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Licensing Law

Volume 79: debated on Tuesday 21 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has had any indication of the findings of the survey into the licensing law recently carried out on his behalf by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys; and if he will make a statement.

A preliminary analysis of the findings has been published today and copies are available in the Library.While the preliminary analysis shows that there has been some increase in alcohol consumption in the period 1976 to 1984 (attributable almost entirely to women) it is thought unlikely that this is a direct consequence of the changes on the licensing law. According to the analysis, the more probable cause is a change to a more relaxed attitude towards drinking in general and, in particular, towards women's drinking.The survey also confirms that the extension to licensing hours brought about by the 1976 Act tends to be seen by the great majority as having led to more sensible drinking rather than as offering a temptation for people to drink more.These results will be analysed more extensively, arid will be presented, together with other material obtained from the general population survey and the results from the sample of licensees, in the main survey report due to be published later this year.