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THE LICENSING BILL. I A

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THE LICENSING BILL. I A MONSTER PETITIONS. I In the House of Commons, on Monday, Lord I R. Cecil (U—Marylebone ) presented a petition against the Licensing BiU from people resident within the Metropolitan police area. It con- tained, he said, upwards of 600,000 signatures, representing all classes of the community. The petition was so big that nine or ten of the attendants of the House had to carry it to the table and place it on the floor. The Speaker directed the noble Lord to bring as much as possible to the table. (Laughter.) Lord R. Cecil accordingly brought a few sheets to the bag in which petitions are ordi- narily placed, and the attendants carried the rest away. Immediately afterwards Mr. J. Wilson (R- Durham) prer>ented a petition in favour of the Bill, which had also to be carried in and out of the House by the attendants because of ita great size. It was signed by 169,510 members of the Primitive Methodist Church. It mea- sured, said Mr. Wilson, a mile and a third in length. Mr. Branch (R-Enfidd) presented another petition in favour of the Bill from 9,326 mem- bers of the P.S.A. Brotherhood throughout the kingdom. Finally. Sir A. Acland-Hood (Chief Oppo- sition Whip) presented a petition against the Bill from the Association of Conservati ve Clubs. Tli "i business was conducted amid a (letl of cheering and counter-cheering acro»-s the floor of the House. The second reading of the Licensing Bill carried as follows:—For second reading. 3(:14; against, 148; Government majority. 245. The announcement of the result of the division! W.1. received with loud cheers from the Minis- terial side of the House. Previously the official Opposition amendment for the rejection of the Bill, moved by Mr. Cave, K.C., had been defeated by 397 to 147, the Government majority being 250. MR. IDRIS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. j At a meeting in support of the Licensing Bill, hrld at Moss, near Wrexham on Tuesday night. one of the supporters, the Rev. E, K. Jones, Brymbo, severely criticised :\1r. Howell Idris. the member for the Flint Borough" in legard to his action in votintr against the Licensing Bill. He announced the fact, amid cries of "Shame," and "1aid that Mr. Idris knew when he (the speaker) a.nd others assisted him to win his seat, that. they believed he was going to support the Government in its temperance legis- lation Mr. Idris accepted their votes, but lie had gone ovtir to the enemy. It. was not Too much to say that Mr. Idris had actually 1 setrayed a very sacred trust in voting against the Bill. (App'ause.) A resolution approving the Bi'i was carried with acclamation. I CHANCELLOR ESPIN'S EXPERIENCE. Chancellor E-pin, in his visitation charge on Tuesday in St. Nicholas's Church, Live!pool, warned the English people of the darjger of impatience in the matter of legislation for social evils. Speaking of the Licensing Bill,.he said ho had been a county magistrate tor 22 yeara in the county of Durham, which had an evil reputation in the matter of drinking, and until quite recently he was a member of the committee which d::alt vit-i applications for new licences. Cûn5cllif':1; h. bad had <ou- sidcrab'e expeiionce, and could not help ob- serving that it was quit.1 possible wo might go too fast in reducing liccaces. If., tl,,L);iglit, with deep respect to those who were pushing on the Licensing Bill, that wo might have waited a little longer before trying again. With regard to 'tho tbo!],,i(-jii he thought. it was quite possible to go too fast. In a col- liery paiish. of which his eon was the incumbent, six licences were taken away, and what hap- pened next- was lliat. a club wa* sot up which started with 400 members. Tire re was no doubt a great deal too much quiet "toaking" among the people, but in reducing lieene. s care should be taken to do something to pre^v.vo. the weak from temptation. For his own part, he v.-iy greatiy trusted to the gradual inihienco of a sound public opinion, of education, religion and morality; he tm«:od to like these much more than to legislation. On the time- limit question, the Chancellor said that Lord Cross had told him that the chairmen of Quar- ter Sessions, without exception, were opposed to the principle of a time-limit, e.nd his 'view of t he matter was very much influenced by that, because of the oxpei ieiux? which chairmen of Quarter Sessions had of the admiiiistiation J of Acts. MR. II. M. \ïILSO?-;S UnJ I.:<.T LESSON. LABOUR PARTY AND OLD I Mr. H. M. Wilson, of Holmes Chapel, chair- man Wilson's Brewery, Limited, writes to the Marichce-ter Guardian" :—"On the ground that an ounce of fact is worth a ton of theory I wOllId ask space in your columns to relate the following incident. Last year a bcerhou.se of oui»— one of the very oldest in the district—was referred for compensation under the 1904 Act, and though we had the very best local evidence a A to character and necessity for retaining the licence, renewal wa.; refused and compensation was paid. Now comes the interesting part, of the case. On Wednesday last a man called at my office, gave ine his name, and I hilll what he was and what lie required. He informed me that he was a retired gentleman, and that ho camo on behalf of an organisation to offer to take the house the licence of which had been surrendered. I asked him what the organisation was. Tie replied, The Labour party, and we want, to open the place as a e'uh; we expect to have about 200 members, we wish to have a five years' lease, and as many of us regularly frequented the house we shall buy all our beer from your firm.' On my expressing my astonishment at such a request in face of the present Licensing Bill, the reply wy^. Oh. we don't approve of much of thie Licensing Bill, and we arc not going to have our liberties taken away from us.' For the f-i-et tillw in my life I regretted that I had not accepted the invita- tions I have had to go into Parlianwnt, so that I could have aeked Mr. Asquith the two following questions:—(1) Whether he does not think that the above incident wOllkl be a very common occurrencc if this Bill parses. (2) Shall I let my property, which is now tenanted at 6s. per week, to the Labour party at £ 25 per annum'"

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