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Clause 4—(Adaptations Of Licensing Act, 1953)

Volume 641: debated on Friday 5 May 1961

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I beg to move, in page 9, line 26, at the end, to insert:

(5) Consent shall not be granted under section one hundred and forty-eight of the Licensing Act, 1953, for an occasional licence to be granted to a person who holds the required excise licence in pursuance only of a restaurant licence, residential licence or residential and restaurant licence, unless—
  • (a) he holds the excise licence in pursuance of a restaurant licence or residential and restaurant licence; and
  • (b) the justices granting the consent are satisfied that the sale of intoxicating liquor under the authority of the occasional licence is to be ancillary to the provision of substantial refreshment.
  • This Amendment deals with the granting of occasional licences, and it arises out of an Amendment moved during the Committee stage proceedings by my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst). The House will know that an occasional licence is granted to a licensee to carry out catering on premises which are either not licensed, or not fully licensed. A typical example is a residential hotel which is licensed to sell to residents only, and the licensee might want to give a public dance. He would go to a neighbouring on-licensee who would provide the drink at the dance under an occasional licence. There are many other examples which will readily occur to hon. Members. So far it is on-licensees who have been the recipients of occasional licences.

    By Part I of the Bill we have created three new classes of licence; the restaurant licence, the residential licence and the combined licence. As the Bill stands, the holders of such licences would be eligible to apply for an occasional licence. The effect of the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley was to prevent a residential licensee from being eligible for an occasional licence in any event. The argument in support of that, which I think appealed to the Committee, was that we are giving residential licences for quite a different purpose and not so that the holder of such a licence can extend his licensed activities on occasions outside the hotel.

    In respect of the restaurant licence my hon. Friend drew a distinction between the occasional licence in connection with catering for food and the occasional licence purely in connection with catering for drink. He said, reasonably enough, that where it was in connection with catering for food, too, the restaurant licensee was a very good person, if not the best person, to be the recipient of an occasional licence, but that where it was purely for the sale of drink there was no reason why we should extend the occasional licence to the restaurant licensee.

    I summarised the arguments, as I saw them, in Committee and indicated that I thought that a case had been made out but that for various drafting reasons the Amendment was defective. With, I think, the general approbation of the Committee I undertook to put down an Amendment on Report to carry out my hon. Friend's intentions as I have indicated them to the House.

    Amendment agreed to.