§ Mr. McCusker
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what general provisions of the law governing the sale of alcoholic liquor in Northern Ireland apply to the sale of these substances in Northern Ireland Civil Service staff restaurants.529W
§ Mr. Mason
Section 7 of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 provides that an Act of the Northern Ireland Parliament does not bind the Crown, unless it is therein stated to the contrary. Since there is no provision to the contrary in the Licensing Act (Northern Ireland), 1971, it is held that Crown exemption applies in relation to the sale of alcohol in Northern Ireland Civil Service staff restaurants.
Although the general provisions of the law governing the sale of alcoholic liquor do not apply, strict control of sales is exercised by senior Civil Service management. In particular alcoholic drinks are sold; only to persons aged 18 and over; only as an ancillary to a meal; and only during very restricted hours, normally 12 noon to 2 p.m.