§ 21. Mr. R. Morgan
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the experiments which are being carried out in allowing greater freedom in London for the consumption of alcohol up to 2 a.m. in a limited number of approved establishments; whether this is intended to reduce the menace of the bottle party; and whether it is proposed to take steps 874 to limit the number of bottle party undertakings which after that hour permit music and dancing and the consumption of alcohol on their premises without licence or control of any kind?
§ 19. Mr. Denville
asked the Home Secretary whether he will give an assurance that the proposal to allow a few licensed premises in London additional facilities for supplying alcohol up to 2 a.m. will not prevent him continuing to use all the means in his power to find a way of closing down premises which, under the name of bottle parties, are habitually used for providing entertainment and for the consumption of alcohol throughout the night?
§ 24. Mr. McEntee
asked the Home Secretary whether it is with his approval that the police are proposing to grant permission to a certain number of restaurants in London to sell alcholic liquor up to 2 a.m. on many nights during the week, with the object of competing with bottle parties; what means it is proposed to adopt to ensure that these concessions are fairly distributed; and whether he will give an assurance that all licensed premises, whether they cater for the rich or poor, will be treated alike in this respect?
§ 32. Sir Patrick Hannon
asked the Home Secretary whether he will give an assurance that the extensions of licence recently grantedon an experimental basis by the Commissioner of Police to approved licensed premises in the West End of London do not constitute the only action which is to be taken to suppress the unrestricted supply and consumption of intoxicants in unlicensed premises used as bottle parties?
§ Sir J. Anderson
With the object of providing for members of the Forces on leave adequate facilities for entertainment in the late evening under proper conditions and at reasonable prices the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police decided with my approval to try the experiment of giving special orders of exemption to a few restaurants with suitable premises. One order of exemption was given for Saturday, 20th April, and two for Saturday, 27th April. The results of this experiment are now under consideration in consultation with the Service authorities. Action against bottle parties at which the law is broken continues to be taken by the police; but, as 875 I informed the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) on 25th April, I have been making further inquiries about this aspect of the matter and I hope to be in a position to make a statement at an early date.
Will my right hon. Friend remember that taxi-cabs are necessary to take these officers there?
§ Mr. T. Williams
Are these special facilities offered only to travelling soldiers or are they available to London residents?
§ Sir J. Anderson
I think the facilities must, of necessity, be available to all who wish to take advantage of them.
§ Mr. Thorne
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it about time the bottle parties were "bottled up"?
Will my right hon. Friend also consider extending these facilities to areas other than the Central London area? In Kensington, for instance, the closing hour is 10 p.m.