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Licences (Poll, Newmilns And Darvel)

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 22 June 1922

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asked the Lord Advocate whether he has investigated the facts in regard to the poll in the burghs of Newmilns and Darvel; whether, in spite of the poll having been declared by the courts to be valid, licences have been renewed; and what action he proposes to take to ensure that effect shall be given to the will of the electors as declared in accordance with Statute?

The facts regarding the poll referred to by my hon. and learned Friend have had my careful consideration. My information is that, at the time the licences in question were renewed by the Licensing Court, the validity of the poll had not been decided, but its validity was subsequently declared by judgment of the First Division of the Court of Session. In regard to the latter part of the query, I am of opinion that the Lord Advocate has no power to take action.

Will not the right hon. Gentleman take steps to ensure that this law in Scotland will not be nugatory in future, it being quite clear that the licensing authorities are flouting the decision of the Supreme Court in Scotland?

I am afraid my hon. Friend cannot have heard my answer. I have fully considered the position, and, so far as I am concerned, I am of opinion that I can take no action. The remedy is to appeal to the courts of law in Scotland.