§ MR. SEARS (Cheltenham)
I bog to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will say what number of licences would be likely to lapse annually under the Government Licensing Bill; how this compares with the number of licences annually transferred from one licence-holder to another, and new licences granted during the years 1900 to 1906; what number of licences were transferred or granted to new applicants; and whether preference could be given under the Bill in the case of transfers and new licences to those whose licences would lapse under that measure.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
If the estimate of the probable reduction under the Bill, viz., some 30,000 or 32,000 licences is 938 correct, and if the reduction is distributed evenly over a period of fourteen years, the annual reduction would be between 2,100 and 2,300. I have no information at present as to the number of transfers effected annually. The annual average of new licences granted in the years 1900 to 1907 was about 140, but only fifty-nine in the last three years. The chances of a licence-holder who has been displaced by the extinction of his licence obtaining another licence by transfer or new grant must depend entirely on the circumstances of the case and the discretion of the licensing authority. It is not possible to give by statute a preference to any such licence-holder.