offender, the magistrates would then estreat his recognizances, shut up his house, and declare him incapable of again opening a public-house. It would be required that a magistrate who abrogated or refused to grant a license should state his reasons for his conduct. To the disgrace of the magistracy, the majority of the public-houses throughout the country were in the hands of brewers, who drenched the people with their bad beer, or compelled them to take to spirits as a substitute. The only remedy for the evil was, to increase the facility of obtaining licenses for public-houses; and for that purpose he would enable every man holding a house of 20l. a year to demand the right (upon entering into fit securities) of opening a public-house; leaving power to the magistrates, on the next licensing day, to shut up the house if they saw reason to do so. He concluded by moving for leave to bring in his bill.
thought something ought to be done to prevent the practice of serving beer in short measures.
§ Sir I. Coffin
maintained, that the poor man was cheated by the publican in the way of bad measure.
Mr. R. Colborna
suggested the propriety of permitting the sale of table beer of a quality stronger than that which was allowed to be sold by the present law.
thought the thanks of the 562 country were due to his hon. friend, for having brought the subject under the consideration of the House.
§ Leave was given to bring in the bill.