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Clause 21—(Prohibition Of Consumption Of Intoxicating Liquor Outside Permitted Hours At Parties Organised For Gain)

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 10 May 1949

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I beg to move, in page 16, line 12, at the end, to add:

(8) This section shall come into operation on the first day of January, nineteen hundred and fifty.
We have today passed some new Clauses which will enable registered clubs to enjoy certain advantages. The purpose of the Amendment is to enable the existing clubs to make whatever structural alterations may be demanded by the London County Council in order to comply with the requirements set out in the Bill. If an Amendment of this nature were not included, it would mean that these businesses would be out of action for a considerable time, and I am sure that it is not the intention of the Home Secretary or the House that they should be so treated. It may well be that it would not be the desire of the House that the advantages conferred upon hotels and restaurants should be delayed for that period of time. If in those circumstances the Home Secretary felt that the Amendment ought to apply only in respect of Clause 21, that would be agreeable to me.

I beg to second the Amendment.

I support what has been said by my hon. Friend. With the tourist season just coming on, it is important that people coming to this country should be able to go to clubs if they so desire. We read this morning with great distress that exports were down £22 million last month. We must now make every effort we can to recoup some of those deficiences in the form of tourist traffic and bring good dollars to the country. I hope the Home Secretary will see fit to agree to the Amendment.

I advise the House to accept this Amendment which remedies an omission from the Clause which ought not to have occurred.

May I, as I always am, be perfectly fair to the Home Secretary and congratulate him on the way in which he has accepted the Amendment. I say so because I happen to represent the most important of all the health resorts in the world. I feel that it is one which Socialist hon. Members will always visit whenever they get the chance, and I am sure they will all join with me in rejoicing that the Home Secretary has yielded to the pressure of the Conservative Party and done this one thing which is really sensible. I congratulate the Home Secretary most sincerely and hope that he will do something sensible again.

Am I right in saying that this does not in any way affect the working of Clause 20?

The hon. Member for Buck-low (Mr. Shepherd) mentioned that it might. I shall have it examined and if it does interfere, I gather that in view of what the hon. Member said there will be no opposition to it being made clear that it is not intended to apply to Clause 20.

Amendment agreed to.