§ Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment [26th July] proposed to the Bill, on Consideration, as amended.
Which Amendment was—
In page 3, line 26, to leave out the words from the word 'of,' to end of sub-section (1) of Clause 4, and insert the words ' confirming a new licence and of assenting to the conditions, if any, upon which such licence is granted, shall be exercised by quarter sessions after consultation with the justices of the licensing district where such licence is granted,' — (Mr. Disraeli,) instead thereof.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'new,' in page 3, line 27, stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
said there were several Amendments down on the Paper all dealing with substantially the same question as was involved in the one under discussion, and of them he should prefer that in the name of the right lion. Gentleman the Member for East Somersetshire. This clause raised entirely different issues to those embodied in other parts of the Bill. The real object of the measure was the reduction of redundant public-houses. But the importance of this proposal arose from the fact that in this clause the whole system of granting new licences was revolutionised and altered. The Bill as it now stood provided that "the power of the county licensing committee to confirm new licences and any other power of that committee shall be transferred to quarter sessions." That provision was not introduced until after the closure Resolution had been carried, and the object of the Amendment was to restore the Bill to its original form. In his opinion, the alteration made in the Bill, which in substance, with regard to new licences, substituted the magistrates of the licensing districts for quarter sessions, or the committee of quarter sessions, was an alteration in the wrong direction. Even as the law now stood, no power was better exercised by quarter sessions than the power of dealing with new licences. New licences were only sanctioned where there wag abundance of evidence that they were needed in the public interest, and they were granted under stringent conditions as to the character of the applicant and of the house. But it was of even greater importance that this power with regard to new licences should be exercised in the future by quarter sessions, even if in consultation with the licensing justices, because of the more difficult and complicated questions which would arise when the Bill became law.
Licences were to be granted for a number of years. He disliked the alteration altogether. He would be the last person in the world to attack the magistrates, but this was a question as to under what conditions they could best use the administrative 1350 powers which had been committed to them, and no one surely would hesitate to say that the best tribunal to deal with a question of that sort in its final developments was not one composed of the magistrates of a particular licensing district, but one composed of magistrates in quarter sessions assembled. It was a very dangerous thing to have too much experimenting with social problems of this kind, and if they had any experiments at all they should be made in the country or smaller areas. Much had been said about preconceived opinions. He had never attacked magistrates on that ground, for all men had preconceived opinions with regard to particular matters, and when they got a large body together likethatof quarter sessions these particular opinions were apt to become submerged owing to the number of justices and the different conditions under which their powers were exercised. They wanted to refer these questions to a body so constituted that it would act judicially. He advocated this on grounds of public order and public morality. Let them not have local option in small districts, but let them try to secure uniformity throughout the county area. He personally hoped that the right hen. Gentleman the Prime Minister would see his way to restore the law to the position proposed when the Bill was first introduced and to maintain the control of quarter sessions on such questions as the granting of new licences.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
said he thought his hon. friends attached more importance to the change which the Bill proposed to make than it really warranted. He, at any rate, did not regard it as a matter of first-rate importance, and he would explain exactly why the Government put the Bill in its present shape. When they originally found it necessary to transfer some of the authority now exercised by the licensing justices to quarter sessions, it was because of the compensation fund to be raised by the whole county, for obviously only a body representative of the whole county could properly deal with such a fund. But under Clause 4 no compensation was to be paid. Therefore the question arose whether a gratuitous alteration should be 1351 made in the existing law when there was no over-mastering reason for doing so.
§ MR. CRIPPS
, interposing, pointed out that it was the clause which altered the existing law, and that what the Amendment proposed was to leave the law as it stood.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that no doubt Clause 4 did modify the law, but it did not modify the law in a sense which made it necessary to bring in quarter sessions, as happened in the earlier clauses of the Bill. He attached considerable value, from the point of view of licensing reform, to the power of experiment which would be given in various parts of the country in the granting of new licences. His hon. friend's view was that there should be a certain latitude of experiment, but that it should be confined to counties as distinct areas. It might be that absurd experiments would be tried here and there by brewster sessions; but the power of appeal to quarter sessions remained; and, accordingly, if quarter sessions thought the conditions under which the local bench of magistrates granted new licences were inequitable or absurd, they could say that it was impossible for them to endorse the granting of those new licences. Of the two alternative plans open to the Government—to leave to brewster sessions the initiation of any experiments they liked, subject to appeal to quarter sessions, or to allow quarter sessions to operate in the area of the whole county —his inclination was in favour of the first.
§ SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)
admitted that the point was one of no very great importance, and he agreed with the Prime Minister in thinking it desirable that there should be elasticity as widely diffused as possible. He was in favour of adhering in this matter to the smaller local areas. In his opinion the Amendment was superfluous, but at any rate the object aimed at was better expressed in the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Somersetshire.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
submitted that the Amend- 1352 ment really accorded with the spirit of the existing law. He could not assent to the view that the Amendment was unnecessary, and at any rate if quarter sessions was to have power to confirm the grant of new licences made subject to certain conditions, it should also have power in consultation with the local magistrates to vary those conditions. Quarter sessions might be convinced that in a certain locality there was a necessity for a new licence owing to the large increase of population; at the same time they might consider that the conditions attached were absurd and ought not to be allowed in the public interest. If, then, they could not come to terms with the local bench, obviously the only power they had was to veto the licence altogether for another twelve months. That, he submitted, would not be desirable in the public interest. Let them remember that there were 130 different areas in the country in which different kinds of experiments might be tried, so that there would be a sufficient variety of experiment. Under this Bill, if the Amendment were accepted each licensing district would send up its proposals to quarter sessions, and they would be considered by the whole body of magistrates. That would tend to secure uniformity. The Amendment would really improve the working of the new system without doing anything to discourage reasonable experiments.
§ SIR JOHN DORINGTON (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
said this was partly a question of administration. Whilst it was desirable that petty sessional benches should express their own opinion with regard to any particular licences, they should all be periodically reviewed by the central authority in order to obtain uniformity and to secure the proper direction of the police authorities. He, therefore, thought that some such words as were contained in the Amendment of the hon. Member for the Altrincham Division should be introduced, though he would prefer those of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Somersetshire. He would also like to point out the difficulty that might arise from calling on the police authorities in any one county to enforce all sorts of varying conditions. That was a practical 1353 difficulty, and therefore while he admitted it was highly desirable that the various petty sessional benches should express their own opinions with regard to new licences, their decisions should come up for review by a central authority when the time for confirmation of the licences came.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
threw out the suggestion that all views might be met if they took the words of the right hon. Member for East Somersetshire with an addition. That Amendment ran as follows—And the powers of quarter sessions shall include the power to confirm or vary any conditions attached to a new licence under the provisions of this section.And he proposed to add thereto, "with the consent of the justices of the licensing district." If that were done, no new licence could be established except under conditions which approved themselves to the central authority. It left the initiative to the local authority but it made it clear that the central authority were to have a finger in the pie, and suppose there was a conflict between the two, the result would be that the new licence would not be granted while the police control was unaffected. If that met with general acceptance the Government were prepared to adopt it.
§ MR. WHITTAKER (Yorkshire, W.R., Spen Valley)
pointed out that this was practically the suggestion of the hon. Member for Blackpool. He thought the suggestion of the Prime Minister a valuable and useful one, as if the Amendment were carried as it stood it would give quarter sessions power to impose conditions not agreed to by the local justices.
§ MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)
said it had been suggested that there was no new fund to be dealt with in connection with the grant of a new licence, but unless he was mistaken that was not' altogether the case, as a scheme had been brought forward under which the applicant for a new licence might be compelled to pay a certain sum for it, and he took it that the county would have to administer the fund thus raised.
§ MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)
asked what would happen if there was failure to come to an agreement between quarter sessions and the local bench.
§ MR. LAMBERT
held that some one should have a predominant voice in the matter. Personally, lie would prefer that the Government should adhere to their original proposal, and give the local justices absolute power to grant these licences and to attach to them whatever conditions they wished.
§ MR. LLOYD WHARTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Ripon)
pointed out there would be a representative of the local body at quarter sessions. Consequently there would be no chance of the local authority being taken by surprise. That authority would be able to lay all the facts of the case before the confirming authority, and that should be sufficient for all purposes. If counsel represented the authority, their case would be dealt with more elaborately than it would be otherwise. If, therefore, the House accepted the Amendment on the Paper in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Somerset, which gave power to quarter sessions to confirm or vary any conditions attached to a new licence, it would be the best way of dealing with the question.
§ MR. WORSLEY-TAYLOR (Lancashire, Blackpool)
said that he had an Amendment on the Paper dealing with the same question. But when he saw the Amendment of the right hon. Member for East Somerset it appeared to him to be a better Amendment than his own. It was, therefore, his intention to withdraw the Amendment and to support that of his right hon. friend. It would give quarter 1355 sessions an opportunity of comparing the conditions imposed by different benches of magistrates. It would he better that the conditions should be varied in order to prevent friction between the quarter sessions and the local justices. The Amendment of his right hon. friend would not put more power in the bands of the quarter sessions than was now possessed. The quarter sessions had the power to say to an applicant, "We do not like to refuse confirmation of the licence and to hold the granting of it over until next year. But we suggest a condition on which we will confirm, and if you will come back next year with that condition fulfilled we will confirm the licence."
§ * MR. LAWSON WALTON (Leeds, S.)
said they had had several contributions to a very interesting discussion from chairmen of quarter sessions, and it was no doubt characteristic of these Gentlemen to seek to enlarge the jurisdiction of the tribunal over which they presided. But he would point out that there were public interests and the interests of the local justices concerned in the matter which were being ignored. There would, he thought, be a general acceptance of the Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Blackpool that quarter sessions after consultation and by agreement with the justices of a licensing district might vary the conditions under which a licence was granted. Gentlemen opposite entirely ignored the right of initiation which was given to local justices under the existing law, and which was preserved under this Bill. This Bill enabled the local justices to attach to licences certain conditions. No section of the House, he believed, wished to enlarge the power of quarter sessions as the confirming authority, but if they refused a licence that would delay the granting of it for at least a year. If such an agreement were come to as was suggested in his hon. and learned friend's Amendment opportunity would then be given for fully discussing the reasons which had led to the imposition of the conditions. He was, therefore, anxious to support that Amendment.
§ * MR. PEEL (Manchester, S.)
thought it rather unfortunate that, in discussing that matter, the hon. and learned Member for South Leeds had suggested that this 1356 proposal was merely an attempt on the part of chairmen of quarter sessions to enlarge their jurisdiction. It seemed to him almost absurd that the larger power which Courts of quarter sessions would possess, to say whether new licences should or should not be granted, should not carry with it the smaller power of saying whether the conditions attached to a licence should be varied or dealt with in any other way. He thought that quarter sessions should certainly have, in addition to the general power, means of dealing with the particular conditions upon which licences had been granted. There was a good deal to be said for the suggestion of his hon. and learned friend the Member for Blackpool that when the grants of new licences came up at quarter sessions for confirmation from different parts of a county the conditions might embody valuable suggestions and varying regulations which might be made applicable to other parts of the county, and quarter sessions should have the power of dealing with all those suggestions and saying that certain conditions should be attached to all new licences that might be granted. So far as he could see, the position was that quarter sessions as the determining body was being made the humble servant of the local magistrates. The initiative rested with Brewster sessions, and they could set up whatever conditions they liked. They could be approved or criticised by quarter sessions, and it was quite possible, even if this Amendment were passed, that there might be quite a variety of conditions. He hoped the Prime Minister would support the Amendment proposed by his right hon. friend.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said he really hoped that the Prime Minister had a strong opinion upon this subject and would adhere to the suggestion he had made. He thought that the suggestion which had come from the other side would destroy the whole nature of this proposal. An hon. Member opposite had said that the proposal would convert the quarter sessions into the humble servants of the local magistrates. Humble service involved obedience to the behests of the master. If the quarter sessions were not satisfied they could say, unless their suggestions were accepted 1357 they would not confirm the licence. Supposing the local magistrates were to say that they would grant a licence, but on condition that the applicant closed his premises at a certain hour on Saturday and throughout the whole of Sunday. The quarter sessions might say that condition was absurd, and might confirm the licence only on that condition being eliminated. He thought that was a very serious thing, because very likely a six-day licence might have been the principal thing in the mind of the local magistrates, and they would probably never have granted the licence in the first place but on that condition. He was quite sure that no local magistrates would interpose but for adequate reasons. If a county committee were to make suggestions in the interest of good order and of improving the licensing system, they would carry very considerable weight with the local justices. He trusted that the Prime Minister would adhere to his suggestion, and that the hon. and learned Member for Blackpool would conclude that his first thoughts were the best, and not be moved by the oratory of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Somersetshire and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ripon.
§ * MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
said there might be great inconvenience involved in the dragging of all the magistrates of the county to quarter sessions to present their views. It was quite evident that they ought to be represented either by counsel or some other persons, and he suggested that the difficulty would be got over by inserting the words, "some person or persons to be authorised by them."
§ MR. SPEAR (Devonshire, Tavistock)
trusted that the Prime Minister would adhere to his suggestion. This was not a small matter, but one involving whether or not the power of the local magistrates should be further reduced. He ventured to suggest that the local magistrates wore Later qualified to of deal with this matter than quarter sessions. They were conversant with the requirements of the neighbourhood and the circumstances surrounding the question of the issue of new licence. Under this Bill they would still have to rely largely upon the energy, care, and justice of local 1358 benches for the administration of the licensing law. It was most important therefore, that the House should not reduce their local power and influence by taking away from them or reducing their influence with reference to the granting of licences. The retention of that power would secure for them greater respect, if possible, and further the fact of the local bench dealing with the question would give an opportunity to the people of the locality to present their objections to the granting of a new licence without the inconvenience of having to travel to the town where the quarter sessions met. Consequently, from every point of view, he hoped the Prime Minister would maintain the position he had taken up. If the right hon. Gentleman did not he would vote against the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE
said that it was clear that they would not get any further concession from the Government, and lie would move his Amendment with the addition of the words suggested by the Prime Minister.
Amendment proposed to the Bill—
In page 3, line 28, after the words 'quarter sessions,' to insert the words and the powers of quarter sessions shall include the power to confirm or, with the consent of the justices of the licensing district, vary any conditions attached to a new licence under the provisions of this section.'"—(Mr. Henry Hobhouse.)
§ Question,. "That the Amendment be made," put, and agreed to.
§ MR. CRIPPS
, in moving the next Amendment, asked if the licence was to be granted to the highest bidder, or was this merely a way of imposing a new duty as regarded licences? Would the magistrates in the future be able to accept an application for a new licence merely on the ground that the applicant was the best man? He thought what had been proposed would enable a most demoralising condition to be imposed upon the licensing laws, and it would result in having nothing but a tied-house system. It would be impossible for any ordinary licensee to obtain a licence because he 1359 would have no chance in bidding against a brewer. The general proposal was that there should be a seven years agreement. Was that to give security to the licensee? In his opinion nothing could be worse than a seven years lease to achieve that object, because it would mean that the person to whom the licence was granted would have to make the greatest possible amount of profit out of his licence during those seven years in order to recoup himself. Nothing could be worse from the point of view of public order and public morality, because its effect would be to induce men to come forward who would be able to say that because they had paid the highest price in the market for the licence, they were entitled to conduct the house solely with a view to getting the maximum profit during the term of the licence. The seven years term not only denoted uncertainty in the worst form, but it withdrew the licence during that period from the disciplinary supervision which was so important. If the clause were passed, only two classes of persons would be able to come forward in the future as applicants for new licences. One was the big brewer, who, under the tied-house system, would he able to make sufficient profits during the seven years, and the other would be the municipality. With regard to the former, he deprecated anything being done which would give a monopoly to or extend the operation of the tied-house system; while, as to the latter, he submitted that nothing could be more demoralising in connection with municipal trading than that the local authority itself should be the licensee and the party immediately concerned in the conduct of the public-house. It was because he felt so strongly the necessity of safeguarding the future of the licensing system that, in moving his Amendment, he had ventured to put these points to the Prime Minister.
Amendment proposed to the Bill.
In page 3, line 30, to leave out from the word 'condition' to the second word 'as,' in line 32."—(Mr. Cripps.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. A. J. BALFOUR
said that his hon. and learned friend had really covered the whole principle of the clause, and 1360 therefore, though he might have occasion to supplement on some later Amendment anything which he now said, he might be permitted even thus early in what was the substantial debate on Clause 4 to say how lie regarded the question. He thought there had been a great mistake in the public mind and in the mind of many hon. Members as to the objects of the Government in framing the clause. It had undergone a great deal of alteration, and the object of that had really been to make the original intention of the framers clear and to prevent the kind of mistake into which his hon. and learned friend had fallen with regard to the views held by the Government. In answer to his hon. friend's first question, he desired emphatically to say that the Government did not desire in the smallest, degree to promote the system of putting up licences to auction. This was not, and ought not to be, regarded either by the magistrates or quarter sessions, or any other body, as a means of making money. It ought, in the first place, to be regarded as a means of getting the most eligible licensee possible, and in the second place, it ought to be seen that the terms on which the licensee got the premises were such as would not re-create a monopoly value, the existence of which had been the cause of so much difficulty in the past. That was the view which the Government had had in framing this clause, and if, even in its amended form, it did not carry out that object, they would, of course, be very glad to hear any suggestions from either side of the House. He thought there was a considerable amount of force in his hon. and learned friend's observation that a seven years term might not be long enough to enable a tenant reasonably to recoup himself for obligatory construction or reconstruction which the magistrates might put upon him. He did not think that argument of his hon. and learned friend ought to be left out of account. The reason the Government put this provision in the Bill was that they were anxious not to give that fixity of tenure, or anything approaching that fixity of tenure, which they had been somewhat unjustly reproached for establishing in other parts of the Bill. That was their whole motive. He thought there were difficulties in connection with the proposal, but he was not at all sure that the 1361 House would, on reflection, be very ready to give power to the magistrates to grant an unlimited term. Seven years might be too short, but they should he careful how they dealt with the term. He did not think it necessary to say more than that upon this particular branch of his hon. friend's catechism.
Then his hon. friend said that unless they were very careful the owner of a licence would desire to make the maximum profit out of it during the time that he had it. No provision could be introduced into this or any other Bill which would prevent a trader who desired to make the maximum profit from trying to do so during the tune in which his trade was carried on. He firmly believed that that legitimate desire was consistent, or consistent in most cases, with public morality; but no provision they could put into a Bill could interfere with a man in fulfilling that desire. But his hon. friend said that only two classes would be able to take a new licence at all under this clause. One was the brewer, the other was the municipality. There was no objection to the tied house in itself, but to his mind his hon. and learned friend was quite right in deprecating legislation which would prevent any other system from coming into operation at all. Nobody desired to do that. It was disputed which system had led to the best class of house, but no man was so fanatically enamoured of his own views as to desire by legislation to prevent the possibility of brewers taking tied houses on the one side or free licences being granted on the other. He thought there should be room for both systems, and he thought there was nothing in the clause as they had drawn it which would exclude free licences. The duty of the magistrates to see that they got the fittest man in the public interest was pointed out in that clause, and it ought to be carried out by them, whether the fittest man was the representative or employee of, or was at all events closely connected with, a great brewery, or whether he was an individual free to buy his beer where he liked, and carrying on business in absolute and individual independence.
As regarded the municipalisation of licences, he did not venture to pronounce 1362 an opinion. His whole view about the question of new licences was that it was important to see in what direction experiment showed that the best results could be obtained, and certainly he would be as reluctant to introduce words into the Bill which would forbid a municipalising experiment as he would be to encourage that experiment at the cost of any other. He believed that it was a dangerous experiment in many ways, but he did not think there was evidence or proof of that. It had been tried elsewhere, and there had been no tendency on the part of the community, at the expense of their morality, to obtain excessive profits for the relief of taxation. At all events, let them leave the ground free and not prejudge it. He did not think the Bill did prejudice the question. He had now replied briefly, but he hoped clearly, to the questions put by his hon. and learned friend. If he had not convinced the House that the Government's intentions in this matter were right, he hoped that he had made clear what those intentions were; and he ventured to think that, whether those intentions were well carried out in the words which they had chosen or not, the broad policy was one which was likely to commend itself to students of this question on whatever side they might sit or whatever their views might be on other portions of the measure.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
said there was really no ground for the apprehensions of the hon. and learned Member for the Stretford Division, as the clause of the Solicitor-General was so drawn that the monopoly value had to be reserved for the authority granting the licence, the profits were left wholly untouched, and the licences could not in any way be made the subject of auction. It would be quite impossible for them to be put up to auction. There was only one sum to be found, viz., the monopoly value, and when once that was ascertained everyone who obtained a licence would have to pay it; nobody could be asked to pay more, nor could anybody be asked to pay less. The idea of competition was altogether excluded. As to the tenure of the licence, the Prime Minister had expressed doubts whether seven years was a sufficiently 1363 long period. Personally he thought the fixing of any period during which there could be no periodical interposition of the discretion of the magistrates was a very serious matter. He believed that, if properly and fairly carried out, the annual system was the best. If they reserved the monopoly value there was going to be no claim so far as new licences were concerned. That might be one method of preventing a revival of the system which had led to all this trouble. He thought seven years was quite enough, for these men were embarking upon a very profitable trade and they obtained great profits in seven years. He should have thought that a much shorter period would have been sufficient to compensate them for their outlay. Did anyone deny that it was desirable to encourage six-day licences? They knew the value of six-day licences in Scotland.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
said there were many other matters which might he included, and he regarded this more in the light of a preliminary canter.
§ MR. LLOYD WHARTON
said there was nothing in this clause to prevent the licensing authority assisting the rates by granting licences to a large number of new houses and thus obtaining a large annual income. A friend of his had been carefully reading this clause, and he had informed him that there was nothing in it to prevent a district, for example, like West Ham, granting an enormous number of new licences in order to bring in, say, £25,000 a year. That was a temptation which ought not to be placed within the reach of any public authority.
§ MR. WHITTAKER
said that the right hon. Gentleman opposite had drawn attention to what was no doubt a very serious danger, which he thought ought to he avoided by providing that the money should go to the National Exchequer and not to the locality. It was always a danger to allow the receipts from licences to go to the relief of the local rates. He hoped the Government would resolve that this extra sum should go to the National Exchequer.
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir EDWARD CARSON,) Dublin University
said there was nothing in the section to prevent justices granting a large number of licences, but if justices took the course which had been suggested in order to relieve the rates, the sooner they were deprived of the power of dealing with this matter the better. He could not conceive that the justices would inundate a district with new licences for the purpose of relieving the rates of a district. He would point out how the section itself would guard against that danger. The great safeguard against that danger was that in the case of each licence the full monopoly value must be demanded. Having granted a licence at a monopoly value, if more licences were granted the monopoly licence would not be worth sixpence. The real safeguard against the justices acting in the way suggested by the right hon. Gentleman would be the large money demand which had to be made based upon the monopoly value. The competition suggested could not last beyond seven years, and at the end of that period those persons would be at the mercy of the magistrates, who could deal with the cut-throat competition in their districts.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said his right hon. friend supported the objection that magistrates might be tempted to increase licences so as to derive a large sum in relief of the rates. But the larger the number of licences granted the smaller would be the revenue derived from them. If the licences were so increased as to approach to free trade, it would destroy the monopoly value altogether, and consequently destroy all public revenue from that source. He agreed that whatever might be the number of licences and the amount of profit derived, the money ought to go, not to the local authority, but to the Exchequer, and he hoped it would be possible to propose an Amendment providing for that. If it were not accepted, a serious blot would remain on the Bill.
§ MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W.R., Keighley)
asked how the monopoly value was to be ascertained. The monopoly value must necessarily depend very considerably upon the character of the house and the locality in which it was situated. It 1365 would be a most impossible to ascertain the real value unless it was put up to auction.
§ MR. CRIPPS
said that, having regard to what the Prime Minister had said, he begged leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment proposed to the Bill—
In page 3, line 33, to leave out from the word 'public' to end of line 35, and to insert the words 'subject as follows—(a) Such conditions shall in any case be attached as, having regard to proper provision for good management, the justices think best adapted for securing to the public any monopoly value which is represented by the difference between the value which the premises will bear, in the opinion of the justices, as licensed premises, and the value of the same premises if they were not licensed. Provided that, in estimating the value as licensed premises of hotels or other premises where the profits are not wholly derived from the sale of intoxicating liquor, no increased value arising from profits not so derived shall be taken into consideration; (b) The amount of any payments imposed under conditions attached in pursuance of this section shall not exceed the amount thus required to secure the monopoly value. —(Sir Edward Carson.)—instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said the great value of Clause 4 was that it introduced for the first time the principle of high licence duties. He understood that the monopoly value which was to go to the public, and the payment of which was to be imposed by the local justices, was to be measured by the difference between the premises as licensed and the premises as unlicensed. He did not object to that definition, but there was a proviso which minimised the amount of the monopoly value by excluding from it profits derivable from the sale of articles not included in the Excise duties. He thought that was objectionable, but the principle of high licence duties was so overwhelmingly important that he was not disposed to object to these definitions and minimisations. It was time the House came to close quarters with this monopoly value. The system proposed by the clause was absolutely crude, inconsistent, and impracticable. He did not think it would work in practice, and 1366 he believed it would produce results not anticipated by the Government and in effect wreck the main purpose of the Bill. But it would bring about a most beneficial financial revolution, for the sake of which he welcomed the proposals, though crude and impracticable. If this clause passed they would have in existence three sets of duties on licensed monopolies—the Excise duty, which brought to the local taxation account the miserable return of less than £1,500,000, the compensation duty under Clause 3, and the new licence duties which would be imposed by the local authority under Clause 4. He did not believe for a moment that a financial system like that could possibly last. It was too confused and too confusing, and the finances of the country would not stand the strain. How would it be possible to defend and justify the existence of a public monopoly in respect of which three several authorities were authorised to exact three different sets of of licence duties going to different purposes and different destinations? It would not do, and it could not last. The only way out was that all licences, old and new, should be subject to a new licence duty going to the Exchequer.
Another serious confusion lay in the existence of two kinds of licences, one paying a low and the other a high duty. The house known as the "Monster" in Pimlico was sold by order of the Court of Chancery for £31,000; the house itself would not be worth more than £3,000, the difference of course being what the purchaser was prepared to pay for the chance of a renewal of the licence under existing conditions. That house paid probably £60 a year in licence duty. Supposing a similar house were now set up in the same district, it would pay not less than £1,000 a year in licence duty. Could that go on? What would the new licensee say to it? Was it possible that new licence-holders paying the full monopoly value would submit for ever to similar houses in the same neighbourhood paying only £60 a year? And if the licensee acquiesced and the long suffering public stood it, what would be the duty and right of a sensible patriotic local authority having power to grant new licences? Would there be any harm in their calling into existence a rival to the "Monster," which would pay on the 1367 full monopoly value either to the local purse or the Imperial purse? Every rival of the "Monster," called into being would make it more easy to abolish the "Monster" itself because every new licence created in its neighbourhood would reduce its monopoly value and its compensation value. This famous new clause would end in the destruction of existing licences and the creation of new and restricted licences. That, he believed, would be the unintended consequence. Nothing would induce him to vote against Clause 4—amended or unamended—because of the principle which it enshrined; but he warned the Government that the consequences of their legislation would be very far-reaching and very different, both now and in the distant future, from what they anticipated or intended.
There was another point to which he wished to call attention, viz., that the money raised from the new monopoly value should go to the Local Taxation Account. With that he thoroughly sympathised, but here they had need of the presence of some Treasury official other than the First Lord of the Treasury. He thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to have something to tell the House about the effect of this clause. It was going to give the local authorities here and there some unknown additions to their taxable revenue. Would not that introduce another element of confusion into local finance Was it creditable that the Imperial Government, which had muddled local finance so disastrously, should pile up confusion on confusion by creating a system under which the caprice of the local licensing justices might add thousands a year to the revenue of the local authorities without requiring the authority of the people? There was another important point. He submitted that no Government was justified in proposing a clause like this unless they were prepared to come to the House and tell them what the financial effect of the clause was to be. They ought to have from the Chancellor of the Exchequer an answer to the question whether the Inland Revenue had been consulted as to the probable financial result of this new clause, and as to its probable effects upon local finance. Had the Inland Revenue authorities been consulted as to the extent of the compensa- 1368 tion clauses and the schedules of the Bill? Had they made no guess? If they had not, then to introduce a proposal like this was one of the biggest instances of Imperial frivolity such as could not be equalled in history.
§ MR. CRIPPS
said he had no intention of following the hon. and learned Member into the frivolities to which he had alluded or into the larger question of local and Imperial taxation. He wanted to express his dissatisfaction with the form of this new clause, and he would put his objection to it in the form of Questions in order that they might be answered by the Solicitor-General. What was meant by monopoly value? He had never been an opponent of some system by which the State should get some fair proportion of that monopoly value, either in regard to Imperial or local finance. He was not one of those who thought that a case had not been made out for further taxation of monopoly value; but he thought the term monopoly value had been used in a way somewhat unjustifiable in some of the discussions. There was really no monopoly value apart from security, and when they talked of monopoly value they meant the value attached to a grant by the State, under certain conditions as to security. Let him give an illustration. Suppose a licence were given only from year to year, there would be no monopoly value at all. Monopoly value, in the sense generally used, meant that some one had a substantial security over a series of years, although it was not a large security. There was no longer to be an interference with this practical security, so long as there was good management and good conduct. They could hardly have a better system than that produced in the Bill, which gave practical security under good management and good conduct; and on the other hand, under the insurance system, which enabled the State to interfere where necessary without injustice to anyone. That was a system which he would have liked to see applied to both old and new licences. Full security was got on the one side, and absolute power on the other. He quite understood that there was a very large monopoly value as regarded a new licence, but if that were only granted for a real 1369 public necessity, it was exceedingly unlikely that it would be taken away on account of redundancy. Therefore, the question of redundancy did not arise in connection with new licences, but in regard to old licences which had been granted, in the great majority of cases before 1872. He could speak for one county where no new licence had been granted since 1872, except in one special case for refreshment purposes; and so, if the new licences were granted under the old conditions, there would be full security for the public interest. On the other hand, there would be a large monopoly value, because those licences would be allowed to go on as long as the house was well conducted. The proposal of the Government was to have a seven years system. He wanted to know from the Solicitor-General what was considered the monopoly value of the seven years grant, which at the end of that seven years might be put up to another person who was the highest bidder. He wanted to know what his hon. and learned friend called, under these circumstances, the monopoly value? In his opinion, the Government by this clause were destroying what was very properly a source of benefit to the State without any interference in regard to public order and morality. They were introducing a system which destroyed the very basis on which what was called a monopoly value was truly founded.
As regarded the seven years system, it might he that a person would be willing to give something for it; but he was quite satisfied that the value of the monopoly grant would be nothing like what was suggested, because the real basis of the value would he taken away on the understanding that at the end of the seven years the rights of the owner might be, and would be, superseded by the licensing magistrates. As to the latter part of the section, the monopoly value, as he understood it, for this purpose was to be estimated in the same way as the compensation value. That was the difference between the value of a licensed house and an unlicensed house. The monopoly value under those circumstances would be a very small thing indeed. What he could not follow was this: In his view, when they were dealing with compensation or monopoly value, they were dealing with licensed premises and 1370 not with trade profits. What did these words mean:—Provided that, in estimating the value as licensed premises of hotels or other premises where the profits are not wholly derived from the sale of intoxicating liquor, no increased value arising from profits not so derived shall be taken into consideration.Now, in accordance with his view, if the first part of the clause was looked at, profit was not in it at all. Profit was quite outside of it. What had to be dealt with was a very different problem altogether—viz., the value of the premises as licensed or unlicensed. What did the Solicitor-General mean when he said that in certain cases profits were not to be considered? They were not to be considered in any case. There would be nothing but confusion by suggesting a proviso of that kind. How would it be construed? It could only be construed on the supposition that what wore the provision profits were to be brought in, and that would be entirely contrary to the first part of the Amendment of the Solicitor-General. What the Soilcitor-General wanted he could quite understand. The right hon. and learned Member said that in the case of an ordinary public-house it was easy to decide the difference of profit between a licensed and an unlicensed house; but where licensed premises carried on other business it was difficult to separate what profit was due to the licence and what to the other business. That, doubt, was a difficult problem which no would have to be dealt with. It certainly could not be dealt with by excluding profits applicable to a particular part of the business carried on on licensed premises. These points were not brought forward in any antagonistic spirit to the Bill, but in order that they might have a good working measure. He, therefore, hoped that they would have further instruction from the Solicitor-General. Members opposite opposed the Bill from a different point of view. They believed it was a thoroughly bad Bill; but he believed that, in substance, it was a good Bill; and he only wished that the details might be so improved that it would he a final settlement. That was not the view of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He only wished to make the Bill as good as possible; and he, therefore, hoped that the points to which he referred would be 1371 reconsidered. He was very much in favour of the principle of the Bill; and it would be a thousand pities of proper attention were not given to these administrative questions, which would be of great importance in the working of the Act. Difficulties would arise if these matters were not sufficiently considered; and he hoped the Solicitor-General would give further information regarding them.
§ SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
said that the First Lord of the Treasury had stated what was the object of the Government in reference to this legislation. The right hon. Gentleman said that it was the desire of the Government to extricate the trade and the public generally from the unfortunate position in which they found themselves owing to past legislation, which, although it did not create a legal right, did create a moral right from which the nation wished to be freed. The right hon. Gentleman drew a just distinction between the past and the future; and he laid down the principle that there was a strong desire to prevent the difficulties which had arisen in the past arising in the future, so that they should have a free unfettered hand in dealing with this question. The speech of the hon. and learned Member who had just spoken was in direct antagonism to that. He said that the past system did not inflict any evil, that it was the perfection of a system, and he wanted to perpetuate and extend it.
§ SIR HENRY FOWLER
said he knew very well what the hon. Gentleman meant, and what his opposition to the Amendment would result in. Did the hon. Gentleman agree with the view of the Solicitor-General? There would be no difficulty about ascertaining what was the monopoly value. It would be the simplest thing in the world. He wished to say a few words, however, on a matter which he considered of far more importance than the details of the clause, and that was the very important question raised by his hon. friend the Member for Dundee. An hon. Gentleman last night said that he was anxious that the Bill should be a fair and a final 1372 settlement. There might be a strong difference of opinion as to its fairness or its finality, but there could be no difference of opinion, so far as the financial aspect of the Bill was concerned, that it was not fair, nor would it be final. His hon. friend had pointed out the enormous financial complications involved in the Bill; and he alluded to the difficulties which existed alike in reference to the taxation and the expenditure of the country. There would not be very much difference of opinion that the country had arrived at an impasse on that question. One of the first subjects, totally outside the question of licensing reform, which would occupy the attention of the country must be its financial position in reference to liquor taxation; and any clause put into this Bill would not be of a binding character in reference to the future financial position of the country. An enormous income was at present derived from this trade; and many hon. Members thought a much greater income would be derived from it in the future. What the clause did was to add to the complications. There would be three or four taxing bodies, so to speak, three or four applications of the money, and, above all, the inevitable question of local taxation would arise. He thought it would have arisen under the present Government with their enormous majority, and that they would have devoted themselves to rectifying the great, growing, and almost intolerable evils of the local taxation of the country. The Government had two Reports from very competent Commissions on the subject. That question would have to be approached with a perfectly unfettered hand with reference to this branch of taxation, whatever scheme of percentages or poundages or compensation or monopoly value might be now introduced. Depend on it the Parliament of the future would deal with a perfectly unfettered hand with this trade as with all other trades, in order to secure for the Imperial Revenue the proper return it ought to get. They might aggrandise the compensation fund, but money raised in one part of the area would be applied as compensation in another part of the area. It was a temporary proposal. It could not last. He believed that even the 1373 Prime Minister himself did not believe that it would last. Their only hope was to take from the Government all they could get in this cause; and he hoped the Government would stand firm, and would not reopen the seven years limit. The Prime Minister always fairly appreciated the arguments of those who differed from him; and he hoped that at this last stage the right hon. Gentleman would not consent to any vital alteration of the clause.
§ * MR. WHITTAKER
said that when the clause was in Committee no division was taken on it, because they were very anxious to get a new licensing system and to prevent the extension of compensation to new licences. He submitted that the provision had been altogether in sufficiently thought out by the Government. What were the facts? First, there appeared in the Bill a definite proposal. When it came into Committee the Government proposed a whole series of Amendments which practically made a new scheme. Now they pretty well revised half of this new scheme again. These changes clearly indicated that the Government had not thoroughly thought out the licensing question, and were not competent to deal with such a complicated question. They showed that the Government were simply in the learning stage. The Bill would, he was sure, break down in working, and a great deal of it the Government dare not attempt to put into working shape. It was left to the Home Secretary to devise this, that, or the other. The whole system would have to be reconsidered. He regarded it as serious that there should be the possibility of enormous sums of money going into a locality through the granting of licences. The Solicitor-General said that if they granted a number of licences they would destroy the value. He did not agree. Look at the enormous value of licences in towns, notwithstanding their number. Again, there were districts with comparatively few licences. West Ham had the smallest number of public-houses, in proportion to population, of any district in the country. West Ham had trouble enough in the amount of its rates; and what a great temptation it would be if the local authorities could get tens of thousands of pounds by granting new licences. The monopoly value was to be 1374 the difference between the value of the house licensed and the house unlicensed. It was the same principle as was to be applied for compensation purposes, and one could not but remember that in that case, on appeal, the Inland Revenue authorities were to fix the value as for estate duty purposes. That was not the annual, but the capital value, and from that it appeared probable that the monopoly value would be the capital value, so that a very considerable lump sum down would be demanded, and that would be a great temptation to localities. He believed that this new system would ultimately be applied to all licences, and then there would be an enormous temptation to the locality to continue and extend the trade.
The Prime Minister had referred to the desirability of getting rid of the brewers' monopoly. Provision was made for charging the monopoly value, but there was a great difference between the monopoly and the monopoly value, and it did not follow because the monopoly value was to be charged, that the brewers' monopoly would be got rid of. As brewers would probably be the only persons who could pay the large sums required, the new system would tend to increase the brewers' monopoly. The monopoly value was really the result of the enormous profits a brewer was able to make out of a particular house, and those profits had been rendered possible only by the absence of free competition. Beer now cost the brewer enormously less than it used to; the taxation was not nearly so high; materials cost less than half the amount formerly paid; by improved processes much more liquor was obtained from the same quantity of material; and yet the customer paid the same price for his liquor. Because of the monopoly, the ordinary laws of political economy did not operate, and consequently these enormous profits were possible. That was what gave the monopoly value, but the monopoly was something distinct, and that the brewer would still desire to obtain. The number of houses being limited, unless he secured the control of a certain number, the brewer could do practically no trade, therefore he would endeavour to secure the control of the new public-houses, although he had to pay the monopoly 1375 price. He was disposed to agree that, although it might not be a question of auction, it would practically be a question of the highest offer. The monopoly value was the price that somebody would pay for the monopoly, and the brewer would pay the highest price, because he would not only get the advantage of the liquor sold, but also secure the trade of that particular house for his brewery. He would probably offer as satisfactory a person to carry on the house as anybody else, and fully comply with all the other conditions, so that the justices would be almost bound, if they were to secure the full monopoly value, to give the licence to the brewer.
With regard to the seven years term, it was a great defect that the Bill made no provision for the annual review of the conduct of the licence-holder. He felt, however, that if a substantial sum was to be exacted for the licence, there was some inconsistency in expecting a man to take it as a licence for one year. He did not object to a longer term being given, but he thought seven years ought to be the extreme limit to which they should be prepared to go. It would be a great advantage if all the licences in a district were to terminate at the same time, because if ever the community wished to deal with licences under a new system, the fact that the licences were dropping out at different periods would be a serious obstacle. The question of the abolition of licences on the ground of redundancy would not affect new licences, because they would probably be granted for the most pat I in places where there was a considerable c population without a licensed house; but the power of abolition should nevertheless be retained in order that the local authorities might, if they thought fit, institute an entirely new method of dealing with licensed houses. The same would apply if once a substantial reduction were made in the number of public-houses; those that remained without misconduct would probably continue until it was decided to make a distinct and definite change in the whole licensing system.
He agreed that the question of profits did not come into the determination of the value of premises 1376 licensed or unlicensed. When a public-house was put up to auction the profits made in the house were not disclosed; it was sold as a house with a licence attached, and the question of the actual profits made did not come up. In the case of hotels and restaurants there might be some difficulty in arriving at the licensed value of the house as apart from its other value, but he did not think the task was beyond the ingenuity of surveyors and valuers to accomplish. He hoped, therefore, that the proviso to the Solicitor-General's Amendment would be omitted. He did not think that, notwithstanding the payment of the monopoly value, the compensation difficulty would recur, because the conditions which had created the difficulty would not exist. The present difficulty had arisen because an extremely valuable privilege had been granted for a comparatively nominal payment. The moment the full value was paid the privilege would not have a saleable value, and the compensation difficulty would naturally disappear. The one bit of comfort in the Bill was that sooner or later this system of charging the full monopoly value for the licence would, he believed, become universal, and he did not wonder that the trade were growing somewhat uneasy over the matter. Present licence-holders had no moral or legal right to freedom from competition, and the granting of a number of new licences would destroy the monopoly value of those already in existence. Moreover, licence-holders had no right, moral or legal, to the continuance of their licences at the nominal fees now charged, and he believed that before five years had passed Parliament would exercise its power of very materially increasing the licence duties. The only consolation about this measure was that, although the clause was crude, immature, and insufficiently thought out, it was better than the original proposal, and opened up a prospect of considerable reform.
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
said he was in the difficulty of not knowing whether he had to reply to a speech made in favour of or against the Amendment. The hon. Gentleman had gone through every possible objection to every scheme 1377 yet suggested, and had then represented that the only way of settling the question was to have free trade in liquor.
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
said the hon. Member might not have seen what his remarks led to, but he suggested that the only way to destroy the brewer and the existing publican was to grant so many licences that their business would not really be worth carrying on. As the friend of the trade the hon. Gentleman had given a warning to them that they ought to take care that under the system set up by this Bill licences should not be granted in such numbers as to cause the "monopoly" value as it was called to sink from its present value to nothing. But having gone through his arguments, the hon. Member left the House without any result, because, although he had been good enough to tell the House that the proposal of the Government was not thought out and was crude, he wound up a long and interesting speech without making a single suggestion as to what ought to be done. It was clear that it was impossible to do anything which would meet with the approval of the hon. Member who took, and who was quite entitled to take, an extreme view upon this question, and who never spoke with the view of giving the Government any assistance.
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
said there was really no difference of policy between the two sides of the House with regard to these new licences, and the matter was, therefore, one on which an hon. Member might give his views, not with the intention of embarrassing the Government, but of assisting them in setting up a system. Having said so much, he passed from the hon. Member, because he gathered that the hon. Member did not mean to vote against this clause and that he did not desire its withdrawal; because, having thought out nothing for himself, he would rather take the crude and unthought-out plan of the Government than have the law as it was. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for 1378 Wolverhampton seemed to think that, on the whole, the Amendment was preferable to the existing law. He rose, apparently, not so much to criticise the Government's scheme for new licences as to make some observations about financial matters. He could not say why the right hon. Gentleman had made the remarks he had made because, as the right hon. Gentleman said that in so far as new financial treatment was concerned the hands of persons acting in the future would be unfettered, he did not see what harm the Bill could do. So far as he had been able to follow the debate the only criticism which he need answer was that of the hon. and learned Member for Stretford. His hon. and learned friend first asked what was a monopoly value and he then answered that question himself, and the hon. Member for the Spen Valley agreed with the answer that a monopoly value really meant what the highest bidder would pay. But it had been made perfectly clear, as regarded the monopoly value, that the magistrates had no power to put up the premises to auction. There could be no question of the highest bidder. The only question the magistrates had to decide was this. When the magistrates granted a licence to a house, the value of the house rose. What caused that increase of value? The licence. In the circumstances, the Government thought it desirable to put into the Bill a definition of monopoly value. He was sure it was better to have it described as they attempted to describe it than to leave it for the magistrates to try to interpret it in their own way. This Amendment was the only way, he thought, of preventing what they all desired to prevent, the growth of such interests in new licensed houses as had arisen, rightly or wrongly, in the past. As to the latter part of the Amendment, it was quite clear that a distinction must be drawn. In the case of a large hotel, in Piccadilly for instance, no doubt in one sense the licence was the necessary adjunct of the business, but the licence would be a very small portion of the profits that arose, although the business could not be carried on without a licence. He commended the Amendment to the House, not at all as a crude proposal. It was one that they had thought out, and until he heard a better one he should 1379 continue to admire it, even though it was in his own language.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
thought the Government were right in their objections. The monopoly value had nothing to do with security. The monopoly value was that which flowed from the granting of the licences, and he should have thought that the words made use of by the Majority Report of the Royal Commission, "the value of the licence and the goodwill created thereby," would be better and at the same time might be fairly acknowledged as a working definition. Such a definition would fairly meet the case and roughly describe the interest it was sought to conceive. He saw no difficulty in ascertaining the value roughly except in regard to the monopoly which was to be spread over seven years. It must always be a matter of conjecture as to what the monopoly value was seven years before. The Solicitor-General proposed to make an exception under his proviso with regard to the big hotels, but the case of a large hotel was exactly the same as that of a small public-house. Whatever benefit flowed from the licence ought to be reserved to the community; the profits of an hotel might flow in a more indirect way, but that was a question for an arbitrator to deal with. He did not think it would be right to exempt hotels from the liability to pay on profits flowing from the licence. One other point, the fixing of the monopoly value for seven years must always be more or less of a speculative matter and the more lengthy the period fixed the greater certainty there would be that they would not get the amount of monopoly value they desired to have. He thought seven years was long enough and be earnestly hoped the period of seven years would not be extended. He objected to the distribution of the monopoly value among the local authorities, as the amount that each locality would have would depend on the number of new public-houses, and this would be a considerable temptation to the justices, who were amenable to local efforts, to raise large sums by granting new licences, which was a real danger to be guarded against.
§ MR. GRETTON (Derbyshire. S.)
suggested that it would be possible even at 1380 the present stage of the Bill to carry out what was evidently the wish of both sides of the House, namely, that the destination of the money to be derived from the new licences should not be the local taxation fund. It might be possible to leave out of the clause the words which assigned the destination of the money and next year by the Finance Bill if possible, or by some other means, to assign the destination of the money. They were agreed on both sides of the House that there should be no arbitrary direction given to the licensing justices to force the new licences on any particular class of applicants. He held with the hon. Member for Stretford, and the hon. Member for Spen Valley, that this assignment of taxation—the monopoly value as it was called—could lead to the extinction of the small man when he was applying for a licence. He thought he could claim to have some knowledge of these matters, and he could not conceive any method by which they could arrive at the monopoly value. The words were unfortunate. The monopoly value could only he ascertained by ascertaining what this particular thing would fetch from a possible purchaser. If, having a house to let, they let it below the rent which it would fetch, they let it below the value. He could not conceive how any valuer or expert could arrive at what was the monoply value, unless he took into consideration what the property would fetch among various applicants. How could they get rid of the "big monopolists?" He adopted the words of hon. Gentlemen opposite. At any rate, both sides of the House were agreed that, in this matter, they should not have the market all to themselves. How could they get rid of them in this direction? If the big monopolist had more funds at his command, naturally he would be able to buy at a higher price, or to give a higher rent, and in that connection be must inevitably raise the value. He was not alone; there were others in the same position, so that the large brewer would be the man who would succeed in getting the licence. He did not think it was the intention of the House of Commons— he believed it was not the intention of the Government—that the small man, the private individual, should 1381 be excluded from ever thinking of obtaining a new licence. It should be remembered in this connection that the expenses on going into licensed premises were very heavy indeed. Every alteration of the law put new requirements on the tenants, and larger outlay was needed for fittings. All this was a heavy charge, which must be paid by the little man as we I as the large trading company. These were matters which ought to be taken into consideration, and if they were going to extract from the little man a very large sum, and also going to limit him to a short term, it seemed that the discretion of the magistrates would be so bound up in this matter that the small man could never hope to hold a licence.
He would have an opportunity of saying more on this subject on a later Amendment, and for the present he would confine his remarks to one matter which he thought had escaped attention. He did not express any opinion on the subject, which was one of public policy, but he thought he was justified in calling attention to it. The new Clause 4, as drawn, would inevitably, he believed, stop that reduction in licences which in many localities was valued by the justices and the public generally. It would prevent undoubtedly the surrender of several old licences for a new licence. He need not go into the whole of the arguments on this subject, but he had taken the opinion of a good many in the trade, and they told him that under the conditions of the heavy payment which would be exacted for a new licence, anyone who had already paid he ivily for an old licence—because the present holders of old licences had not got them for nothing—would not be likely to surrender an old licence in order to acquire a new licence which would involve him in a further heavy payment. If the House thought that the system of surrendering old licences for new ones should be retained, at any rate the discretion of the magistrates should be retained in this matter. He would suggest that an Amendment might be made at a later stage of the Bill for the purpose of preserving that power of the magistrates. He would point out in connection with this matter, that in the eyes of the law there was no such thing as the removal of a licence from old to new 1382 premises. In the eyes of the law it was technically the granting of a new licence under Section 50 of the Licensing Act of 1872. He had not a strong opinion on the subject, but if the House thought it wise to preserve the power to the magistrates to transfer an old licence to new premises, a small Amendment to the clause would be necessary.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
said that if he understood the Amendment aright its object way to separate the profits from the sale of intoxicating drink, from the profits derived from letting rooms and supplying food.
§ MR. BROADHURST
said he believed it was undoubtedly true that in season hotels the tendency of late years had been to consume less and less intoxicating drink. The consequences of that was that the charges for rooms and board had a tendency to increase in proportion as the demand for intoxicants decreased. He believed he was right in stating that a licensed hotel could obtain more money for its rooms and for food than a boarding house possessing similar accommodation as well as equally good furnishing. If that was so, it was scarcely fair and just to the community to draw a hard-and-fast line in separating the profits from drink and from the other sources of revenue of an hotel. The truth of his assertion could easily be substantiated by inquiries His contention was that the licensed house, which obtained more money than a boarding-house in the way he had suggested, should not be let off at the exact line of profits derived only from the sale of wines, beer, and spirits, but that the house should be taxed to some extent upon the extra profit which was made out of the letting of the rooms. It was curious that rooms should fetch more on licensed premises, but it was a fact that they did. The reason he believed was this, that while there was increasing sobriety among the class of people who used these good hotels each year, still even moderate drinkers liked to live under a roof where they could obtain a little drink of that kind if they wanted it.
§ MR. WORSLEY-TAYLOR
called the attention of the Solicitor-General to the contrast between the manner in which existing licences were to be dealt with under the Bill and the proposals with regard to new licences. He invited the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the question whether the system proposed for the new licences was altogether in the true interests of the public as the clause and as the Amendment now stood. He took it that they wanted to secure first of all adequate control and supervision over the licences. There was no quesion that that would be secured in regard to the existing licences, because they had to come up for renewal year by year. He agreed with the hon. Member for the Spen Valley Division, however, that there would be a less degree of control in regard to the seven years licences, which it was in the power of the magistrates to grant, than in the case of existing licences, and he looked upon that as a drawback. Secondly, they wanted to secure control in the sense that the State should have the power to step in when a licence was held to be redundant, and to withdraw it on just terms. Thirdly, they wanted to secure that the country should have the best class of houses. Their object should be to get the best possible class of house for this particular business, the best possible class of tenant and the best class of entertainment provided for the public in the shape of food and drink of good quality. This object could not be obtained unless they dealt fairly and liberally with the persons who wished to conduct licensed premises honourably, and who wished to put money into the business. To his mind that was one of the great advantages of that part of the Bill dealing with compensation. If a man knew that, after five, ten, or fifteen years, his licence might be withdrawn as no longer necessary in the interest of the public, and that he could get back, not the whole money he had invested in the improvement of the premises but a reasonable amount, then he would be more ready to spend money on his premises, and to deal liberally with the public. That was secured by the mode of dealing with existing licences proposed by the Bill. He entirely agreed with the power of experiment granted by the Bill. It wets exceedingly widen so that the justices 1384 might attach to the grant of the licences such conditions as they thought fit in the interest of the public. But there was only one form of experiment which they might not try, and that was that they might not grant a licence upon conditions which were applicable to the 100,000 existing licences. He regretted that the justices should not have that power. He should like to know whether it was possible to give justices a right to enable applicants for new licences to come in under the old conditions, whereby they could have new licences and he subject to the payment of compensation. He hoped that in making this suggestion he was not too late.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
said that the House had already decided that compensation should apply only to existing licences.
§ MR. WORSLEY-TAYLOR
said he bowed to the Speaker's ruling. As to the provision in the Amendment of the Solicitor-General regarding monopoly value, he doubted whether it would work in the interests of the public. The words of the Amendment were perfectly clear. What the licensing justices were to secure was the monopoly value which teas defined as the difference between the value of the licensed premises and of the same promises if not licensed. He would take a common case. Suppose there were premises which, with an annual licence, commanded a rent of £100, but which, without the licence, would only command a rent of £30. The monopoly value would be £70. Taking a concrete case; how much would it cost to build a house for the purposes of licensed premises of a similar class. He was told that it would be something like £2,000. The return on that £2,000, if the licence were granted, would be £100—a fair return, representing 5 per cent. But then the licensing magistrates would sly—" We are required by this Amendment, which defines the monopoly value, to ask you to pay £70, and when you have paid that you will be able to get £100 as the return for your capital expenditure of £2,000. But you will have to pay us for the privilege of getting this £100, £70." The result of this Amendment would be that no private person or trust company would venture to put money into a licensed house, and the only possible individual who 1385 could be expected to take the risk of investing his money under conditions of that kind was the brewer, and especially the large brewer; and if the large brewer did not do so, the alternative would be that either there would be no houses at all in some localities or that clubs would spring up. They were aware in the North of England what that had meant. He knew of one club where the subscriptions came to about £15 or £16, and the amount from the sale of drink to £650. Under these circumstances, he asked the Government to consider the adoption of some words which would mitigate the severity of the requirements laid down in the Amendment. He suggested whether some stronger and clearer words might not be introduced which would allow the justices to consider the expediency of securing that the owner of licensed premises should have some fair and reasonable return on his capital.
§ * MR. LAWSON WALTON
said under the new system justices would have no power to give a licence to an applicant for nothing. The licensee must be prepared to pay what was called the monopoly value of the licence. It had been contended that such a system would throw the whole trade into the hands of the big capitalists, because the value of the licence would be beyond the means of the small free tenant and the term for which the licence was granted would be too short to enable the tenant to recoup himself for the necessary outlay in the erection of the licensed premises. The licensee would be called upon to pay for the right to trade during a limited period, and there was nothing to prevent the magistrates from capitalising the value of the licence and allowing the licensee to spread his payments over the whole period for which the licence was granted; and if that were done he saw no difficulty in the way of any prospective tenant of moderate capital applying for a licence, and meeting the payments for the licence out of the profits of each year. Further, the risk that a licensee would lose his licence at the end of the period for which it was granted would be an insurable risk, at a moderate premium. Except in cases where the circumstances of a neighbourhood had greatly changed during the period there was a strong probability 1386 that licences granted under this system would be renewed at the end of seven years. While, therefore, he should have felt very strong objection to any proposal which tended to cause licensed houses to drift into the hands of the large brewery companies, he believed magistrates would in this case have large powers to give preferences to free licences and to make the terms of payment easy, so that effect might be given to the force of public opinion in the regulation of the trade in such a manner as would conduce to its being carried on far more satisfactorily than at present, and far more in harmony with the public interest.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
asked what would be the position of trust public-houses under this proposal, because they aimed at selling as little alcoholic liquor as possible, and as much tea, coffee, and other temperance refreshments as possible. Magistrates had to obtain the full monopoly value for a new licence, and therefore the owners of trust public-houses would be called upon to pay for the carrying on of a lucrative trade which they did not intend to avail themselves of. This was a burden which trust public-houses ought not to have placed upon them. If the words now proposed were put in there would be no protection for trust public - houses, and the magistrates would exact from the owners of such houses the full monopoly value, thus placing them at a great disadvantage. The Prime Minister had declared himself favourable to every possible experiment being tried for the regulation of the sale of alcoholic liquors, and no experiments had been more successful in this direction than trust public-houses. He wished to know whether under the words now proposed to be substituted it would be necessary for those houses which had no desire to sell alcoholic liquors to pay the high monopoly value for a licence.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
said he desired to support the appeal which the right hon. Gentleman had made. After what had been said he should not himself have formed the impression that the justices were obliged to take the view which had 1387 been put forward. In many places in his constituency there were hotels which were the property of the Crown held under leases which directed the licensee to decrease the sale of intoxicating drink, and they carried out that instruction. He should like to know how such lease: in the future would be affected by this proposal.
Mr. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
expressed the opinion that if an application was made by a man who proposed to carry on his house as an hotel and who did not propose to have a bar of any kind in the house, but merely required a licence for the purpose of supplying his guests in the hotel, for a licence granted under such conditions the licensing justices should only exact the value of the difference between premises held under such conditions and a private house. It was not an open or competitive licence that would be granted, and the same was the case with regard to the trust public-houses. When an application was made for a licence for a trust public-house the justices should take some security that the application was a bonâ fide one, and that the public-house would be carried on as a trust public-house, where the sale of intoxicating liquors would not be encouraged, and that in those circumstances they should not be compelled to exact a larger monopoly value than the value of the house carried on as a trust public-house. He was quite satisfied with the words of the hon. and learned Gentleman, which he thought would encourage the trust and discourage the open public-house.
§ * MR DUNCAN (Yorkshire, W.R., Otley)
said it was somewhat difficult to know how the monopoly value of these new licences was to be ascertained, because the value was to a very large extent, in the first instance, problematical. The houses established would be in new districts, and it would not be known, for a time at any rate, what custom they were going to receive. So far as he had observed from the advertisements in the trade papers, although no mention of profit was made, yet turnover was in many cases named. A public-house was said to have a return of so many barrels of beer or so much spirits, and when the premises 1388 were offered for sale the question of turnover entered very largely into the monetary value. If licences were to be granted for a short period, at the end of which the magistrates were to have the right to revise the amount of monopoly value which the public was to receive, it might be that, in the case of a licence granted to one of the trust companies which restricted very largely the sale of intoxicants, the magistrates could reduce the amount originally fixed as the value of the licence. The Solicitor-General had, he thought, rather unfairly attacked the hon. Member for Spen Valley by saying that his only remedy was to have free trade in the sale of liquor. That was not his understanding of his hon. friend's argument. It was simply that magistrates had the right to destroy the monopoly value by issuing licences broadcast. That was an undoubted power which they had refrained from using, not intentionally for the benefit of the licence-holders, but for social and other reasons. One of the main objections to the Bill was that although this monopoly value was to he scoured in the issue of the new licences yet the public was never going to receive anything of its undoubted interest in the licences already existing. When the Bill was passed an increased value would undoubtedly be given to public-houses by the position they would have obtained by the increased expectation of renewal on account of the suppression of redundant licences. He hoped the House would not accept the proposal of the hon. Member for Blackpool. Not only should new licences not be put upon the old system, but the old licence should be put upon the new system.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said the question of the interpretation of the words "as licensed premises" was one of considerable importance. It would be a serious matter if magistrates were compelled to impose the full competitive value, as that would absolutely destroy any chance of setting up public-house trusts, the idea of which was not, to make a profit at all. He 1389 suggested the insertion of some such words as—"regard being had to the effect which the conditions attached to the licence may have upon such value."
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said it was really a question of the technical interpretation of the words "as licensed premises." Legal gentlemen of great experience had suggested that the justices would have to consider the premises, not with regard to the conditions imposed, but as ordinary licensed premises, and in order to prevent the possibility of any difficulty arising it should he made perfectly clear that the conditions imposed by the magistrates were to be taken into account when assessing the value of the premises.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that on the question of policy, leaving the legal question to his right hon. friend the Solicitor-General, there could be no doubt as to the intention of the Government. It was never intended that it should be obligatory upon magistrates to put a licence up to public auction or anything analogous thereto. If one of the conditions attached to a licence was—as it might well be—that the house should open only on six days a week, it was manifest that the same amount of money could not be extracted from the licence-holder as might be for a seven days licence. The matter ought to be discussed quite apart from the public-house trust question. One of the objections raised to the auction idea had been that it would drive out the free licence-holder, and give an unfair advantage to a certain class of brewery principals. That, evidently, the magistrates ought not to he compelled to do. If, by imposing less onerous terms, it might be made possible for a free licence-holder to obtain the licence, he thought it would be legitimate for the magistrates to impose those less onerous terms. As to the principle, they were perfectly agreed. Whether the words on the Paper carried with them that principle he was not competent to say with authority, but personally he should have thought they did.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that on this question the House was very much in the hands of those who thoroughly understood the licensing law, and the view taken of these words by certain distinguished lawyers was somewhat alarming. As the question had been raised, he thought it ought to be definitely cleared up.
§ MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
said it was satisfactory to find that there was no difference of opinion as to the intention and as to what ought to be the effect of this clause. The only question was whether, in view of the opinions which had been expressed, the language of the clause actually carried that intention into effect. Personally, he would have said that it did. The clause contained these expressions, "having regard to proper provision for good management," "securing to the public any monopoly value," and that the monopoly value "is to be represented by the difference between the value which the premises will bear in the opinion of the justices, as licensed premises, and the value of the same premises if they were not licensed." If those three things were taken together, as they ought to be, there should not be any doubt in dealing with such cases as had been mentioned. But, in view of the opinion expressed by some eminent critics, he thought the Government would be well advised to give further consideration to the matter, and see whether there was any ground for the doubts which had been expressed.
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
had not the least doubt that under the clause as it stood it would be perfectly possible for magistrates to deal with each particular case according to the conditions imposed. The granting of a licence under the new system would not be merely the granting of a licence and nothing more. The premises would not become simply licensed premises; they would become licensed premises with conditions attached. The licence itself would have the conditions attached, and according as those conditions were added the value of the premises to which the conditioned licence applied would be increased or decreased. For instance, if the condition were imposed that a house should open oily on three days a week, or at particular 1391 hours, the value of the house to which that licence applied "as licensed premises," would be a great deal less than the value of premises holding what was now called a full licence without restrictions. The fallacy which underlay the contrary opinion was due to an attempt to detach the conditions from the licence itself, and to consider the premises as though they had a full licence without restrictions. Many such cases might arise. There might be instances where they would only want a refreshment bar. The matter was all-important, and it had not been overlooked. He would look further into the question, and if it was found necessary an alteration in the direction indicated would be made in another place. As to the Question put to him by the hon. Member for Leicester in regard to the value of a house with and without a licence, he was very anxious to answer the Question, but he did not think he ought to commit himself in that way. Really the point was not a very large one, but he could not see his way to answer the hon. Member's conundrum.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire. Lichfield)
said the case under consideration was that of a public-house conducted with the idea of not selling too much intoxicating drink, although that particular condition might not be attached to the licence. The words in the Bill did not cover the case where the owners endeavoured as far as possible to discourage the sale of drink.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
said he should prefer the words remaining as they were. The present form of the proposal would oblige the justices to insist upon all the conditions they imposed being attached to the licence.
§ Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment to the Bill—
"In line 2, after the word 'management' to insert the words and a reasonable return on the expenditure incurred in respect of the premises.'"—(Mr. Worsley-Taylor.)1392
§ Question proposed, "That those words I be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
said that the particular case referred to in the Amendment seemed to be a very peculiar one. The hon. Member suggested the case of a man incurring an outlay of £2,000 upon building a house that would not let without a licence at more than £30 a year. He could not think that such a case was likely to arise, and if it did it would certainly be a very exceptional case. He could not conceive of a man incurring such an outlay, and running the chance of getting a licence, for if he failed to obtain the licence he would have the building thrown upon his hands. He would suggest that the words "and the suitability of the premises" would meet the purpose of the hon. and learned Member. But he would consider the point in order to see if anything could be done.
§ * MR. BOUSFIELD
said he regarded the subject matter raised by the Amendment as one of the most important which had to be considered in connection with this clause. But he did not think the difficulty which the hon. Member had in view was met by the Amendment. It could only be met, he thought, by allowing the magistrates to grant a licence for such a term as would provide for the return of the capital expenditure incurred in respect of the premises. There were two alternatives suggested. One was suggested by the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment now before the House, and the other would be moved by another hon. Gentleman with regard to the extension of the time. The difficulty with which they were faced was a very great one. He was thoroughly in sympathy with the principle intended to be introduced by the clause. The principle, as he understood it, was that a new licence should be granted under such circumstances that the public should secure the monopoly value of the licence, that there should be no equitable or moral right to the renewal of a licence, and that the magistrates should be perfectly free to consider in the public interest, without any question of compensation, whether the licence ought 1393 to be granted again. If that was to be done it was quite obvious that they must see that the term for which the licence was granted and the conditions were such that the licensee would have a fair opportunity of reimbursing his capital expenditure. He was afraid the Amendment the hon. Gentleman had proposed did not meet the situation they would have to face at a later period on this clause. The new licensee must be able to go into the premises for such a term and on such conditions as would enable him to recoup himself for his capital expenditure. Otherwise, taking, for instance, the case of a licensee who had incurred a capital expenditure of several thousand pounds, the magistrates would say at the end of seven years that this term was not enough to enable him to recoup his expenditure, and they would consider that he had a moral right to a renewal of the licence.
§ MR. CRIPPS
said that when it was proposed to open new premises plans were submitted to the magistrates, and the applicant got a provisional licence. What his hon. and learned friend wanted to provide was that, a provisional licence having been granted, the fact that large capital expenditure had been incurred should be taken into consideration when a renewal was applied for.
§ MR. A. K. LOYD (Berkshire, Abingdon)
suggested that the hon. Member for Blackpool should accept the words "and a reasonable return on the expenditure necessarily incurred in providing suitable premises."
§ MR. WORSLEY-TAYLOR
said that, in view of the Solicitor-General's promise to take the matter into consideration, he was prepared to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
moved to amend line 6 by leaving out the words "licensed premises" and inserting the words "so licensed by them." He had only been induced to intervene because of the strong opinion expressed by the hon. and learned Member for Blackpool and the hon. and 1394 learned Member opposite, both of whom had large experience in these matters. His object in moving the Amendment was to enable the unlearned to understand perfectly well what the clause meant.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment to the Bill—
In line 6, to leave out the words 'licensed premises' and insert the words 'so licensed by them.' —(Sir John Gorst)—instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
said he could not grasp the difference between the words suggested by the right hon. Gentleman and the words in the clause.
§ Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said he wished to move to leave out the provison the first sub-section of the Amendment proposed by the Solicitor-General. He believed that it would turn out that this Amendment would be supported, or opposed, by hon. Members on quite different grounds, and from different points of view. The fact was that this Bill was of a very ambiguous character. It was said that it was a measure of temperance reform, while others regarded it from its financial aspect. It was on financial grounds that he moved his Amendment. The principle of the clause was that the monopoly value was the value accruing to the premises by the fact that they were licensed, and by the restriction of competition. If the value created by the fact that competition was restricted was to go to the State, or the public, he did not see why the collateral profit which was increased by the fact of monopoly should not also go to the public. In the case of hotels there might be ground for special consideration, but this proviso did not refer to hotels alone but to all public-houses. There was no public-house in which the profits were not partly derived from the sale of articles other than intoxicating liquors, and the 1395 publican was enabled to charge more for them on account of the privileged position which he occupied. For instance, a man who wanted soda with his whiskey had frequently to pay for that soda three times as much as he would in an unlicensed house. He begged to move.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment to the Bill—
In line 7, to leave out from the word 'licensed' to the end, of the Bill." —(Mr. Edmund Robertson.)
§ Question proposed. "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
said it seemed to the Government to be absolutely necessary in setting up this new system of granting licences to draw a distinction between what he might call ordinary public-houses and hotels and restaurants. Take one of the large hotels, the profits
§ of which largely depended on the fact that it supplied accommodation, it was impossible to say that that profit should go to the public. They must draw he line at the profit connected with the sale of liquor. It was for that reason that they had introduced the proviso.
§ MR. WHITTAKER
said that what he and his hon. friends desired to secure was that the whole of the extra value given to the premises by the licence, whether it was from the sale of think or of food, should accrue to the community. He believed that unless this proviso was omitted, all sorts of difficulties and complications would arise, tend the object they had in view would not be secured. He begged to support the Amendment.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 222; Noes, 126. (Division List No. 281.)1399
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Chamberlain, RtHn J. A.(Worc||Gordon, Hn. J.E.(Elgin & Nairn|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hen. Eden||Charrington, Spencer||Greene, SirE W(B'rySEdm'nds|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Clancy, John Joseph||Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Gretton, John|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C.R.||Groves, James Grimble|
|Anbrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Colston, Chas, Edw. H. Athole||Hall, Edward Marshall|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hammond, John|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th)|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Balfour, Rt. HnGerald W(Leeds||Cust, Henry John C.||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Davenport, William Bromley||Heath, James (Staffords. N.W.|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Denny, Colonel||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.|
|Beach, Rt. Hon, Sir M. Hicks||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Disraeli, Coningsby, Ralph||Hobhouse, Rtn H(Somers't, E|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir JohnE.||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Bill, Charles||Doughty, Sir George||Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hoult, Joseph|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Duke, Henry Edward||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil|
|Brassey, Albert||Fergusson, Rt. HnSir J.(Manc'r||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Hunt, Rowland|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Finlay, Sir Robert Banantyne||Jessel, CaptainHerbert Merton|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.)||Fisher, William Hayes||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)|
|Bull, William James||Fison, Frederick William||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.|
|Butcher, John George||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Kennedy, VincentP. (Cavan, W.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J.A.(Glasgow||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh)|
|Campbell, J. H. M.(DublinUniv||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Keswick, William|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Flower, Sir Ernest||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Cavendish, V.C W(Derbyshire.||Forster, Henry William||Knowles, Sir Lees|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Foster, PhilipS.(Warwick, S.W.||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Galloway, William Johnson||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset|
|Lawson, John Grant(Yorks. NR||O'Brien. Patrick (Kilkenny)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Lee, Arthur H.(Hants, Fareham||O'Dowd, John||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Parker, Sir Gilbert||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Stroyan, John|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Pemberton. John S. G.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Percy, Earl||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Pierpoint, Robert||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Long, Rt. Hon. Water(Bristol,S.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Lowe, Francis William||Pretyman, Ernest George||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Tuff, Charles|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Purvis, Robert||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Pyn, C. Guy||Tully, Jasper|
|Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Ratcliff, R. F.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Reid, James (Greenock)||Vincent,Col.Sir CEH(Sheffield|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Remannt, James Farquharson||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Renwick, George||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis(EdinburghW||Richards, Henry Charles||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Ridley, Hon.M W. (Stalybridge||Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Ridley. S. Forde(Bethnal Green||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Maxwell, RtHnSirH E(Wigt'n||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und. Lyne|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Robinson, Brooke||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Round, Rt. Hon. James||Wortley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Montagu, Hon. J. Scott(Hants.)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wylie, Alexander|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Samuel, Sir HarryS.(Limehouse||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Murray, Rt. HnA Graham(Bute||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||TELLERS FOR TRE AYES.—Sir|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Nolan, Col. P. John (Galway, N.||Spear, John Ward|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Eve, Harry Trelawney||Leigh, Sir Joseph|
|Allen, Charles P.||Farrell, James Patrick||Levy, Maurice|
|Asher, Alexander||Fenwick, Charles||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lloyd-George, David|
|Benn, John Williams||Flynn, James Christopher||Lundon, W.|
|Blake, Edward||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|Brigg, John||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Griffith, Ellis J.||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Burns, John||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Newnes, Sir George|
|Burt, Thomas||Hardie, J Keir(Merthyr Tydvil||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Caldwell, James||Harwood, George||O'Brien, Kednal(TipperaryMid|
|Cameron, Robert||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Malley, William|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Higham, John Sharpe||O'Shee. James John|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||Parrott, William|
|Cremer, William Randal||Holland, Sir William Henry||Partington, Oswald|
|Crombie, John William||Horniman, Frederick John||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Cullinan, J.||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Jacoby, James Alfred||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Price, Robert John|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Joicey, Sir James||Rea, Russell|
|Delany, William||Jones, DavidBrynmor (Swansea||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Joyce, Michael||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kearley, Hudson, E.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lambert, George||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Edwards, Frank||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Robson, William (Snowdon)|
|Elibank, Master of||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall(||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Runciman, Walter||Sloan, Thomas Henry||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)|
|Schwann, Charles E.||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Seely, Maj. J E B(Isle of Wight)||Sullivan, Donal||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Shackleton, David James||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)||Tomkinson, James||Woodhouse, Sir JT.(Hudders'fd|
|Sheehy, David||Toilmin, George|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Slack, John Bamford||Ure, Alexander||Whittaker and Mr. Duncan.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ And, it being after half-past Seven of the clock, the debate stood adjourned till this Evening's Sitting.