§ (1) Where a licence holder who is not bound by any covenant, agreement, or undertaking, and is not otherwise under Any direct or indirect obligation of any kind to obtain a supply of beer from any particular brewer, was, on the thirtieth day of September, nineteen hundred and fifteen, obtaining a supply of beer from any brewer, he shall be entitled to obtain from that brewer under reasonable conditions a similar supply, reduced by fifteen per cent., during any period for which this Act applies, or such less supply as he may require.
§ (2) If a licence holder considers that any brewer has in connection with the supply of beer to him failed to comply with the provisions of this Section he may apply to the Board of Trade for relief under this Section, and the Board of Trade may if they are of opinion, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, that it is just to do so, give relief by the reduction of the maximum barrelage of the brewer who has failed to comply with the provisions of this Section, and the transfer of that barrelage to any brewer who has undertaken to give the required supply to the licence holder.
§ Where relief is so given the maximum barrelage of the brewers concerned shall be adjusted in such manner as the Board of Trade direct as a consequence of the relief given.
§ (3) In this Section the expression "licence holder" means the holder of a retailer's on-licence authorising the sale by retail of beer; and includes, where any licensed premises have changed hands, the licence holder for the time being; and where any premises on which beer is sold are under the management of the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic), the Central Control Board.
§ Sir F. LOWE
I beg to move to leave out Sub-sections (1) and (2), and to insert instead thereof the following new Sub-sections:
The object of this Amendment is to leave the free-licence holder as free as he is at present to obtain supplies of beer from any brewer or number of brewers. Under the Clause as drawn he will become practically tied and bound to one brewer, because, although he could continue to obtain supplies from the particular brewer with whom he has been dealing, he would not be able to go and obtain supplies from any other brewer. That seems to be manifestly unfair, and it is only right he should be left as free as he is at the present time. The only way in which he can, under the Clause, change his brewer is by satisfying the Board of Trade that the brewer with whom he has been dealing has failed to comply with the provisions of the Clause. That is a very cumbersome and it might prove a very dilatory and inconvenient process. Furthermore, if the brewer fails to comply with the provisions of the Clause, the buyer does not want to be tied to any particular brewer any more than he is now. It seems to me only fair and reasonable that this alteration should be made, especially as it will preserve the freedom of the free-licence holder. In fact, it will carry out the main provisions of the Act, because the buyer will only be able to obtain the same supply as before, less 15 per cent. But if this method were adopted, he would be entitled to ask the brewer who had been supplying him for a certificate giving the particulars of the quantity and gravity of the beer supplied, together with the number of standard barrels, and having got that certificate he 1413 could take it to another brewer who might be willing to supply him, or, indeed, he might take it to several brewers, so long as he only obtains the quantity which he purchased in the comparative period, less 15 per cent. There are one or two Amendments on the Paper, but I do not know whether I would be in order in referring to them at the present moment. The first—
- "(1) Any licence holder in so far as he is not bound by any covenant, agreement or undertaking to obtain a supply of beer from any particular brewer, and who has at any time during the year ended the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and sixteen, been supplied with beer by any brewer or brewers, shall be entitled to obtain
1412 from such brewer or brewers particulars of the quantities and gravities of the beer supplied, and also a certificate or certificates stating the total number of standard barrels represented by the beer supplied during each quarter of the year ended the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and sixteen, or such shorter period as the supply has continued.
- (2) The licence holder shall after forwarding any such certificate to the Commissioners be entitled to obtain the same number of standard barrels (reduced by fifteen per cent.) from any other brewer who may be willing to supply him therewith, and in every such case the maximum barrelage of the brewer ceasing to supply the licence holder shall be reduced by the amount stated in the certificate (less fifteen per cent.), and that amount shall be transferred to the brewer who has undertaken to supply."
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I may apologise to the Committee for making a very great change in the Bill by accepting this Amendment. It is my intention to accept the Sub-sections proposed by my hon. Friend in the place of those which stand in the Bill. The reason is this: Obviously one of the greatest difficulties in framing this Bill arose in dealing with supplies of beer which are obtained by retailers, those retailers being at the same time free to change the brewer from which they have obtained their supplies in the past. Clearly it would not be right in the Bill to tie the retailer, who is a free buyer of beer at the present time, to the particular brewer who happened to be supplying him at the date of the introduction of the Bill. It would really convert all buyers of beer into tied-house tenants, and that is quite unnecessary. The suggestion made in the original Clauses of the Bill was that we should apply compulsion to the brewer who was supplying at a particular time to continue to supply, and if for any reason the parties quarrelled, then the buyer was to be enabled to go to the Board of Trade, who would put him on to another brewer who could supply that which, owing to the disagreement, he could no longer obtain from the original brewer. That appeared at the time to be the only method of dealing with that difficulty. If we had acceded to the licence holders' request for compulsion, we should have had to adhere to this Clause, subject, of course, to any Amendments this Committee might introduce.
But, after considering the proviso, the free buyers came to the conclusion that they would prefer real free trade to compulsion, and, the suggestion for compulsion having been abandoned, they preferred to have a Clause on the lines proposed by my hon. Friends opposite, which ^would give them this right, that while 1414 they are obtaining beer now from any brewer, they should be able to obtain a certificate from that brewer showing the number of standard barrels of beer they are getting, and with that certificate they should be at liberty to go to any other brewer and ask him to supply them. If the brewer agreed to supply them—he being, of course, perfectly free to supply or to refuse to supply—he would then be permitted by the Excise, to whom the certificate would be sent, to brew the extra quantity of beer stated on the certificate, while the original brewer would have the amount he was entitled to brew decreased by the same quantity. That, in itself, is a great saving of administrative trouble. I think the right hon. Gentleman opposite who is doing very good work in a similar matter in regard to supplies of paper will be able to inform the Committee that a very great burden is thrown upon the tribunal which has to adjust supplies between the wholesale and the retail trade. At first we saw no alternative to a like burden being thrown on the Board of Trade; it would have involved some kind of tribunal together with a good deal of administrative trouble. This arrangement, however, has been suggested by the free-licence holders themselves, and it has been accepted entirely by the brewing trade. Both parties are satisfied, and I hope the Committee will agree to the change, and at the same time accept my excuses for not having put it in the Bill originally. Any Amendment can, of course, be discussed later on, but I ought to say that the Bill as originally drafted applied only to on-licence holders. By Amendments to be introduced later on, however, it will cover clubs, and licences in every form.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Yes, clubs, canteens, and all licence holders of any kind whatsoever will be covered by the Amendments which are to be inserted in the Bill later on. All these persons, whether clubs, off-licence holders, or free buyers of beer (other than buyers for private consumption), and free buyers for resale, will be entitled under this Clause, some even being brewers themselves—brewers who have licences as beer dealers and who buy from other brewers—all these will be entitled to change their brewer and take a certificate, showing the quantity they are entitled to purchase, to another brewery.
§ Sir F. LOWE
Will the words be "holders of Excise licences," and will provision then be made for the inclusion of clubs?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Yes; all the Amendments are on the Paper. I have described what will be the effect of the Clause as amended, and I hope the Committee will accept it.
§ Mr. NIELD
I have been very glad to hear the observations of the hon. Gentleman, because it relieves many of us who had intended to propose Amendments providing for the inclusion of clubs of our task, seeing that their inclusion has now become an accepted principle. But I would ask the hon. Gentleman to consider between now and the Report stage whether the words of the proposed Amendment, "the 31st day of March," are as good as the words "or before the passing of this Act." There are some points which might be raised, and it would be as well therefore for the hon. Gentleman to consider whether the wider words would not be better under the circumstances. This affects clubs in a different way to the ordinary licence holder or beer seller.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I do not think the hon. Gentleman quite appreciates what these words really do. They fix the date, which is the end of the twelve months, which will be the comparative period, and it is obviously necessary to bring them up to the last possible moment. We want to deal with the trade as it is and not as it was. We hope the Bill will come into operation as from the 1st April, and therefore we have fixed the date at the 31st March.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think the hon. Member had better wait until we come to this particular Amendment.
It strikes me, reading the proposed Clause side by side with the one at present in the Bill, we may, by making the change, defeat the object with which the Clause is put in. Under Clause 5, Sub-section (1), when a licence holder has been in the habit of buying his beer from a certain brewer he will be entitled to obtain from that brewer a similar 1416 supply. Under the proposed Clause he will not have that right. He will not have the right to compel the brewer with whom he has been dealing to continue to sell to him, and he may be unable to get his beer elsewhere.
I am not thinking of the trade or of the brewer. I am thinking of the consumer, and of the club, and in conjunction with my hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Ealing I have put down certain Amendments, but the agreement to include clubs has rendered it unnecessary, for us to move them. I do ask the hon. Gentleman, however, when dealing with this question, not to leave the clubs out in the cold, and I fear this Clause as amended will do so unless further words are introduced.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I would suggest that if it is the general wish of the Committee to allow Sub-sections (1) and (2) to go out of the Bill, they should be struck out, and then we can deal with the substituted Sections in due course.
I am rather opposed to these Sub-sections going out, because the result would be to deprive the licence holders of their absolute right to get their beer in any case from the brewer with whom they have been dealing. I am not for a moment considering the case of the retail trade, or the free public-house, or the brewer. I am speaking for the clubs, and I very much object to these Sections being left out, because they do now give an absolute right to go to the brewer in any case. I do not want them to be left out in the cold. I do not want the brewer from whom they have been buying to be in a position to refuse to continue to supply them. Of course they will get their certificate all right, but then other brewers to whom they apply may refuse to supply them. A brewer, for instance, may say, "I want to give all my beer to my tied houses," and there is 1417 nothing in the Bill to prevent a brewer giving more than 85 per cent, to that customer.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
The hon. Member does not seem to realise that the clubs can go to the brewer and say, "If you brew me this beer I will give you a certificate which will enable you to brew so much more." That cannot be done in the case of the tied house.
It seems to me the effect of this proposal would be to leave the clubs out in the cold. Brewers do not like clubs. They would readily squeeze them out if they could do so. They prefer the retail houses We want to protect the clubs, and see that they get their proper 85 per cent, of their ordinary beer supply. The mere fact that the brewer gets a certificate enabling him to brew the quantity of beer he has been selling to the club previously does not, when the club goes to buy from another brewer, protect the club. It may go in vain to the other brewer.
§ Sir F. LOWE
On a point of Order. There is nothing whatever about clubs in these Sub-sections. They only deal with licence holders. When we come to discuss the question of the licence holder, then the question of clubs will come in also.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I understand the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Denniss) is objecting to the deletion of these two Sub-sections.
Yes, because the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade has told us that he is going to put clubs in the same position as the licence holder.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
On a point of Order. There is nothing about clubs in these Sub-sections which it is proposed to leave out. They only deal with licence holders.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
On a point of Order. I have undertaken to put in clubs, and if these Sub-sections go out, neither clubs nor anybody else will be able to get compulsory powers.
That is the point. I am very glad that the hon. Gentleman agrees with me. I contend that it will be a position of jeopardy for the clubs. If 1418 they were doing a retail trade or were tied houses they would be perfectly safe. Inasmuch as arrangements have been made between the brewing trade, the retail trade and the Government, we do not mind, but when it comes to the question of clubs, of which the retail trade is absolutely jealous and would crush them out if it possibly could, then we say that advantage might be taken of this arrangement between the retail trade and the brewers to crush out the clubs. I would ask the Committee to consider very carefully whether or not in these circumstances clubs will suffer.
§ Sir T. WHITTAKER
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade has referred to the fact that I have had some experience of this kind of thing in connection with paper. I would suggest to the Committee that the arrangement now suggested is a very great improvement upon the arrangement in the Bill. Therefore it is desirable that these Sub-sections should go out. The difficulty of an arrangement like this is where you have a standard year some time back, when you are dealing with people who have to get their supplies now and who are, perhaps, dealing with another firm. It is a very serious difficulty, of which this is a very happy solution. It is only possible because of the peculiar conditions of the liquor trade, where you have the Excise at work and can do it. In connection with the paper trade you could not make an arrangement like this. In regard to the objection raised by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Denniss) it is not a real one. The clubs will have the same rights as they have now. They will have a great power. They will have a certificate which will entitle them to get their beer from any brewer who will supply them. They have with that certificate a power to the brewer to brew the quantity of beer to supply them. That is the point. That brewer will thereby get an extra amount of business which he cannot ask from anyone else. He will be glad to have that business, because he will have the extra right to brew which will follow the certificate which the club will take to him. My experience is that the brewer is not opposed to the club. The retailer is, but the brewer is not. It is an outlet for his supply. The brewer will be willing to supply, and the club buys from the brewer. The hon. Member will find there is no danger in that direction. From the experience I have had I should say that this 1419 will prove to be far the simplest method of dealing with a difficult phase of this question.
§ Colonel GRETTON
I see no objection to the main features of this Clause. There are however, great disadvantages from the point of view of the free trade brewer. The Government are setting up a restricted market by limiting the possible amount of beer to be sold to 26,000,000 barrels. They intend, very rightly, to give the licence holder a right to trade in that market and make what terms he can in order to get the best beer that suits his trade. They are not, by the principle of their Bill, providing the free trade brewer with a free market. It will come to this, that the tied brewers, with a market created by their own tied houses, have got concessions with which they are well satisfied. The tied licence holder, by the conditions of his tie, gets all he requires, so far as the Bill permits. The free buyer, the licence holder, the bottler, the dealer, and even the brewer who buys beer from elsewhere, will be able to get his beer where he chooses. But the free trade brewer cannot go out into the market. He has an absolutely restricted market, and in that way he is being hit harder than anyone under the Bill as it now stands. This is a serious grievance among the free trade brewers, which I have been asked to put before the Committee. It is difficult for those who are not accustomed to the trade to understand what a free market means. It has been created by custom and generations of trade. The effect of the proposal is that free buyers have their market, while the free trade brewer is only to have a restricted market imposed upon him by the restriction of his output, which may be further reduced by certificates taken away.
As regards clubs, I do not think there is any great fear that they will not get the beer they want. There are many brewers who consider that clubs are not desirable customers. That, no doubt, is because of their experience of clubs in a particular district. Clubs vary. There are very good clubs, and bad clubs. Some clubs do a good trade with the brewer; they pay punctually, and their accounts are good. Others are different. They pay badly in some cases, and their trade is of very little use to the brewer. If brewers do not wish to trade with clubs, it must be because they do not wish to trade with a particular 1420 class of club who do not trade in a satisfactory manner. I am not going to object to these words being struck out. Several points will have to be raised upon the Clause. I shall have to raise again the point as to the date. I understand the; Government are willing that it should be the 31st of March in this Clause, but that they are not willing that is should be the date of the passing of the Act. I also propose to insert the words "failing agreement with such brewer or brewers," and I have another Amendment which I propose to make at the end. I think it is right that the Government should give the free trade buyer liberty to buy his beer where it best suits his trade.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade will realise that the acceptance of this Amendment has made such a vast change in the Bill that it is quite right that those of us who are anxious to protect any particular body should have some little time to consider the change and to get from the hon. Gentleman any particulars we desire. There is no desire on our part to adhere unnecessarily to the words in the Bill if we can see our way clear to the protection we desire being obtained by the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for the Edgbaston Division of Birmingham (Sir F. Lowe). We must have that made distinctly clear. There is not the slightest doubt that, as the Bill stands, the clubs have a protection. Whatever may be the abstract opinion with regard to clubs, they have as much right to have their interests safeguarded in a measure like this as any licensed body or any other person dealing with the sale of beer. As the Clause stands, they would have a distinct claim on there brewers for a supply of beer. We are told that they would be in no worse position if Sub-sections (1) and (2) are taken out and the new Sub-sections are inserted. I want to have from the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill a lucid explanation in full as to how far the clubs are protected by this certificate. I do not say there will be such a thing, but it is possible that you may have a body of brewers, such as those foreshadowed by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Rutland (Colonel Gretton), who have a strong objection to clubs—
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
Perhaps you will explain that point. You say that they will not be in any worse position under the existing Sub-sections than they would be under the proposed new Sub-sections, because they will be debarred from having their supply of beer under the Bill as it stands at present.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Perhaps I ought not to have interrupted the hon. Member. What I meant was that the position in which clubs will be put under the new Sub-sections is exactly the same position they are in now—not under the Bill, but as now. They can go to any brewer they like and get their beer from him. The brewers now, if they choose, can create a ring and refuse to supply the beer. They do not do it, and they will have no more reason for doing it after the Bill is passed than they have now. [An HON. MEMBER: "The supply is limited."] Not more than it is now.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
We are legislating now with regard to a limited supply. I understand the answer is that the clubs are protected in respect of the limited supply, because they possess a certificate which gives the brewer the power of creating the necessary supply, and that without that certificate he would not have the power of creating that supply, ergo, he will be anxious, on account of the extra profit brought by the club to him, to do the business with the club. I want to see that clearly foreshadowed. If we do decide to make this alteration, will the hon. Gentleman give us a few days consideration before putting the Bill down for Report?
§ Sir J. D. REES
Referring to the speech of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Denniss), did I understand my hon. Friend in charge of the Bill to accept his argument? I did not quite understand some of the remarks he interjected. There are some of us representing different interests interested in this Bill who believe that there is no interest of clubs or anything else which is prejudiced by the substitution of these two Sub-sections for those in the Bill, but that it will make for the general improvement of the Bill. If there is any difference of opinion about that I should like to know. Will my hon. Friend make that extremely clear? Otherwise some of us who have put down and taken off Amendments will 1422 be in a somewhat awkward position. I do not understand why we should be discussing clubs upon this Amendment, and I do not really believe they are prejudiced by it. We shall have the clubs on later. No one is likely to overlook the clubs. Most of the drinking of Members of Parliament is done in clubs, and they are not likely to forget the clubs at all. They will be fully considered when their time comes. Nor is there this antagonism which my hon. Friend dwelt upon between the brewers and the consumers—I believe the brewers honestly try to suit the consumers—over and above such inevitable antagonism as must exist between everyone who supplies and everyone who uses any commodity. I hope my hon. Friend will stick to his guns.
§ Mr. BOWERMAN
I should like to support the suggestion of my hon. Friend that time should be given for the consideration of these two Sub-sections. This Bill has been before the country for some weeks. It has certainly been before all the clubs, which take quite a keen, if not a keener, interest than a good many retail traders in this matter, and it seems to me that the principle now is turned inside out. Under the Clauses of the Bill as they stood the desire of the clubs was to receive protection—that they should not be boycotted if you like—and that they should not be placed at a disadvantage compared with the houses known as tied houses and so on. The hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill gave a promise that the clubs should be protected. There is no indication given that the Clauses as put down, which have been accepted, would be taken over by the Government, and it is from that point of view that I think those whose interests are vitally affected, and who number some millions of men and many thousands of clubs, should have an ample opportunity of considering the altered state of the Bill, and if that is done, perhaps, the result may be more satisfactory.
§ Sir J. WALTON
I rise to support the contention of my right hon. Friend who has just spoken. The situation is certainly complicated, and the matter requires the most careful consideration. As the Bill stood when we met to-day, clubs were given the right to demand 85 per cent, of the beer that they were receiving before the restrictions came into force, and they were to receive it under the Bill under reasonable conditions. 1423 Already I have communications from licensed holders in houses in my Division that the brewers have raised their prices 6s. per barrel, whilst they have not raised the price to their tied house licensed holders at all. I thought we should require to make a clearer definition of what was meant by their receiving their supply under reasonable conditions. But these new Clauses revolutionise the Bill and alter the basis altogether, and if, on the other hand, it prevents the brewer selling the beer that he has hitherto been supplying to clubs elsewhere, the clubs can get a certificate which entitles them to go to any brewery in the country. In that way I am not certain that the clubs would not fare just as well if not better than under the Clause as framed in the original Bill. But it is such a vital change in the principle, especially when you have compulsorily reduced the quantity of beer to be brewed, that it would almost follow, on the other hand, that you must compulsorily protect the consumers of that beer so that they shall have their proper proportion of the reduced quantity. At any rate, I feel in this matter that it is not sufficiently clear for us to come to a final decision on it, and I should rather that a little time were given in order that both free house licensed holders and also clubs might have an opportunity of considering the proposed Amendment.
§ Sir F. LOWE
I should like to say, in reply to the suggestion that there has not been sufficient time for these new Clauses to be considered, that they have been on the Paper for two or three months at least. I put them on the Paper before the whitsun holidays. The whole thing was before hon. Members. They had the Bill and the Amendment proposed. If they have not considered them it is entirely their own fault, and I cannot see any ground for postponing the discussion. Then, as regards the clubs, they will, under these new Clauses, have just the same power of getting beer from the brewers as they have at present. The only thing is that, as the Bill was originally drawn, it proposed to make it obligatory on the brewers to supply licensed holders and clubs and every sort of person. They are under no such obligation now. A brewer can either supply or not. But the chances are that plenty of brewers would be only too pleased to supply a club or any other person who had a certificate. I cannot for the life of me see, therefore, 1424 what the grievance is in regard to clubs, and no case whatever has been shown for any delay in the final consideration of the Bill.
§ Sir E. CORNWALL
I think the hon. Member is not quite fair in suggesting that those interested in the Bill are at fault because they have not regarded his Amendments on the Paper as Amendments on which they could base their negotiations. They have carried on their negotiations with the Government. They were not told that the Government was going to accept the Amendments of the hon. Member. Therefore, the changes introduced into the Bill by the Government suddenly accepting the hon. Member's Amendments are very large, and I think my right hon. Friend (Mr. Bowerman) is quite right in asking the Board of Trade and the Committee to give those who are concerned with regard to these proposals time to consider their effect. It is rather difficult for us to make up our minds, sitting here in Committee, to the extent of the change or how far it will affect clubs. There is a very large number of clubs in the country. They have approached many Members of the House. I raised the question on Second Reading and the hon. Member agreed to make a concession on the Committee stage, and we are grateful to him for having kept his bargain. I do not suggest now that there is any breaking away from what he promised or that what was in his mind then is not what is in his mind now, but the clubs, which have asked so many Members and who are very much concerned about the provisions of the Bill, should have time to tell' Members of the House who take 'an interest in the matter what they think of the changed conditions which will arise from the introduction of these two Sub-sections. I think the clubs are protected. The main point is that the clubs should be in as good a position in the Bill. I think they are protected, and I should be prepared to meet representatives of the clubs and tell them that in my opinion they would be perfectly safe in readily accepting the altered conditions. But at the same time they have a right to put their case and tell us their views and put them before the Committee, and if we could have inserted in these new Sub-sections the provisions which the Government are prepared to put in with regard to clubs—and there are many Amendments on the Paper with regard to them—we might between now and Report, if the Government do not propose to take 1425 it too soon, get into touch with the representatives of the clubs and, so far as we can, keep them favourable to the proposals of the Government.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
I wish to support this contention on broad grounds. I can quite understand how it has come about that the acceptance of this Clause has been notified to those representing free houses, but, in the great press of business, has not been notified to those who have been the spokesmen for the clubs. In order to get this legislation accepted with the maximum of acquiescence, and to avoid friction throughout the country, surely a very few days are worth while for the purposes which have been made so clear by my hon. Friend. We understood, from an answer of the Prime Minister to-day to the hon. Member for Sheffield, that the Report stage of this and other Bills before the House to-day is contemplated on Thursday. If it were possible to take the Report stage of this Bill on Monday instead of Thursday, there would be ample time to make it clear to the clubs that they are in as good a position as they were in the original Bill or to make it clear to the Government that there is a material difference. I want the Bill to pass into law with the certainty of acceptance, which at the moment it has not got.
§ Mr. N1ELD
I think, after the last one or two speeches which have been made, it is my duty to say this: It may be by accident, but I had knowledge that the Government intended to accept these Amendments, because I was jointly approached with my hon. Friend (Sir F. Lowe) to support the Amendments which were proposed by the licensed holders, and so in a dual capacity I got notice that they were going to accept these Amendments, I can say this, speaking as a member of the governing body—and there are two or three other Members of the House who are also on the governing body of the association of a body of clubs numbering over 1,650 and comprising upwards of half a million of members—that they were acquainted with these proposed Amendments and have considered the substitution of the altered Sub-sections for the old ones. They do not fear the absence of compulsion in regard to getting beer. They are perfectly satisfied that under these new conditions the clubs will be put upon the same basis as the licensed holders, and therefore they do not ask for anything further. They are quite content to accept 1426 this position, and I assure the hon. Member that a very large number indeed of these clubs have thoroughly considered the effect of these Sub-sections and are satisfied to leave matters as they are.
§ Mr. BOWERMAN
While I accept very fully what has been said, I must say that I would rather the assurance came, from the responsible officials of the Clubs Union. So far as I know, whilst they were perfectly satisfied with the assurance given by the hon. Member (Mr. Pretyman) on the Second Reading, that protection would be afforded them, no expression of opinion has been given by the executive of that organisation on the two Sub-sections that are now to be accepted by the Government. It is for that reason that I think they should be given a full opportunity of considering them.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I do not think that necessity arises, because we make it perfectly clear on the face of this Bill that the pledges given to the clubs are absolutely fulfilled, and that they should have exactly the same treatment as other free buyers. That is in the Bill. What we have said in the Bill is that we will put the clubs on exactly the same footing as any other free buyers, without reservation of any sort or kind. What we desired to do was to meet the wishes of the free buyers. They first asked for compulsion. I we then inserted Clause 5 as it stands in the Bill. What is the kind of protection they would get from compulsion? I think I may, perhaps, show the Committee what the difficulties would have been. Under compulsion there would obviously have been a disinclination on the part of the brewer to give beer which he was compelled to give against his will, and which he would prefer to give to his tied house. There would have been all sorts of questions about the quality of the beer, and there would have been complaints as to prices, and so on. The question might have been raised on the part of the brewers that the person who was asking for the beer was not certain to pay for it, and so on, and these questions would have had to have been adjudicated upon by the Board of Trade. We foresaw these difficulties, and we felt, having undertaken to protect the free buyer, that we must face them. The free buyers themselves also realised these difficulties, and they came to the conclusion that from their own point of view the protection which we had undertaken to give them would be 1427 better accorded by giving them their full free trade rights instead of compulsion. They preferred that form of protection rather than the form of protection given in the Bill. As the Clause put down by the hon. Member for Birmingham (Sir F. Lowe) and other Friends were almost similar, we conferred with the representatives of the free buyers, and we amended that Clause on the advice of the draftsman, and the Sub-sections which are on the Paper are the result.
I do not think there is any case for delaying the Bill. The clubs are getting the full measure of the promises made to them, and they are getting absolutely the same treatment as anybody else. That is the promise that I gave and that is the guarantee I give. I am sure the Committee will not suggest that we should give one kind of treatment to free buyers at large and another kind of treatment to the clubs. I quite understand the anxiety of my hon. Friend (Mr. Denniss), and I do not in the least complain of this point being raised in the form in which he raised it, and I do not complain of one word he said, because I admit that our acceptance of this Clause has come as a surprise to a large number of hon. Members. I agree that putting down a Clause in the name of a private Member, however distinguished, does not mean necessarily that it will be accepted, and until the statement was made on behalf of the Government that the Clause will be accepted no hon. Member could necessarily be held bound to have examined the Clause and to have supposed that these words necessarily would be incorporated in the Bill. Were the circumstances not so perfectly clear as they are, I think there would be a very strong case. However, I hope, after what I have said, remembering that this is a War measure, and that it has already been hanging about for a very long time, and that the clubs are getting full protection, and are really going to be not only in the same position as they are now, but even better, I hope we may proceed. The fear expressed is that a club would go to the brewer and that the brewer would be unwilling to supply them and that if he would not supply them any other brewer might refuse. That is exactly the position now without any Bill. If a club goes to a brewer now and that brewer will not supply them they can go to another brewer, and if he will not supply them and if they go to another brewer and 1428 he will not supply them, there is no compulsion at the present time. Therefore, in that respect this Bill does put the clubs in a better position than they are in now, because if a club now takes its custom away from a brewer, that brewer is perfectly at liberty to go on brewing the same amount of beer and can sell to anybody else he likes. The brewer cannot do that under this Bill. The club is given a privilege in common with every other free buyer. If its custom is withdrawn from a brewer, and the brewer has refused to supply them, the club can take its free rights to another brewer, and the amount to which they are entitled will be taken from the maximum barrelage of the brewers ceasing to supply and added to the amount which may be brewed by the brewer who has undertaken to supply. There is no protection of a Government Department, by licences, guarantees, and the rest of it, anything-like as good as the free right to take their custom where they like and get a good article and pay a fair price for it. That is the best guarantee that could be given to them, and they get it under this Bill Therefore, I hope the Committee will accept this change. I have tried to explain it as fully as I can. I hope the words of the Clause as it stands will be allowed to-be withdrawn
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That the proposed words be there inserted—
- "(1) Any licence holder m so far as he is not bound by any covenant, agreement, or undertaking to obtain a supply of beer from any particular brewer, and who has at any time during the year ended the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and sixteen, been supplied with beer by any brewer or brewers, shall be entitled to obtain from such brewer or brewers particulars of the quantities and gravities of the beer supplied, and also a certificate or certificates stating the total number of standard barrels represented by the beer supplied during each quarter of the year ended the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and sixteen, or such shorter period as the supply has continued.
- (2) The licence-holder shall after for-wording any such certificate to the Commissioners be entitled to obtain the same number of standard barrels (reduced by
1429 fifteen per cent.) from any other brewer who may be willing to supply him therewith, and in every such case the maximum barrelage of the brewer ceasing to supply the licence-holder shall be reduced by the amount stated in the certificate (less fifteen per cent.), and that amount shall be transferred to the brewer who has undertaken to supply."
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
If the hon. Member will look further down on the Paper he will see that I am dealing with that on Sub-section (3).
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
It is not actually a Definition Clause, but it is Sub-section (3) of Clause 5, which states what is a licence holder. The words that I propose to insert enlarge the expression "licence holder" so as to include clubs, thereby giving clubs the full privileges of a licence holder, whatever they are under the Bill. If my hon. Friend will accept that and withdraw his Amendment, I shall be glad.
§ Mr. NIELD
I wish I had been able to move it earlier. I saw that my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham (Mr. Denniss) was "stealing my clothes," and I determined to put in an Amendment to give me an opportunity of placing before the Committee that which I was entitled to put on behalf of the clubs I represent. 1430 That is how it comes in as a manuscript Amendment. I can answer the objection of the Board of Trade by saying that it is far more satisfactory in the substantive Section to deal with it in the way I suggest rather than accept what is proposed later on to enlarge the definition of licence holder so as to include clubs, because there you are dealing with an individual, whereas the club is an entity, and you require to have words expressing the person who is to act for the entity, the club. Presently you will have to insert the words "the secretary of any such club." I do think that in the interests of clear reading of the Statute that we should, as far as possible, take care to have it clearly understood without the necessity of explaining it hereafter in some Definition Clause.
Sir RYLAND ADKNS
I should like to support the Amendment. I am thinking of the person who will be reading this Act of Parliament. If you say on the face of the Sub-section "A registered club or a licence holder," etc., there is no room for mistake, there is no temptation to go to consult someone else, and there is no unnecessary expense in understanding what the Statute means in this respect; but if it is a question of going to a later Definition Clause and seeing that it includes so-and-so, we all know in practice that that means time wasted.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
It is not in another Clause; it is in the same Clause, and only a few lines further down. I do hope my hon. and learned Friend will not press this Amendment. The matter has been very carefully considered by the draftsmen. This question is dealt with in a Sub-section which stands in my name and which has been on the Paper for a considerable time, and anyone who reads this Sub-section, which is not a Definition Clause at all, will see that it states, "This Section shall apply to registered clubs and to canteens held under the authority of the Secretary of State," etc. This is not a question of words inserted in a Clause by a private Member; it is an official Government Amendment, and it applies the whole of this Section to registered clubs. I am sure that in the interests of good drafting and in the interests of clearness we must retain this form of expression rather than the haphazard suggestion that has been made, though with perfectly good intention. I Even though made by a gentleman skilled 1431 in drafting as my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Nield), I do not think it would be desirable to accept it.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The hon. Member has told us that clubs are to be put upon the same principle as any other private person.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
No; I did not say so. I said, "as any licence holder and free buyer." A free buyer does not include a private individual. The expression "free buyer" that I used is not used in the Bill; he must be a licence holder. Any licence holder who is a free buyer, whether he be the licence holder of an on-licence public-house or whether he be a beer seller who has been hitherto a free buyer of beer, and not under any kind of contract with a brewer which compels him to sell particular beer provided by a particular brewer, under this Bill he, as a free buyer and licence holder, gets the privileges which this Clause confers. The words I propose to insert provide that a club is included in that definition. It does not include private individuals. A private customer who is in the habit of buying beer direct from the brewer does not get it.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I have kept out of this discussion because I think that the Government are doing what I want them to do. I am thoroughly in favour of the Clause as it was being struck out and the Amendment being put in. What I am asking now is that the words which the right hon. Gentleman used, very likely through a slip of the tongue—"free buyer"—should be incorporated in the Bill, because there is no reason why persons who buy direct from the brewer should not have the same privilege as a club in the same district. I would therefore suggest that the words simply should be "any person." As it is now I think that it is an extremely clumsily-drawn Clause. There is no reason why a club should be in a better position than any other free buyer. The club is in a totally different position from the licensed house, as it does not pay Licence Duty, but it is in exactly the same position as a private person.
If the word "person" were put in a club would not be included, because a person is the one thing which a club is not. It is an association of persons which has no corporate existence. The Interpretation Act which says the 1432 "person" includes corporation and so on would not include club. The word would have to be "purchaser," or some such word as that. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ealing (Mr. Nield) made some suggestion that I had stolen his clothes over this Clause. I do not think that that is quite correct, as I had put down the Amendment for to-day first.
The whole difficulty seems to have arisen from the Clause which the Government have adopted beginning with the words "licence holder," and many who want every free buyer to be included, including clubs, say at once that a club is not a licence holder, and there are any number of free buyers who are not licence holders. The hon. Member in charge of the Bill says that he is going to put some words in, in a Subsection a little lower down, in order to make clear that in addition to licence holders certain other persons, who are free buyers, are to have the same privileges. I do not think that exception will probably be taken to the course suggested by the Government. At the same time the Amendment now before the Committee is equally open to objection because it is "any registered club or licence holder." There are other free buyers besides registered clubs or licence holders. Therefore the suggestion already thrown out would be a very good one, if the Government see their way to adopt it, to commence the Clause by saying "a free buyer as defined in Sub-section (3) shall have" so and so. Then you go to Subsection (3) and say the benefits of this Clause are to belong to so and so, free licence holders, who are free buyers, and to the various classes which the Government have already indicated they would include. There is a proper way to do these things, and there is a way which is bound to lead to confusion. My sympathies are entirely with the public who have got to construe this Bill. Some day or other a copy of this Act will be found in every club, and they will want to know exactly how they stand. I do not think it fair of the Government, or of anybody who proposes an Amendment here, to cast upon a number of individuals, some of whom have no legal training whatever, who are running these clubs, the difficulty of construing an Act of Parliament that commences with a statement that is inconsistent with the rest of the Act. I think, therefore, that the initial words of the Clause ought to be such as to enable the 1433 members of every class entitled to benefit under it as free buyers to know that they are included in that class. It should not begin with an expression clearly restricting it to one class.
The hon. Gentleman will agree that free buyer and club are not exactly the same thing. A club might have an agreement to take some beer, which agreement might be terminated after the termination of this Act. Will such institution have the benefit of Clause 5?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
That is so. I am afraid that I cannot accept the Amendment suggested by my hon. Friend that we should include every private buyer, for all the small quantities of beer required by private buyers in a free market. I do not think that this is necessary. Does my hon. Friend really suggest that every private buyer who has ever bought beer from a brewery in any small quantity should be entitled to a certificate for that amount of beer less 15 per cent. I do not think he would press that. I rather expected when we included clubs that someone would raise this point—"Why should not every private buyer have these rights?" I do not think it necessary. It would throw a lot of work upon the commissioners who would be plunged into all sorts of difficulties. There will be very little difficulty for private people who want beer getting all they want.
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment negatived.
§ Colonel GRETTON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1) of the proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and sixteen," and to insert instead thereof the words, "thirtieth day of September, nineteen hundred and fifteen."
The hon. Gentleman made great difficulty about accepting an Amendment of mine to make the periods of the brewers and the buyers correspond. The Bill proposes to give the free licence holder a different period from that given to the brewers. Whichever period the Government adopt will make no difference in the total quantity of 26,000,000 barrels. A large proportion of the business of many brewers is dealing with free traders. There is for brewers obviously great difficulty if the free buyer has certificates for one period and the brewer himself has only a right to brew quantities for another period with a less quantity of beer in his 1434 particular case. It has been suggested, that the free buyer might call for a certificate and hand it back to the brewer. It is an extraordinary suggestion that the brewer should increase his quantities by a process of that kind, and I cannot think that it is seriously proposed. I see very great difficulties in carrying out this process. The Excise would have great difficulty because they would have to amend and adjust their quantities.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I cannot accept this Amendment. The reason for bringing this up to the date 31st March, 1916, is that we are dealing with contracts between retailers and consumers and brewers, and it is obvious that we want to take the most recent period we possibly can in order, as far as possible, to make our arrangements upon the existing basis, and not upon arrangements which were made some time ago. The small difference which my hon. Friend suggests will create great difficulties will not create any difficulties. The only difference between a certificate given under this Clause and a certificate-perhaps given under the Amendment proposed by my hon. Friend is this, that if we alter the date to September, 1915, the sum total of the certificates which can be given would necessarily tally exactly with the limitation of the 26,000,000 barrels under this Clause. There might be a trivial excess. To that extent the brewer would benefit, but beyond that there would be no trouble whatever. They would have in some cases when a certificate is handed to them to alter the total. I cannot see that any difficulty would arise. I hope that my hon. Friend will accept the Amendment as it stands as one which is convenient for both parties.
§ Colonel GRETTON
I cannot think that my hon. Friend realises the position. The sum total of the quantities for the United Kingdom will show very little variation in the certificates, but there will be considerable variation in certain districts. I do not object to the words here, provided that there is the same period for the brewer and the buyer. I think I can convince my hon. Friend, and will ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Colonel GRETTON
I beg to propose as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, after the word "brewers," to insert the words "failing agreement with suck-brewer or brewers."
1435 This Amendment is, of course, somewhat different from what the Government contemplates. Its effect would be that the buyer, before taking his certificate, should endeavour to come to some agreement with his brewer. It is not the intention of this Bill that the free-licence holder, or anyone else should upset the trade. We want to carry out the object of the Government, and they desire to carry out the restriction with the least amount of possible disturbance. Therefore, I ask that these words may be inserted in order that the buyer may go to his brewer and settle with him, and not take away his custom for frivolous or unnecessary reasons, or anything of that kind, but that there shall be the ordinary trading negotiations. As this Clause stands it is contemplated by some of those who agree with it that the buyer should go to his brewer and get a certificate of the quantity of standard barrels, and go straight with it to another brewer. The presumption is that he has bought at a certain price beer of a certain quality which has been suitable to his trade and given satisfaction. Why should it be presumed that this trade is necessarily to be upset? I ask that these words should be inserted, so that there may be some negotiations between the two parties before certificates are transferred, and I take it that it is not desired to upset existing trade arrangements by reason of the necessity of having to pass this Act.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I am afraid I cannot accept these words. I do not think it at all amiss that the hon. Gentleman should move the Amendment and in the opinion he has expressed, and I am, personally, quite in agreement, and I hope that no customer will take the certificate away from the brewer who is at present supplying him without previous negotiation, and I assume that will be done in the ordinary course of trade. I cannot sec why the right to this certificate should make any difference in the natural order of proceedings between the brewer and the customer, and no reasonable man would leave his brewer without he had some ground of complaint or until after he had entered into some kind of negotiation. The proceedings under the Bill merely give him the right to a certificate, and for myself I do not think we ought to insert words which would give the right to demand a certificate. I hope the hon. 1436 Gentleman will be content with having raised the point, and will not press words which would have no meaning and no effect whatever.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
What is the position with regard to the Clause? It is desired that there shall be perfect freedom to deal with anyone, and, supposing that is the effect of the Clause, the words which are now proposed would in no way limit that freedom. They merely suggest that in the giving of this freedom there should be some negotiations with the brewer before the trade is taken away. The words would not have the slightest effect on the question of principle, and they would express the intention of Parliament in giving this very wide freedom. Of course if the words are refused I do not suppose they will be pressed upon the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. NIELD
If the Government accepted those words I think the draftsman would have something to say about them to begin with, and, moreover, the buyers would find they were fettered, because they would first have to fail to get an agreement as a condition precedent to asking for a certificate to buy elsewhere. The seller of the beer should be a free man, and if he says he is going to a new brewer he might be told that he could not get a certificate because he had failed to come to an agreement. He would have all the trouble of a miniature arbitration, if he failed to come to an agreement, before he could enforce a certificate. I certainly object to the insertion of the words.
§ Colonel GRETTON
The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, and another hon. Member on the other side, have talked of the free buyer being able to endow another brewer with the certificate. That is not the intention, and what is wanted is that if the buyer cannot get beer of the quality which he requires, and on terms which are reasonable under the circumstances, he should be able to get beer elsewhere. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Nield) is under a misconception of what took place earlier in the Debate, and he has clearly indicated that these buyers should be able to demand a certificate and put it in his pocket to go elsewhere. The free buyer, and everybody who has any dealing under this Bill, is treated better than the brewer. I think it is unfair that the hon. and learned Member who has got so much without any opposition whatever should raise objection 1437 to these words. I will raise this point again on Report, and I hope the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill will be in a more conciliatory frame of mind, and do -something to meet the free trade brewer. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in Sub-section (1), after the word "quantities" ["particulars of the quantities and gravities"], to leave out the words "and gravities."
There would be great difficulty in supplying the gravities, and in the case of very small orders it would, in many cases, mean an enormous amount of research. The gravities vary owing, it may be, to variations of temperature, and so forth, and it would be exceedingly difficult to give the information. In moving to leave out the word "gravities," I had intended to include the word "qualities."
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
The object of putting in the word "gravities" is to enable the customer to test whether the number of standard barrels which the brewer gives him upon certificate tallies with his own records of the amount of beer which he has received. The buyer knows that the standard barrel is 10.55, and the gravity of the beer supplied may vary anything from 10.30 to 10.55.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Or 10.70. I only give the information which I naturally absorb in studying the Bill. I understood it was 10.55 the standard barrel, and the gravity of the beer, may be either greater than 10.55 or less, that is supplied to the customer in so many barrels of beer. The customer may not know exactly what the gravity was, and if he desires to ask his brewer for a certificate, he will have had, say, 200 barrels during the period to which the certificate applies, and he will get a certificate from the brewer for 189 barrels. He will want to know whether he can check that quantity against the 200 barrels of beer which he actually had, and in order to do that he would only have to do a simple sum to get the gravities, by multiplying each set of barrels by the gravity of the beer he has had, add those together, and divide it by 55.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
If my hon. Friend will have one moment's patience, I will 1438 explain. The reason why those words were inserted was that customers thought them necessary to enable them to have a check. My hon. Friend says it is impossible that those particulars can be furnished.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Of course, if they cannot be furnished accurately I do not think we should impose an obligation on the brewer which cannot be carried out; but my information was that the particulars could be supplied. Still, I know that my hon. Friend is a very high authority on the point, and I will consider it with the experts before the Report stage. I think it better to leave it as it stands now, and between now and Report perhaps my hon. Friend will confer with me and the experts, and if it is found that it is impossible really to give the gravities, then I will take the word out, or insert some other word. The word "qualities" is rather an indefinite word, and it would be rather difficult in regard to the quality of beer to find what is exactly meant by the word "quality." We will discuss that point on Thursday on the Report stage, and, I hope, arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.
§ Colonel HALL WALKER
I think if you read the next line it might cover the whole case, because in any event you have to supply a certificate of the standard barrel-age, and it is, as a rule, quite sufficient for the man when he gets the same quantity of standard barrels, less 15 per cent. One brewer may be making beer of a strong brew and another of a weaker brew, but the main thing under this Bill is that every man gets his fair share, less 15 per cent. of the standard barrels brewed.
§ Colonel GRETTON
Beer generally is sold under descriptions, with no guarantee of gravities, although certain brewers have gravities which they use and which are well known to the trade. What is proposed by the Section could not really be done.
I think that these words ought to be left out. I think the customer will get all the protection wanted and reasonable by having the quantity supplied and also the standard barrelage. If you are going to ask every brewer to go back over last year and make out a statement as to the gravity of all the beer he supplied, you are asking brewers to do something which the majority would be absolutely unable to do. Even if it were 1439 possible, it is one of those particulars which each individual member of the trade keeps to himself. I trust that the hon. Member will see his way to accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Colonel GRETTON
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (2), to insert the words "provided that where the licence holder is himself a brewer for sale, the certificate shall not be used to obtain a transfer of barrelage for himself."
I think this Amendment is one which is thoroughly justified. It really does not concern anybody outside brewers themselves, and it carries out the principle of making the least possible disturbance of trade. These words are not my own, but were suggested to me, and I am indifferent as to the exact form of words, as long as the principle is carried out.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I am prepared to accept this Amendment in principle. I have not yet had time to submit the actual wording to the draftsman, but will do so between now and Report stage. If I have any change in drafting to suggest, I hope my hon. Friend will not object.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I beg to move, in Sub-section (3), to leave out the words "a retailer's on-licence," and to insert instead thereof the words "an Excise licence."
This is the first of a series of Amendments dealing with this Sub-section. These Amendments are intended to include in this Section under the expression "licence holder," as I have already indicated, all the free sellers of beer and also the clubs. I will read the Section as it will stand when amended, and I hope that the Amendments which stand in the name of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Sir F. Lowe) and other hon. Members, which are designed to carry out the same intention as that carried out by my Amendments, may be withdrawn. The Section will read:
"In this Section the expression 'licence holder' means the holder of an Excise licence, authorising the sale by retail of beer, whether wholesale or by retail, and includes where any licensed premises have changed hands the licence holder, for the time being…and where the holder of a licence is a manager, managing the licensed 1440 premises on behalf of any other person, or a tenant of any other person, who controls the ordering of the beer for the premises, the person who so controls the ordering of the beer. This Section shall apply to registered clubs and to canteens, held under the authority of the Secretary of State, or the Admiralty, as it applies to licensed premises, with the substitution of the person managing the club or canteen for the licence holder."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In Sub-section (3) leave out the words "by retail" ["retail of beer"].
§ After the word "beer" ["retail of beer"] insert the words "whether wholesale or by retail."
§ At the end of the Sub-section insert the words "and where the holder of the licence is a manager, managing the licensed premises on behalf of any other person, or a tenant of any other person who controls the ordering of beer for the premises, the person who so controls the ordering of the beer." After the words last inserted add,
§ "(4) This Section shall apply to registered clubs and to canteens held under the authority of the Secretary of of State, or the Admiralty, as it applies to licensed premises, with the substitution of the person managing the club or canteen for the licence holder."—[Mr. Pretyman.]
§ Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.