§ MR. H. C. RICHARDS (Finsbury, E.)
To ask the Lord Advocate, whether he is aware that at the recent sitting of the licensing court in Glasgow, composed of fourteen magistrates, refreshments at the cost of the ratepayers of over £260 were consumed during the sitting; and whether he will consider the advisability of introducing a short Bill to prevent the use of public money on similar occasions.
(Answer.) I am informed that a sum of £233 8s. 6d. was expended. It is fair to state that this sum was distributed over a period of seventeen days for the benefit of the magistrates, counsel and officials attending. I express no opinion as to whether or not such a charge upon the rates is legal as a necessary outlay incurred in the excution of the Licensing Acts. That is a matter which can be settled at the instance of any of the ratepayers in the proper court. The answer to the last paragraph of the Question is, therefore, in the negative.—(Scottish Office.)