§ '.—(1) It shall be an offence for any person to consume any alcoholic liquor in any public place and a constable may arrest without warrant any person committing such an offence.
(2) In this section—
alcoholic liquor" has the same meaning as in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976.
public place" means any place to which the public do or may have access which is not licensed premises in semis of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976.'.—[Mr. Bill Walker.]
§ —Brought up, and read the First time.3.47 pm
§ Madam Speaker
I understand that with this it will be convenient to discuss also new clause 81—Public consumption of alcoholic liquor by persons under the age of eighteen—'.—(1) It shall be an offence for any person under the age of eighteen years to consume any alcoholic liquor in any public place and a constable may arrest without warrant any person committing such an offence.
(2) In this section—alcoholic liquor" has the same meaning as in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976.public place" means any place to which the public do or may have access which is not licensed premises in terms of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976.'.
§ Mr. Walker
I welcome the fact that present in the Chamber are the hon. Members for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Mr. McKelvey), for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) and for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion). I must also declare an interest, as vice-chairman of the all-party Scotch whisky group. Other officers and members of that group are present in the Chamber, and they support the measures that I have before the House.
Neither I nor any of my supporters oppose the consumption of alcoholic liquor. How could we, when we are members of the all-party Scotch whisky group? However, we oppose the drinking of liquor in public places, where its consumption creates a nuisance to others.
Legislation currently passing through the House seems likely to provide the opportunity for off-licences, supermarkets and distillery shops to open on Sunday. I support Sunday opening, particularly that of distillery shops. Mine is a large rural constituency, where tourism is a vital aspect of my constituents' well-being. It seems nonsense to us that people can go around and view our distillery shops on a Sunday, yet cannot buy the products on display. We should change the legislation.
We must face the fact that the enlightened legislation could be at risk. It might not be well received. If individuals take the opportunity to shop on Sunday and purchase the alcoholic drink, then immediately go outside and consume it outside the door of the shop, supermarket, 215 off-licence or wherever, that would create the kind of nuisance that would bring the enlightened legislation into disrepute.
As every hon. Member knows, in every city and town, and in many villages, there are public areas—parks, civic squares and other places where the public congregate—where groups of people drink alcohol and create a public nuisance. The experiment conducted in my home town of Dundee demonstrated that, with adequate local supervision and policing, it is possible to prevent that nuisance.
Sadly, it also showed that such action can drive the nuisance into other parts of the community. Consequently —I hope that my hon. Friend on the Front Bench is listening—a statutory measure seems to be the only way to address that problem. I suggest that my new clauses are the logical way to do so, particularly, as I have mentioned, with the other legislation that is going through the House.
Another matter of great concern to all of us in our constituencies is under-age drinking. We have seen the problem increase over the years. It is particularly sad to see under-age drinking in public places, and it is an ever-increasing problem. New clause 81 sets out to address that unique problem. Consequently, if my hon. Friend is to tell me that, for technical reasons, he cannot accept new clause 77, he might consider that the under-age aspect of new clause 81 merits much more consideration. I am sure that he will realise and recognise the importance of addressing that nuisance and social problem.
It will not be good enough for us to wring our hands and try to wish the matter away. All of us who take an interest in the well-being and welfare of the Scotch whisky industry recognise that it is awfully easy to blame it for the failings of individuals. I have to be careful because, as the House knows, I am teetotal. I do not want be looked on as the "unco' guid". That is the last type of image that I would wish to project.
I believe that social drinking is a huge asset in a community. I must make that quite clear. I believe that alcoholic drink—however and wherever it is consumed, if it is done properly and does not create a nuisance for others —can be beneficial to the well-being of the community atmosphere.
However, there will always be people who will ignore and put at risk the well-being of others, and will abuse the system. The Bill gave me and my hon. Friends the opportunity to do something about that. I hope that the Minister will say that he recognises that the problem cannot and will not be wished away, and that he recognises that it will have to be legislated away.
We cannot expect that people whom we wish to change will change simply because we ask them to. Sadly, one of the great problems is that people who are subjected to the ghastly problem of an alcoholic disease are not the kind that one can chat to. Therefore, we must give powers to the local constabulary to remove those people if they are creating a nuisance in a public place.
I recognise that the Minister might ask what would happen in the case of someone sitting outside a pub. If there were a table and four chairs outside a pub in Paris, everyone would know that they were part of the pub or café, but, if one sees a table and four chairs outside a pub in Scotland, one knows that a warrant sale is taking place —our pubs do not have tables and chairs outside. I 216 therefore believe that there is no risk of the public place, as defined in new clause 81, being mistaken for anything other than what was intended. New clause 81 has been deliberately worded to fit exactly what I call the Scottish domain:'public place' means any place to which the public do or may have access which is not licensed premises in terms of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976.
If a country pub has a large garden, that garden will be recognised as part of the pub, which would not be the case with a park or any open space that the public use for recreational activities.
§ Mr. George Kynoch (Kincardine and Deeside)
I have listened with great interest to my hon. Friend's argument. He mentioned tourism and its importance to his constituency, and he will be aware that many overseas visitors come to our part of Scotland. They sometimes eat picnics on the way, and it is often the continental custom to have a bottle of wine with lunch. How would my hon. Friend deal with a tourist—not the driver of a car, but a passenger—having a glass of wine with a picnic lunch in a public place?
§ Mr. Walker
I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention, but I have to tell him that such a case could covered with no difficulty. If he examines the new clauses, he will find that they would give policemen the appropriate power.
However, I do not believe that any policemen in Scotland's tourist areas would do anything to upset the tourist industry. More than any other group, the police help tourism in my area by being very helpful to visitors. I do not anticipate any problems in this respect. Indeed, I examined many such issues when considering how to word the new clauses, and it is why I had them worded as concisely and as clearly as I could.
I am assured by the legal brains who know much more about such matters than I do that the new clauses are technically satisfactory. However, I accept that my hon. Friend the Minister must, on behalf of the Government, consider how to fit them in with the legislation as a whole. He may come back to me and suggest that, for some reason, the new clauses do not quite measure up, in which case I hope that he will be positive and say that the Government have something in mind to deal with the problem. I believe that the new clauses would deal with the problem, but I would understand if my hon. Friend the Minister were to tell me that, for technical reasons, he would like to travel another route.
I again thank my hon. Friend the Member for Kincardine and Deeside (Mr. Kynoch) for his helpful intervention. That is all I have to say at this stage, other than that I hope that the Minister will be able to make a constructive and positive reply.
§ Mr. William McKelvey (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Perhaps I, too, should declare an interest, as we have just heard the hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) disclose his interest as vice-chairman of the Scotch whisky group. I, for my sins, chair the all-party Scotch whisky group, and we promote the industry wherever we can. Unlike my colleague, I have to confess that from time to time, and in moderation, I consume some of our national product, so I am not taking an anti-alcohol stance; I wish merely to highlight the problems in most of our city and town centres. 217 It has already been mentioned that the councils in Aberdeen and Dundee experimented by designating certain areas in which it would be an offence to drink in public. It was successful in those areas, but, as a by-product, it drove the people who had abused alcohol in the streets in those areas into the back streets and the housing schemes. So the inhabitants, especially those who live in housing schemes, have been lumbered with what we removed from the city centres and tourist spots.
It is expected that, in other legislation to come before the House shortly, the laws on opening hours in Scotland on Sundays will be brought more into line with those in England, especially so that off-sales can open on Sundays during certain periods to sell liquor. That means that, in areas in which people are demented for six days of the week, they might well soon be demented for the seventh day, too, so some hon. Members are already expressing opposition to the measure.
We had hoped that, if the Government took the provisions of the new clauses seriously on board, perhaps we could placate at least those hon. Members who fear the nuisance caused by people drinking alcohol in the housing schemes, and especially by under-age drinkers, because they could be controlled and the problem alleviated.
The hon. Member for Tayside, North said that he did not wish to be thought unco' guid—to use the term that Burns would use. As the two of us bear the same christian name, that reminds me of "Holy Willie's Prayer". Not only has a Conservative Member introduced the new clause., but now another hon. Member who is interested in the alcohol trade and who confesses to consuming alcohol in moderation, but who understands the problems, especially for householders who have to put up with the menace week after week, day in and day out, is speaking in favour. I understand why such people resist the idea of the off-licence in their housing scheme being allowed to open more.
I hope that Ministers will be able to conceive of a way of giving licensing authorities more extensive powers to designate areas—perhaps areas of particular nuisance—where opening should not be allowed on Sundays. In a former life, I was chairman of a licensing committee, and I had the dubious distinction of having managed to award the first licence to a pavement public house, in as much as the owner of the public house also owned part of the pavement and could put out tables and chairs on it. At the time, that caused an uproar in Dundee, because people thought that it would be the ultimate in degradation.
§ Mr. McKelvey
Not only the weather. But I recall that, one bright summer, there were only three days on which anyone was prepared to sit outside to sip their lager. Anyway, what happened was not the horror story that people feared.
If we dignify and humanise the activities of people who consume alcohol, that will assist the areas of the trade that the hon. Member for Tayside, North described as the reasonable and interested bodies that prepare and sell alcohol. They, too, are concerned about alcohol abuse, and supply not only information but funds to ensure that the information reaches the public.
I hope that the Minister will consider the matter seriously and that, if the new clauses are not acceptable in 218 their present form, he will at least accept the spirit—perhaps I should not use that word, so I shall say that I hope that he will accept their intention. The intention is to solve a problem and to ease the passage of a forthcoming piece of legislation, for the sake of those who wish, mainly honourably, for access to alcohol through off-licences and supermarkets on Sundays in Scotland.
§ Mr. McAllion
May I make a hat trick of hon. Members declaring their interest? You have heard, Madam Speaker, from the chairman and the vice-chairman of the all-party Scotch whisky group. You are now hearing from the secretary of the group. I probably tend towards the chairman's position in relation to the consumption of alcohol, rather than to the vice-chairman's position.
Hon. Members should understand that we are not trying by means of the new clause to ban social drinking in public places. We are not against people having a drink when they attend a fete, go to the highland games or have a picnic in a park, when they may want a glass of wine with their meal.
We are trying to address the problem of those who cause a nuisance to other people by drinking, whether on the street in the centre of towns or in housing schemes in Scotland, especially in the peripheral housing estates which surround most cities in Scotland. There is a problem there of people drinking outside off-licences and causing a severe nuisance to people who live adjacent to the off-licence.
I have always believed that it is nonsense that, in Scotland, it should be an offence for someone under 18 to go into an off-licence to purchase liquor and an offence for an adult to go into an off-licence to purchase liquor on behalf of someone who is under 18, but that it is not an offence for someone under 18 to stand outside the off-licence and consume alcoholic liquor. If some of the neighbours called the police and said that there were youngsters drinking wine—fortified wine, not the French variety—nothing could be done. The police would say that the youngsters were not committing an offence, and that there was nothing that they could do.
Years ago, I brought the problem to the attention of the Under-Secretary of State for cotland, the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton). He responded by saying that the Government had pilot projects in Scotland, one of which was in Dundee, under which it was an offence for anyone to consume liquor in certain areas. He said that the Scottish Office would see how the pilot schemes worked out and would then make a decision about what changes to the law would be made.
The Minister has peddled that line for a number of years. It is time that we stopped waiting for the outcome of the pilot projects. The Government should get off their backside and start to do something about the problem, which is serious for many people living in cities.
I know that such schemes are not the perfect solution, because I know what happened in Dundee. We were able to clear away from the centre of the city the people who sat drinking strong lagers and fortified wines. However, they went to the top of Hilltown and sat on the benches that were meant for mothers whose toddlers were using the swings. They sat there drinking, and mothers and toddlers were frightened to go into the parks. It is not a solution simply to say that we should extend the area to cover the whole city. 219 We know that people who have drink problems—who suffer from alcoholism—will not be cured simply because we make it an offence to drink alcohol in public places. All we shall do is drive those people into areas where they think that they will not be discovered. They will go under bridges and into parks. They will find derelict sites and they may go into subways which take people under busy roads. They will sit and drink there, in the hope that they will not be suspected.
Although I hope that the Minister pays attention to the points in the new clauses, I also hope that he will realise that they are not a solution, and that they may simply create a different kind of problem in a different area of Scottish cities.
I am especially concerned about new clause 81, which specifically makes it an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to consume alcoholic liquor in a public place in Scotland. During the Easter recess, I was asked by one of the detached youth workers who work in my constituency to visit an area of Dundee called Mid Craigie, and to speak to about a dozen youngsters in the area about the problems facing people under 21 who live in schemes in which there are high levels of unemployment and poverty.
I spoke to the youngsters, and it immediately became obvious that one of the major reasons why they turned to drink—and to drugs, in some cases—was that there was nothing for them to do in their area. No facilities were available in their area specifically for young people.
The hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) knows Dundee well, so he knows that Mid Craigie is adjacent to Whitfield. He knows that there is a community centre there, and he may say, "Why do the youngsters from Mid Craigie not go to the community centre in Whitfield and get involved in a useful pursuit there?"
Such matters are very territorial when people are young. People living in Mid Craigie would never go to Whitfield to attend a function, because they would be frightened that they would be attacked by the local youths; the same is true of the idea that people from Whitfield would go to Mid Craigie. That is true of any area of any Scottish city. Kids need facilities in their own areas if they are to be attracted away from drugs, drinking and other illegal activities.
The same goes for the city centre. It is okay to provide discos and youth centres in the centre of Dundee, but many youngsters do not have the price of a bus fare to get into the centre. If they cannot afford the entrance fees to the discos, they will try to do something else in their own area.
Unfortunately, in Scotland today, a number of off-licences, especially in the peripheral housing schemes in our cities, are stocking up on the kind of drinks which get people drunk quickly and which are targeted directly at the young. Drinks such as Diamond White and Diamond Blush—fortified types of drink which are meant to get people drunk quickly—are being stocked in the hope that under-age people will go into the off-licences to buy them.
Even the very suggestion, which is often made, that people should drink from the neck of the bottle rather than out of a glass, and that it is meant to be a designer way in which to drink, as seen in all the advertisements in the alcohol industry, is meant to get people drunk faster. If one drinks directly from the bottle, the alcohol gets into one's bloodstream more quickly.
220 There is a serious problem, so we must tackle the root cause of young people turning to drink or drugs. One of the main reasons is the way in which the House has treated young people for a considerable number of years. There is rampant youth unemployment in all our cities.
I know that the Minister will say that there is a youth training place available for every youngster who wants one between the ages of 16 and 18. He should come to Dundee and speak to the youngsters that I spoke to, some of whom are 19 and have gone through that age bracket without ever being offered any youth training place. They have never been given a place or the chance to make a mark in the economy.
As a result, those youngsters had to apply for severe hardship allowances, which many were denied because of the strict criteria set to qualify for them. As a result, they did not receive housing benefit or income support, and many felt that there was no alternative but to turn to crime, or to take to drink or drugs, and the only place they could do that was outside off-licences in the city.
While I support the idea of cracking down on those people who cause a social nuisance in our society, especially in Scotland, I support even more the Government beginning to draw attention to the problems facing young people in the cities in Scotland, to those youngsters' lack of opportunity, to the poverty that affects young people in Scotland, and to the fact that they have few rights. It is high time the Government began to treat young people as equal members of our society. If they did, we might not need such debates in the House.
§ Dr. Norman A. Godman (Greenock and Port Glasgow)
May I begin by apologising to the hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker)? I was in another meeting, and I literally had to gallop to get here. Given my advanced age, that is not perhaps the wisest thing to do.
I happily added my name to the new clauses, because in my constituency there are three localities where a great deal of public drinking takes place. The Minister visited one of the those areas—not for the purpose of public drinking, but to look at the poor housing and some of the fine housing renovation which is taking place. I am referring to the east end of Greenock, where my constituents were pleased that the Minister made time to come along.
Many of the people who indulge in such public drinking suffer from alcohol abuse. May I catch the Minister's attention for a moment, if the Whip, the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. Patnick), could keep quiet for a second?
What guidance is given to the police to deal with that public drinking, which is a terrible nuisance to ordinary, decent people who are out shopping or are in the streets for lawful and legitimate purposes? Those drinkers, who are often heavy drinkers, can become extremely aggressive and abusive when in drink. I am grateful to the Whip for looking after me in that redcap style of his.
§ Dr. Godman
Yes, a red coat would be more appropriate with that sun tan. May I return to more serious matters? I only wish that the Whip would stop clowning about.
In dealing with the problems related to public drinking, not only by youngsters but by men and women of all ages, what is the Government's current proposal for designated 221 places? In terms of dealing with public drinking by people suffering from alcohol abuse and misuse, designated places play an important role.
I also ask the Minister what financial assistance the Scottish Office is giving to Inverclyde council, and, indeed, other councils, with regard to alcoholism. They do fine work in dealing with those who suffer the terrible plight of alcohol misuse and abuse. If the Minister cannot accept the new clauses, his officials and representatives from the police forces in such areas where drinking in public takes place need to get together to tackle much more effectively than hitherto that terrible public nuisance, while at the same time protecting those who suffer from the terrible illness of alcohol abuse and misuse.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton)
As a former military policeman, the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) will appreciate that many of these matters are for the operational discretion of police officers on the spot. Of course, the chief constable of Strathclyde will be aware of that. We have not given him specific guidance on these matters, but we take seriously the issues involved with the health and education of young people.
Obviously, I am very much against drinking to excess in any form. We are concerned about health, and the consequences of drinking to excess. We must influence young people positively about the use of alcohol, and highlight the health and other consequences associated with its misuse.
At present, many Scottish schools tackle alcohol issues within the context of comprehensive health and social education programmes. The Scottish Office, the Health Education Board for Scotland, the Scottish Council on Alcohol and health boards are also involved, and parents have a fundamental role in the education of their children.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The hon. Gentleman will be pleased to learn that we have given an increased allocation of £138,000 this year to the Scottish Council on Alcohol. The council will be assisting with these matters with particular reference to young people.
§ Mr. McAllion
The Minister mentioned education about alcohol in our schools. Can he tell the House when that education programme begins in schools in Scotland? Representatives of the alcohol project that is currently working in Whitfield, Mid Craigie and Linlathen in my constituency told me recently that they have evidence that children as young as eight and nine are beginning to drink or to experiment with drink. Will such an education programme go into primary schools as well as secondary schools?
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The hon. Gentleman makes the territorial point that, whereas action is being taken in Whitfield, that may not apply with equal strength in Mid Craigie. I shall certainly make inquiries on that point.
I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the byelaws with regard to Dundee, where he is from, have been confirmed by the Scottish Office. Indeed, we are taking action. It is for local authorities to come forward with proposals, and the 222 Scottish Office will process them as quickly as possible. We are already taking action on a large number of fronts. We recognise that the problem of under-age drinking needs to be tackled on several fronts.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
I shall give way when I have developed my argument and explained what we are doing on byelaws.
For example, we have made it an offence for any person to buy alcohol or to sell it to a person under the age of 18, and for a person under the age of 18 to buy alcohol for his or any other person's consumption. We already have powers and penalties to deal with unacceptable behaviour which is, rightly, associated with drinking in public places.
Offences have been introduced relatively recently in the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 covering, first, drunk and incapable behaviour; secondly, obstruction of the lawful passage of another person in a public place; thirdly, acts of vandalism; and fourthly, the banning of alcohol from sporting events.
There have been a number of other law and order measures, such as tightening up the giving of late-night licences. In addition, behaviour likely to cause alarm or annoyance can constitute the common law crime of breach of the peace, and the penalties available to the courts for these offences include sizeable fines and imprisonment.
§ Mr. Bill Walker
I would not have tabled these new clauses if I had considered that the byelaws were working effectively. The designated places experience in Dundee has demonstrated that, while one can remove the problem from the areas that are designated, there is nothing now in statute that allows Dundee city council to deal with all the other areas that people have gone to. Therein lies the problem.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
I am aware of the problem that my hon. Friend mentions—that the successful introduction of a byelaw can displace the problem to a neighbouring area. I can only suggest that, when local authorities consider byelaw applications, they also consider whether they wish to extend the areas concerned to cover displacement. If there is clear justification for such an extension, it may be helpful to do so. Local authorities are free to come forward with proposals in the matter.
As for the proposals that we have put before local authorities about byelaws, we have asked them to consider making byelaws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in designated public places, and have invited them to put forward proposals.
Such byelaws have been very successful in Motherwell and Dundee, and they have been specifically targeted at particular trouble spots. They offer a useful means of combating the problem of behaviour by people of all ages, and have been widely welcomed. The maximum penalty for breaching the byelaws is £500. I hope that more local authorities throughout Scotland will come forward with proposals, which, as I have already confirmed, we will process quickly.
§ Dr. Godman
On the question of under-age drinking, is the Minister trying to tell the House that he is satisfied with the measures employed by his officials and others in dealing with the activities of unscrupulous off-licensees 223 who will sell booze, if they can get away with it, to kids of any age? I do not believe that the measures currently in force are tough enough to cope with these dealers.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The hon. Gentleman is speaking about offences that are being committed. It is a question of evidence. When the evidence is available, the police are in a position to take it forward. It is exactly the same with glue sniffing. When products that can be misused are sold across the counter illegally, it should be reported to the police and action should be taken.
We have no plans to introduce a general offence prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in public places by people of any age, or specifically by people under 18. The reason is that given by my hon. Friend the Member for Kincardine and Deeside (Mr. Kynoch): an absolute ban on drinking in public places would penalise innocent activities, such as family picnics and other occasions, where public consumption of alcohol is perfectly acceptable.
It would be a draconian measure to introduce a general offence, as not all of Scotland has entirely the same problems or suffers them to the same extent. The way forward is through byelaws. A whole range of legislative penalties is already in place to combat disorderly conduct and behaviour associated with drinking in public places, such as rowdyism.
To mention a very obvious point, I am in the business of encouraging tourism in Scotland. It would discourage tourism to put in place a total ban, as suggested, which could relate to picnics, beach parties, fetes and so on.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
My hon. Friend says, "Nonsense," but it would penalise innocent activities such as family picnics, and that is going far too far. Although this is essentially a technical matter, the new clauses are flawed in that they propose offences without associated penalty provisions. In view of the range of measures that have been put forward by the Scottish Office to combat the problems associated with drinking—including under-age drinking in public—I hope that my hon. Friend will withdraw the motion.
§ Mr. Bill Walker
Some of the things that my hon. Friend said were not terribly helpful. I remind him that we have laws on statute in Scotland where instructions have been given to the police to practise the application of those laws in what is deemed to be a favourable manner to the community. There is nothing odd about the police having such discretion—it happens all the time. In particular, it has given me cause for concern about certain homosexual activities in my constituency with regard to discretion. [Interruption.] I say that because I am pointing to the fact that a statute exists, and the police and procurators have been given guidance about not pressing prosecutions.
My hon. Friend suggests to me that, in a tourist area— I yield to no one in the House in the defence of tourist interests—Tayside police would behave in a manner that would upset tourists. That is not living in the real world. I hope that the pedants who wrote my hon. Friend's reply would remember that those of us who are constituency Members live in the real world.
224 I recognise that byelaws have a part to play. My concern is that in city such as Dundee—I refer to Dundee because experiments have been carried out there—it is difficult constantly to change the designated areas if those involved keep moving. We may be forced into designating the doors and entrances to every off-licence and supermarket, and anywhere else that sells alcoholic liquor. There are real problems.
I hope that my hon. Friend understands that I will not press the new clauses to a Division because I recognise that there are technical reasons why they could not become law. I understand that changes would have been required even if the vote had been won. I hope that the debate has at least brought the problem, as hon. Members see and experience it, to the attention of the Government and their advisers. Those who want enlightened laws on licensing to come into practice also want to deal with the problems with drinking.
I hope that the Scottish Office will realise that the matter will not go away. We will continue to pursue it because, until we find satisfactory answers, our constituents will continually press us to do something about it. Having put that on record, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.
§ Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.