§ SIR EARDLEY WILMOT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he can hold out any hope of Her Majesty's Government introducing a measure during the present Session, having for its object the mitigation of the serious and growing evils arising from intemperance; and, whether, if they consider the evidence on this question at present too incomplete and unsatisfactory to warrant them in the introduction of any measure, they will take steps, either by the appointment of a Royal Commission, or other mode they may deem most expedient, for the purpose of inquiring if the evils alleged to exist, are ascribable to defects or abuses in the liquor traffic; and, if so, with the further object of ascertaining how far they can be removed or lessened by wise and practical legislation?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS,
in reply, said, he had to inform his hon. Friend that inquiry was already taking place into the subject. A Committee of the House of Lords was appointed last year to inquire into the subject, and he believed that that Committee had been reappointed and was still sitting. With regard to the question which was before the House the other day—namely, the 112 operation of grocers' licences, so much difference of opinion appeared to exist as to what was the actual state of the facts, that the two hon. Members for the City of Edinburgh when on deputations really gave different versions of the state of things. He thought that as far as that went it might be necessary that a small Commission should issue to inquire. Otherwise, it was not the intention of the Government to take any measure in relation to the subject.