Skip to main content

Committee

Volume 220: debated on Friday 19 June 1874

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Order for Committee read.

(In the Committee.)

Clauses 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 4 (Occasional licence required at fairs and races).

, in moving as an Amendment, in line 25, after "races," to insert "or open air assemblage or excursion," said, he did so on the ground that that description of licence was, at present, sold under very irregular conditions, and his object was to check the evasion of the law which occurred in consequence.

, in opposing the Amendment, said it would permit drink being sold at open-air gatherings in the North of Ireland, a proceeding he strongly objected to.

said, the consumption of intoxicating liquors at such meetings led to riots, resulting in the destruction of property, and he therefore felt bound to oppose the Amendment.

said, that on the grounds alluded to by the two hon. Members, he thought it would be better if the power to sell liquor was not extended on the occasions alluded to in the Amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 5 (Occasional licences—extension of time for closing).

On the Motion of Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH, Amendment made in page 2, line 41, after "words," by inserting "sunrise until."

moved, as an Amendment, to insert in page 3, line 1, after "hour," the words "not earlier than sunrise or," and in same line to leave out "not."

thought that by omitting the word "not," the clause would be rendered obscure, and suggested it should be retained.

Amendment agreed to.

moved, as an Amendment in page 3, line 1, to leave out "ten," and insert "eight." He said the purport of his Amendment was to prevent as much as possible drinking at races or fairs. When people went to such places, they should return home as soon as the races were over; but if tents and booths were allowed to be kept open until 10 o'clock at night, the consequence would inevitably be a great increase of drunkenness. He was informed that the object of the clause was not to accommodate the people, but gentlemen who stopped to dine, and who, by being allowed to remain until 10 o'clock at night drinking, set a very bad example to those around them.

Amendment proposed, in page 3, line 1, to leave out the word "ten," in order to insert the word "eight."—( Mr. Richard Smyth.)

was of opinion that the words "one hour after sunset" had better be inserted in the clause. By adopting eight, as proposed by his hon. Friend, they forgot that in winter that was a very late hour.

said, the original Act had nothing to do with fairs or races, but to enable persons attending public dinners to remain until 10 o'clock at night, which was certainly an early hour.

said, the right hon. Gentleman ought to fix an hour suitable to the season. Eight o'clock in winter was almost as bad as 10.

reminded the hon. and learned Gentleman that the whole question rested with the discretion of the magistrates.

But I object to give them a discretion to keep open booths and tents until 10 o'clock at night.

was afraid they were getting into a state of inextricable confusion, and hoped some Member of the Government would give them an explanation.

said, the clause merely meant this, that these places should not be opened until "one hour after sunrise," and not keep open later than 10 o'clock at night at the discretion of the justices. The hon. and learned Member for the County of Limerick objected to that discretion, but he (the Attorney General for Ireland) thought it was unreasonable to suppose a body of gentlemen in their position would use that discretion badly. If they did, they must be very unfit for the offices they held.

thought the subject ought to be cleared up, and he should be glad to hear from the Attorney General for Ireland an assurance as to the cases to which the the clause was intended to apply. If they did not have that assurance, he thought the clause ought to be postponed.

stated that the clause was intended to apply to fairs and agricultural meetings, which might be held at places not licensed, and he could not see any inconvenience in allowing the powers.

supported the Amendment, and said that there was no question as to the capability of the magistrates to regulate the period during which the booths should be open. There was not any doubt of their fitness, but magistrates were not anxious to have such a discretion. Besides, there was not any reason why the House should not now decide that 8 o'clock was quite late enough to allow drinking on race courses. The sooner people were induced to go home the better; and certainly, so far as Ireland was concerned, order and tranquility could be much better kept at races if the people were sent off the course as soon as possible after the sport was over. There could be no second opinion about the matter, and if the Amendment was accepted the duties of the police would be very much lessened.

Question put, "That the word 'ten' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 106; Noes 54: Majority 52.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 6 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 10 (Exemption from closing in respect of markets, fairs, and certain trades).

, in moving, as an Amendment, in page 4, line 16, to omit the words "(one of such justices being a resident magistrate)," said, that if the words were retained in the clause, it would be making an invidious distinction between the ordinary country and borough magistrates and the stipendiary magistrates, who were the paid officers of the Government. Besides, be wished to strike a blow at the spirit of centralization, which was placing the management of all country affairs in the bands of the officials in Dublin Castle.

said, he warmly supported the Amendment of his hon. and learned Friend; but it was because he proposed to himself a very different object in carrying it than that put forward by him. It was known the stipendiary magistrates could not be ubiquitous. In the West Riding of Cork County one stipendiary magistrate was supposed to attend ten Courts of petty session, and of these he was only able to attend four, and that only once a fortnight.

said, he had no wish to make any invidious distinction between the country gentlemen and the resident magistrates, and he would therefore agree to the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Words struck out accordingly.

, in moving, as an Amendment, in page 4, lines 26 and 27, to leave out from "except" to "morning," both inclusive, and insert "being between the hours of two of the clock in the morning and the usual hour for opening such premises," said, its purpose was to enable the magistrates to grant exemptions in the morning in favour of men attending fairs and markets. As a rule, he objected to exemptions, especially those which related to keeping open at night, as the houses were sure to be used by all others besides those in whose favour the exemptions were granted; but he thought that men who were up all night driving cattle to the fairs and markets, or in carrying commodities to them, should be enabled to obtain in the morning that refreshment which they needed, and he would extend the same indulgence to those who were engaged about the markets. As the clause stood great evil would be caused by certain houses being kept open all night for the accommodation of printers, bakers, steam-packet porters, and such persons. He trusted the Government, who really would be responsible for the bad effects of allowing the clause to pass, would accept the Amendment.

supported the Amendment, thinking it absolutely necessary that people who attended fairs and markets should have the means of refreshing themselves.

believed there would be cases where exemptions of this kind would be just as necessary as a public convenience before the hour of one in the morning as after the hour of two. The working of this clause was only meant to be exceptional. It was carefully guarded by the provision that licences of the kind should be only granted in potty session, and only for such days and hours as were named in the licence.

said, that in the City of Dublin this clause would lead to the very worst consequences. Previous to the passing of the late Act of Parliament, there were what were called night-houses in London allowed by the Commissioner of Police to be open nearly all night, presumably for the convenience of printers, but the fact was these houses wore open to all the world. He protested against the possibility of a gin-palace being opened at all hours at the very doors of largo factories, and the only effect of such a course would be to demoralize those establishments.

Amendment negatived.

moved the rejection of the clause altogether, and in doing so, said, he had no objection to the power as regarded fairs or markets, but what he did object to was giving the Commissioner of Police in Dublin the power of allowing public-houses to be open all night for the convenience of particular trades. If, however, the clause were amended so as to include fairs and markets, he would not oppose it.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be omitted from the Bill."—( Mr. Sullivan.)

explained that in inserting the words "Commissioner of Police" he had followed the example adopted in 1872 for London, where the Chief Commissioner of Police was taken as the authority, and he thought the same authority in Ireland should be entrusted with similar powers.

agreed with the hon. Member for Louth that the effect of keeping these houses open all night would be most demoralizing, and said that he should not object to the clause if words were inserted giving this power to the Commissioner of Police if he thought fit, provided the consent of the managers of the factories to have the places open near them was obtained.

Question put, and negatived.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Motion, "That Mr. Chairman report Progress,"—( Mr. Sullivan,)—put, and agreed to.

House resumed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Tuesday next.