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Licensing Laws

Volume 884: debated on Wednesday 22 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for implementing the recommendations of the Clayson Report on the reform of the Scottish licensing laws.

My right hon. Friend is considering the various recommendations but is not yet in a position to make a statement.

My right hon. Friend must be very late developer, if that is the case.

Is there any prospect of getting legislation next Session? Quite clearly there is no prospect for this Session. If there is no prospect for next Session, will my hon. Friend give an undertaking that drafting assistance will be given to a private Member to introduce a Bill and that representations will be made by the Scottish Office to the Leader of the House that time should be provided to enable this very important report to be implemented?

My hon. Friend hits the nail on the head in saying that this is a very important report. It is also a very complex report. Therefore, the Government require time to consider its implications. I cannot give the assurances that my hon. Friend seeks.

I appreciate the problem of the pressure on time in the House. Will the hon. Gentleman consider publishing the representations which have been made to him, so that at least the House may have some idea of the Scottish people's attitude to the report? Will he make representations to the Leader of the House that the report would be a very suitable matter for a debate? There is great concern about it and interest in it in Scotland.

The report was published in 1973 and was sent by the hon. Gentleman's own Government to a wide variety of organisations and bodies. The previous Conservative administration did not state their views on the Clayson Report before the February election. However, I shall consider what the hon. Gentleman has suggested.