Intoxicating Liquor Bill, 1962— Committee Stage (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following amendment:
In page 8, subsection (5), line 3, after "for" to insert "the entertainment of".—(Minister for Justice.)
Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 8, to delete subsection (9) and to insert the following subsection:

"( ) It shall be a condition of a special exemption order that the special event, private function or dance in relation to which it is granted be held in compliance with the relevant provisions of subsection (5) of this section."

This is purely a technical amendment.

It follows the deletion of Section 15?

No. It is a technical amendment of a drafting nature.

Is it because of the deletion of Section 15?

No. The idea of amendment No. 18 is to make sure that the applicant gets the exemption on the basis that certain conditions will be fulfilled. The conditions will remain binding when the event is actually held. It is a technical, drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 10, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

May I mention a point I overlooked last night? We have amended Section 8 to some extent and the effect of the amendment is to delete the idea of festivity from the section. The sidenote is therefore no longer appropriate.

It is not part of the Bill.

But can the House agree to change the sidenote?

The House will agree.

The arguments we had last night on Section 9 will apply generally, I think, to Section 10 also. I want to make one point dealing with the remarks of the Minister, that is, that there are more dancehalls in Dublin than cinemas. The majority of these dancehalls have no facilities for running licensed dances but some of them do. Many young people would not attend a dance if it were licensed. They object to attending dances where people take drink. On the other hand, there are people who prefer to have refreshments during a dance. There are two distinct types of dancehalls and people who frequent them. Therefore, I think the observation of the Minister last night, that by accepting the amendments we were seeking under Section 9 we would, in effect, be forcing a situation where drink would be freely sold to all young people attending dances. There are two completely different situations.

I should not like it to be thought that even a large section of the people attending these dances go exclusively for the purpose of obtaining drink outside the permitted hours. My experience in running such dances has been that about 5 per cent. of the total attendance go exclusively for that purpose. I should say about 35 per cent. could not care less whether drinking facilities are there or not and the other 60 per cent. wish to combine dancing with refreshments and have a drink, perhaps, after a fast dance to restore their energies for further dancing. I take it the Minister will examine the arguments that we put forward last night on Section 9 in respect of Section 10 also and that will save us having to go over them again?

I was about to suggest that to the House.

In regard to the Minister's contention on this matter, I wonder could it not be arranged by all the dancehalls concerned that tickets for licensed ballrooms could not be purchased a half-an-hour before the publichouses close? I say that because I am conscious of the fact that the Minister is concerned about the young people attending dances but I do not accept for a moment his contention that if you do not have drink at dances the young people are all right. While my colleague, Deputy Kyne, referred to class legislation there is no denying that young people whether in the socially exclusive set or of the ordinary working class are still young people. What intrigues me is that young people who can afford to go out and enjoy themselves, be they 18, 19 or 20, may do so but the young working-class person may not do it unless they have a meal at the dance.

To me that proves conclusively that we are separating people and discriminating. I hold that young people, if they are exposed to things that are wrong, can be exposed to them whether at the ordinary "hop" or the hunt ball. If we were to pursue the Minister's line of reasoning we would not afford an opportunity to the people who promote hunt balls to operate because you find that it is they who most misbehave. That has been proved down the years. The debs who fly in from England decide to "live it up" and take liberties with the staff, insult them and even throw water over them or douse them with champagne. Our young people do not do that. If we are setting out to deter that social set let us not take it out on our own people. I cannot understand how the deb set are afforded every conceivable opportunity to enjoy themselves simply because they are going to dance in a hotel——

Or if it is Horse Show week.

That is what happens. I can say quite truthfully that they are the people that the organisation that I represent has had most difficulty with, the people to whom we have had to refuse service and not the working people who go to the ordinary "hop". These people who cause difficulty are foreign to us. They decide to come here and feel they will show us how to "live it up".

The Minister said that this only affects commercial dancehalls. I would ask the Minister if he had to divide——

Section 9.

It also applies in Section 10.

Section 10 affects hotels and restaurants.

That being so, perhaps the Minister would explain to me the difference between a hotel ballroom and a restaurant ballroom?

It is licensed.

The licence attached to the Shelbourne Hotel, for instance, applies to the whole house and I understand the licence attached to the Metropole Ballroom applies to the whole house and that the same is true in the case of Clery's. Here is a situation where, if one is to have a dance, whether in the Shelbourne, the Gresham, the Royal Hibernian or in any one of the hotels one is all right but if you decide to operate in Clery's it is different——

Exactly the same provisions apply to both. The Metropole Ballroom would be in exactly the same position as the Shelbourne or the Gresham under Section 10.

Except that the hotels concerned are establishments in which they have made it a condition that you must wear evening dress to attend any of the dances. In the Metropole or Clery's there is no such condition on many occasions.

We understand how people aspire to certain standards and it is not unnatural for the working man or woman to aspire to be as good as the fellow they see going in dressed up and wearing his dickie-bow. The Metropole and Clery's afford that type of person that opportunity and in those circumstances we find that unless the aspirant is prepared to dig further into his pocket and pay for a substantial meal he will not be allowed to enter into that way of living. That is completely wrong because we are setting out to accommodate a set of people who do not deserve to be accommodated.

The ordinary factory staff dance—the Deputy does not want to accommodate them?

I want to accommodate them but the Minister is making it a condition that they must have a meal.

They always do.

The ordinary factory worker whose annual dance is coming round finds he has to buy two tickets for himself and his wife. The first thought he has is what is this going to cost him. He must hire a dress suit for himself and his wife must have an evening frock.

Every staff dance is a dress dance.

We can have informal dances for the ordinary factory workers and they do not have to go to all that expense.

The ordinary staff dance is a dress dance.

A great number of people would much prefer not to dress up. They do not believe in convention. A considerable number of people will say to themselves if they are thinking of going to a staff dance: what will it cost me? Here is a condition attached to an ordinary factory dance. There are some factory dances at which meals are served but there is a tremendous number——

Mention one.

I could name a multiplicity of them where there is no meal. What they want is what the Minister describes as a "hop". These people will now be told: "If you want to enjoy yourself the way you did before, you must dress yourself up; you must buy a meal whether you like it or not and go to more expense." These people cannot afford that type of expense.

There is another aspect of this I should mention. The best-behaved people are ordinary working-class people. This section conveys to me a suggestion that the only young people who can behave themselves at a dance are the social set, the people with money. I say that because it is being made a condition that they must have a meal; in other words, if they can afford a meal, they are well-behaved but if they cannot afford a meal and do not have a meal, they are ill-behaved. That is something I cannot understand because there is proof positive in existence——

The Deputy is over-simplifying the case. It is not just that they should have a substantial meal. It must be a special function organised by a particular group or association; in other words, the type of function we have in mind is the ordinary staff dance.

Apart from those running staff dances, as was submitted to the Minister under Section 9 and as applies to Section 10, there are many organisations who arrange dances. They cannot be described as staff dances but these organisations are doing a great deal of work. Deputy Lemass referred to his union's benevolent fund. We run two dances every year in aid of my union's benevolent fund. Were we not to run them we could not extend to our members the benefits we are extending at the moment. Where shall we get the money from now? Where shall we get the customers from? We cannot expect people who ordinarily support us to come now and, in addition to paying their admission fee, to pay for a meal——

Which they do not eat.

That will drive business away and it will have a serious effect on people. I am not saying it is the Minister's intention but it brings out this contention that there is class legislation being introduced in this way, knowingly or unknowingly. We cannot forget that the people who are being particularly accommodated, who are given carte blanche to do what they like, are the people who are well-heeled. That is very wrong because whether you have money or not or whether you are young or old, your behaviour will depend on your make-up. There is no use in saying: “Keep certain sections away.” In this connection we think in terms of young people. There is a considerable number of wolves in this town who, by way of money, try to induce young people to go the wrong way. Take the ordinary fellow who cannot keep up with all this and who has to compete with the fellow who is well-heeled and who will say: “I will dress you up and we will go to the Shelbourne.”

Surely a dance without a bar suits a young fellow with less money.

Let the person himself decide and not introduce a situation where you say: "That is for you but not for you."

That is for the working class.

That is entirely wrong in this age. I wish to draw attention to this fact. I can well understand the Minister's desire to regulate and the importance of regulating things perhaps in rural Ireland. Perhaps there is a great need for regulation there. I am not saying "yes" or "no" in that connection but I can only repeat that there is no need for such regulation in the county borough of Dublin. Deputy Lemass referred to the agitation that brought this whole thing about but such agitation was only worked up outside Dublin city. The people who are responsible for it can be appeased and satisfied without interfering with Dublin city.

In Dublin city, there are only two restaurants to which licences are attached. The other ballrooms have not got licences attached. The two restaurants to which licences are attached have been proven to be exemplary in their performance and have given absolute satisfaction to the locals and the tourists. Apart from being local attractions they are tourist attractions. It is the working man's aspiration to mix in such places about which he has only read before. They are as well kept as a star hotel ballroom and the people who control them have had no complaint either from customers or from the authorities.

Therefore it is extremely unfair, if this measure is necessary to regulate things in regard to people who are misbehaving, to include people who are well-behaved, to include people whose business is well-conducted and who are not only looking after the interests and the desires of the citizens of Dublin and visitors to Dublin but also paying substantial rates and taxes, paying satisfactory wages under good working conditions and who will undoubtedly, if this section is passed, have to lay off labour. It is wrong that that should happen. I believe it is quite wrong to compare those establishments with ballrooms which do not exercise the same vigilance at all.

I should like for a moment to take the Minister's mind away from the city of Dublin. Dublin will always be able to look after itself. I should like the Minister to consider the position in rural Ireland. Some few years ago, dance halls were relieved of tax. As a result of that, dance halls sprang up all over the country. These are first-class halls bringing bands from all parts of Ireland and even England. People travel miles to dance in these halls. In one case I know, a great deal of money went into the building of a dance hall; it is situated within 14 miles of Limerick and not alone do double decker buses bring the people out to the dance hall but special trains are run also. Anyone who wishes can verify the facts for himself.

Now none of these dance halls has kitchens attached. If the Minister, therefore, persists with this section these people will have to provide cooking facilities. I put it to the Minister that the type of meal that will be served for 5/- in one of these dance halls would approximate very closely to what one might get for 1/- in the middle of the day, when the overall costs are taken into calculation. I ask the Minister to reconsider this provision about the serving of meals. In the area from which I come, the usual dress at these dances is a blouse and skirt. We do not go for these highfalutin dress dances. They may be popular in Dublin. I am talking for the rural areas.

No tall hats.

I think the Deputy is getting away from the Intoxicating Liquor Bill.

Indeed, he is not. He is right on the point. If I am not, will you tell me who is? I know what I am talking about. I am not talking about the hunt balls and the people who patronise them. They are the people who misbehave themselves. The Minister is well aware of that. Prosecutions have been taken as a result of the conduct of these people, with their red coats and their riding crops. I want to cater for the ordinary people who may be working all day in a factory, behind a counter, or down at the docks. I see no reason why these people should have to pay an extra charge of 5/-for a meal they do not want. All they want to do is dance and enjoy themselves. They do not want a sit-down meal or a running buffet.

They do not want a bar either.

Why not? If the red coat can have one, why should not these people? The Minister has been very fair in his approach to the Bill so far. I have very strong views on this issue. I want the worker to be provided for, the ordinary man and woman, the young boy and girl. They are entitled to their drink just the same as the member of the hunt club who can pay a bit more for the hunt club dance. I want the people who have the annual staff dance to have the same facilities as the members of the hunt. We must cater for the ordinary people. We must meet their needs.

Do they not have a meal at a staff dance?

Maybe they do in Dublin.

Where I come from, there is no such thing as a meal.

Is there a meat tea?

Then the position is covered.

But there will have to be a charge of 5/- for it.

Why must there be this imposition on people who cannot afford to pay?

And who do not want a meal.

Do not tell me the average man will not pay 5/- for his meal.

He is paying 7/-going in.

I know these staff dances.

The Minister may know the hunt balls. He does not know what I am talking about.

I will guarantee I attend more staff dances in a year than the Deputy does.

In Dublin. This is an imposition on the ordinary people in the rural areas.

We are trying to prevent drinking on an unrestricted scale by young people in dance halls. I explained last night that probably the correct thing to do would be to stop all drinking in dance halls.

They tried to do that in America and the Minister knows what happened there.

We are trying to cater for the people in whom Deputy Mullen and Deputy Coughlan are interested.

But this is a deterrent because the Minister is putting up the price.

I am a member of a very small GAA club. It is not a very wealthy one. There is an annual outing at which there is a high tea. It is our aim to cater for these things in this Bill. We are talking now about hotels. We are talking about dances in hotels or restaurants.

Last night, the Minister said—and he has said it again today—that he wants to save the young people and to restrict drinking at these dances. He should be careful about such statements or about such policies. That is the policy that will drive the people into what we call bootlegging.

I do not say that 90 per cent. of the people who go to dances are looking for drink but 30 or 35 per cent. of them will look for drink at dances and if you take the 35 per cent. away, the dance no longer pays. The type of dance I am speaking about is a dance in a rural dance hall. Last night, the Minister and a couple of Deputies alleged that the whole idea was the sale of drink after hours. I refute that statement. That is not the idea of those people. They are reputable people. They are the secretaries of clubs and of organisations. Many of these organisations are our national organisations. The Minister points a finger at the rural dance hall and says it is not licensed to sell drink and that these people should go to a hotel. I speak for my constituency. The successful dances run in rural dance halls could not successfully be run in a hotel.

They are not dealt with in Section 10. The section deals with ballrooms attached to hotels and restaurants.

The Minister has brought me to order on the point of licences for ballrooms and restaurants. He will compel people to go into these places. He will compel people in these organisations or people responsible for them or for the promotion of dances in rural areas to go to these places. The main thing the Minister is doing is pricing the dances out of existence. When these hotels say what they will charge for the spread, which the Minister says they must charge for, it will be found that the dance will cost 6/-, 7/- or 8/- and the spread will cost 5/-, or maybe more. That will mean 14/- a head and people will attend the dance and be told they can have supper.

I would emphasise that 75 to 80 per cent. of the young people going to dances do not want supper for these short dances. These dances are advertised as from, say, 9 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. The people do not start arriving in any numbers until about 10.30 p.m. If you are to have this long supper, then you will have had it.

It may be said that in the hotels which could not cater for a big number for the supper during those hours there can be a running buffet. Why should we compel people to pay 5/- for a running buffet? It has been said and reiterated, as if it were a kind of disgraceful thing, that a great number of our organisations and clubs throughout the country are dependent on running dances for funds. They are dependent on them. I am a member of several organisations. We look forward with great interest to seeing how much we shall get. I told the Minister last night of dances that are run for the political organisation to which I belong and I am sure the same thing applies to the Minister's political organisation. He will not do them any good, either.

I would ask the Minister, even at this late hour, to show the members of his own Party who have appealed to him and the members of the various Parties in Opposition some kind of tolerance—"leniency" is not the word. I hope we live in a democracy. The Minister must realise that there is a great section of opinion—maybe the majority section if it were all counted up, judging from some of the speeches by Government Deputies—in favour of tolerance. The Minister should show a little more tolerance not only to the members of the House but also to the people in the organisations I have mentioned and to the people who promote such dances in the rural areas. The case for Dublin was very ably put by Deputy Mullen, who is a man in a position to state the facts.

I am beginning to think he is a bit out of touch.

That is only a phrase.

I would not think that Deputy Mullen is out of touch. It would be an impossibility for a man in Deputy Mullen's position to be out of touch. If I know anything about trade unions, I know they would not allow their officials to be out of touch. Even if officials tried to be out of touch, that is one thing they would not get away with. The Minister must admit that Deputy Mullen could not be out of touch. Maybe the Minister is out of touch.

My constituents will not let me. They keep me in touch with Dublin city and my Party keeps me in touch with rural Ireland.

I do not think the Minister's Party is doing its duty to rural Ireland. The Minister is trying to convey to us now that his Party have encouraged him to put these sections into this Bill. I do not believe that all the members of the Fianna Fáil Party, or that even a majority of the members of the Fianna Fáil Party, are in favour of this section. It speaks well for the forcefulness of the Minister when addressing a Party meeting that he was able to get away with this. As time passes in regard to this Bill, I think a great number of the Minister's colleagues are wakening up to the fact that this section needs a bit of over-hauling. If the Minister would only say that he is prepared to meet us, we will show the Minister much more tolerance than the Minister has shown to us.

Am I not correct in thinking that the Minister, at the opening of the discussion on this section, offered to reconsider it in addition to Section 9?

Deputy O'Higgins is absolutely correct.

Having regard to the Minister's intention to reconsider this section in relation to Section 9, I feel there are some points which I should put to him for his consideration. I notice that the Minister laid particular emphasis on the fact that under this section we are dealing with hotel and restaurant ballrooms. May I respectfully, and not in any aggressive way, direct the attention of the Minister to the fact that it is not many years since the ordinary working man was deprived of the opportunity of going into a hotel or restaurant ballroom, due to force of circumstances, unless to do a job such as repairing a boiler, and so on. Thank God, the working man is now coming into this way of living and he wants to participate in it. I am satisfied that this section will put what the working man desired beyond his reach again. It will undo his achievement of taking his place in social life.

I think the normal etiquette when I agree to reconsider something is that that finishes the discussion for the time being.

Excuse me for not being too familiar with what is described as parliamentary procedure. I should also like the Minister, if it is possible, to say what is the difference between a hotel ballroom and a restaurant ballroom. I cannot understand it. Finally, I want to say that the Minister told Deputy Lynch across the House that I may be out of touch. I am so much in touch with workers connected with this section of the Bill that I am fully conscious of the fact that what they have submitted to me is absolutely correct and that some 250 of them will lose their employment if Section 10 is passed in its present form. I am very pleased to hear that the Minister is disposed towards giving consideration to the submissions made to him in relation to Section 9 and Section 10.

Question put and agreed to.

I move amendment No. 19:

In page 9, before Section 11, to insert the following section:

"(1) Where, on application to it under Section 9 of this Act or Section 5 of the Act of 1927 the District Court is satisfied that——

(a) a festival consisting wholly or mainly of the presentation of performances of music, dancing or plays or showings of films or of any combination of such performances or showings is being held, and

(b) a bona fide club has been formed by the organisers of the festival the members of which are either persons performing at the festival or persons paying a single subscription the payment of which entitles them to attend each event of the festival or each event of a particular class, being a class constituting a significant part of the festival, and

(c) a social function is being held at a place that is either a place to which no licence for the sale of intoxicating liquor is attached or is a hotel or restaurant by the members of the club, being a function that takes place during the period of the festival or a function that begins on the last day of the festival and ends on that day or on the day following that day,

the Court may, notwithstanding anything contained in section 9 of this Act, or Section 5 of the Act of 1927, and irrespective of whether or not a substantial meal is to be served to persons attending the function, grant, upon such conditions as it thinks proper, either an occasional licence or a special exemption order, as may be appropriate, authorising the person making the application (being, in the case of an application for an occasional licence, the holder of an on-licence and, in the case of an application for a special exemption order, the holder of an on-licence for the premises to which the application relates) to sell at the place at which the function is being held, during such times and (subject to subsection (5) of section 9 of this Act or subsection (3) of section 5 of the Act of 1927) on such day or days as may be specified in the licence or order, as the case may be, such intoxicating liquor as he is authorised to sell by the on-licence aforesaid.

(2) It shall be a condition of an occasional licence or special exemption order granted in relation to a social function by virtue of this section that the sale of intoxicating liquor pursuant to the licence or order be confined to members of the club by whom the function is being held and to persons holding an invitation to the function (being a written invitation stating the name of the person invited issued not later than twenty-four hours before the commencement of the function) from the organisers of the festival during which the function is being held, that a list of the names of the members of the club and the persons invited to the function be kept by the organisers of the festival, that the list be open to inspection by the Garda Síochána and that the function be held in compliance with the relevant provisions of Section 9 of this Act and Section 5 of the Act of 1927 and of this section.

(3) An occasional licence or special exemption order shall not be granted for a social function by virtue of this section unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that the organisers of the festival during which the function is being held support the application.

(4) An application shall not be granted by virtue of this section in respect of more than one social function on any day in relation to any festival.

(5) In this section `hotel' and `restaurant' have the meanings assigned to them by the Act of 1927".

This amendment deals with a fairly simple and straightforward matter. Deputies will recall that in recent years a number of towns and cities have been very successful in promoting various international festivals of one sort or another. There are, for instance, the Cork International Film Festival, the Dublin Theatre Festival, and so on. Very strong representations have been made to me by the bodies concerned——

Is the Minister forgetting Waterford?

No. Dare I forget Waterford? Strong representations have been made to me by the organisations concerned and by Bord Fáilte that a very important part of these international festivals is the club which normally operates during the period of the festival. I understand that in the case of a theatre festival the club is open to the visiting participants and dignataries of one sort or another and that the atmosphere and the sociability of these clubs has become an essential feature of the festival. Indeed, it is one of the principal things which contribute to the success of these international festivals.

Amendment No. 19 is to enable these clubs to operate. As the law stands at present, and as the Bill is framed, it would not be possible to organise or operate a club of this nature in connection with one of these international festivals. The purpose of the amendment is to enable them to be run in future in connection with these international festivals. There are, of course, the usual safeguards to make sure that they must be operated and run on a bona fide basis.

I have no particular objection to this amendment. The type of club referred to by the Minister, so far as Dublin is concerned, is undoubtedly run in conjunction with important festivals. In regard to attendance at these clubs, if you are interested in the week's events you can become a member of the club on payment of a fee. The reason I mention that is that it is a matter that if you have the money you can be accommodated. I want to draw the Minister's attention to the fact that whilst I have no objection to the idea it still proves the point we made on earlier sections.

I do not accept the Deputy's point of view on that. I should like to ask the Minister one question. Will the Minister consider putting in fishing? I was thinking of the Westport fishing festival which is a festival——

That would be covered by the eight days.

They have a second function down there which Deputies mentioned and there was an argument advanced that the eight day extension should be broken up to deal with cases like Westport where there are two special functions each year.

Amendment agreed to.

Acting Chairman

Amendment No. 20.

Amendment No. 20 is not moved. Might I just make it clear, in case Deputies have forgotten, that the amendment was not moved because it was part of a composite proposal which was in fact disposed of when the hours were accepted on Section 2?

Amendment No. 20 not moved.

I move amendment No. 20a:

Before Section 11 to insert a new section as follows:—

"Notwithstanding anything contained in any other enactment, on the passing of this Act it shall be an offence to serve in a public dance hall intoxicating liquor to any person who is under twenty-one years of age."

The purpose of this amendment is to prevent owners of dance halls in the rural areas from running dances solely for the sale of drink. As I explained before, generally at these dances free tickets are given out to a number of people up to 11 o'clock. When the band arrives they appoint a member of it to be in charge of the dance hall. The owner goes behind the bar and sells drink until 4 o'clock in the morning. No one is employed other than a local man at the door and some of the patrons may assist with the serving of the drink.

In regard to many of our dance halls in Dublin, where there is proper supervision, there are no complaints. Some Deputies have already pointed out that dance halls were built in rural areas a few hundred yards outside the borough boundary in order to avoid the tax on tickets. We have a large number of halls in my constituency where no drink is served and no person is allowed in under the influence of drink. In parts of Ireland, there are people who have dances in their places merely for the purpose of the sale of intoxicating liquor.

The Minister may ask why the young people attend dances in rural areas. The answer is that the nearest dance hall to them might be 15 or 16 miles away. People in the rural areas have no other alternative but to attend the dances in the rural districts.

I am sure the Minister must have received complaints in regard to young people being served with intoxicating drink because there is no supervision. The owner stays behind the bar and so long as you can come up with the money, you are supplied with drink until 4 o'clock in the morning. The purpose of my amendment is to prevent any young person being supplied with intoxicating liquor. The onus should be put on the owner of the hall. The committees of football clubs which run dances take every precaution and provide proper supervision, but there are many clubs where the individual himself runs the dance during the season. By my amendment, I am endeavouring to ensure that there is proper supervision so that no young person will be supplied with drink. Having ventilated the matter in this House, I am sure that the people who run these dance halls will know that there is a large body of opinion not in favour of the manner in which those dance halls are supervised at the present time.

I should have much preferred to have waited to hear the views of other Deputies. I take it that the Deputy's amendment is for the purpose of ensuring that intoxicating liquor is not supplied to people under 21 years of age. I cannot agree with the amendment. It seems laudable, but in practice I cannot agree with it. A person of 21 years of age is more than an adult. In the eyes of the law, he is three years beyond that stage. It would be a funny thing if a married man having a family of three or four children were refused a drink at a dance.

I have always argued that a person of 18 years of age should have the vote. It is a funny thing that they are denied the franchise until they are 21 years of age, but if there were any trouble in this country, they would be conscripted and would have to go out and die for their country. If they commit any offence which is serious enough, they will be held in law to be fully responsible for their actions. They can be hanged by the neck until they are dead. They are considered responsible enough to marry and have children. They are considered responsible enough for every and any purpose whatsoever. It would be funny if a married man having a family were refused a drink. I do not want to make fun of the Deputy. The principle is good but it is not practicable.

They are two different propositions altogether.

I do not know what the Deputy means. The amendment suggests that a person under 21 years of age should not be served with drink.

At dance halls.

At dance halls. What is the difference? A man attends a staff dance with his wife. The Deputy does not know what it is all about. Let us be practical. In fact, people are getting wiser as they get younger these days. Let us take the teenagers between 14 and 15 years of age. We look upon them as——

Acting Chairman

This amendment refers to dance halls and to people under 21 years of age.

I am getting round to that. You cannot consider a person of twenty and a half years of age, eighteen and a half or 19 too young to have a drink at a dance hall. The law permits them to dance. In fact, they are dancing at 14 and 15 years of age. I had thousands of cases of kids between 14 and 15 years of age attending dances when I was in the dance game.

They were breaking the law.

Correct, but that had to be proved. I have been in the dance game for 30 years. I ran 11,000 dances at the rate of 15 a week for years and I know what I am talking about.

I thoroughly agree with the amendment but it would be impossible to implement it. How would you find out the age of anyone there? It would be impossible to implement it.

I must say that, in the main, I agree with what Deputy Barron and Deputy Sherwin said. The law at present prohibits the sale of alcohol to persons under 18 years of age in public houses and on licensed premises generally. I think that is even difficult enough to enforce at times. Apart altogether from the question which Deputy Sherwin raised as to the responsibility of a person at the age of 21, there is the over-riding consideration in this that it would be impossible to enforce the proposal. There is no point in our putting provisions into the Bill which we know could not and would not be enforced. I am not saying that I do not sympathise with what Deputy Everett has in mind.

I sympathise with him, too.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 11 agreed to.

Acting Chairman

Amendments Nos. 21 and 22 may be taken together.

I move amendment No. 21:

In page 9, lines 50 to 58, to delete subsection (3) and to insert the following subsection:

"(3) A general exemption order shall not be granted in respect of premises situate in the county borough of Dublin unless a general exemption order was in force in respect of the premises on the 19th day of April, 1962, or at any time during the two years immediately preceding that date."

Does amendment No. 21 cover fully what is included in amendment No. 22?

It preserves the status quo.

Deputy McGilligan's amendment simply sets out the actual occupations. My impression is that the Minister's amendment covers that point but I should be glad if he could give me an assurance on that.

The purpose of the amendment is to preserve the status quo and I think that is what Deputy McGilligan has in mind.

I would ask the Minister to reconsider his amendment and to alter one word in it. In the third last line, I would ask him to substitute for the word "premises" the word "area". That would meet my case. This section applies mainly to the market and dock areas in Dublin. Under the existing Act a number of licensees in the dock area did not apply for exemption orders. If this amendment is accepted, those people who did not apply for exemption orders, or those who might purchase the premises concerned, will be prevented in the future from applying for exemption orders. I say that would be an interference with their rights. It is not my purpose to increase the number of licensed houses entitled to open but I think it would be an injustice to the licensees who did not apply heretofore for exemption orders and, of course, to their successors. The Minister's amendment denies such people for all time the right to apply for exemption orders.

I would point out that the substitution suggested by Deputy Barron would be meaningless because a general exemption order can be secured only in respect of a particular premises. It would not mean anything if we inserted the word "area" in this section. That is really the technicality of the matter. Apart from that, I disagree with Deputy Barron. It is my intention to prevent any further general exemption orders being granted in this way. Deputies know well the history of this matter. It was my original intention to abolish these early morning openings in the dock area altogether. I came to that conclusion because my predecessor was approached by the Trade Union Congress to do exactly that because the Trade Union Congress felt these early morning openings were undesirable and should be abolished. My predecessor agreed to do that but subsequently the technical arrangements necessary to give effect to that intention turned out to be unsuitable. In fact, we were not able to give effect to the intention of my predecessor, and when approaching this Bill, I set out to remedy that situation and to give effect to what was the intention of my predecessor, at the instance of the Trade Union Congress.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted, and 20 Members being present,

Subsequently I was approached by many groups of people, various groups of workers not only representing the dockers but a number of others in the area concerned, and indeed on this occasion I was approached by Deputy Mullen who represented the Congress of Irish Trade Unions.

That is perfectly true.

It was represented to me that the proposal to abolish these early morning openings should not be proceeded with and the very valid case was made to me that in the dock area particularly the only food, shelter and wramth available to these early morning workers were provided in these licensed premises. I then reconsidered the whole question and, having special regard to the wishes of the Congress of Irish Trade Unions, I decided readily not to the proceed with the proposal to abolish the early morning openings. I was concerned overall with the point of view and the interest of the workers but I now feel that the situation is adequately catered for by the number of licensed premises which already have exemption orders.

That is right.

I feel there is no case for extending the number of exemption orders to further licensed premises and the proposal I am now making is that the premises already in possession of exemption orders should retain them but that no further exemptions should be granted.

I submit that is an injustice. I know the area well and I know that one publican has an exemption order but the licensee beside him has not. If the latter sold his premises and if his successor wanted an exemption order he could not get it.

Why did he not apply in the first instance?

I quite appreciate the Minister's attitude and personally I would not have any 7.30 a.m. opening. I would even suggest that these licensed premises now allowed to open at 7.30 would close from 9.30 to 10.30 —for at least an hour before the official opening time.

I think the reason given by Deputy Barron was one of the principal reasons which compelled the Minister to take the dock areas out of the arrangement whereby people could secure drink early in the morning. It was happening that you had people cashing in on that arrangement. I agree with the Minister that the demand is very well met as it stands at the moment. He is right when he says that representations were made to him by the Congress of Irish Trade Unions to have the section as it is now. Had the Minister done what he proposed to do initially people coming from the dock areas might have to go to the markets to have a drink. The Minister has met the point of view expressed by the Congress of Irish Trade Unions in a reasonable manner. Were he to go further than he is going the whole thing would be wide open to abuse.

I advocated this section as well as Deputy Mullen. There were strong representations made by the local workers and we are very pleased at the Minister's concession and we are pleased that there should be no further extension. Some people should have priority. That is the nature of things and it is also the nature of things that those who are there first should have it. The section mentions those who had the exemption order prior to April, and what I should like to know is how many have got exemption orders within the last two years and how many will be deprived of them? The Bill states: "In respect of premises on the 1st day of April, 1962, or at any time during the two years immediately preceding that date". Does that mean that you must have held the exemption order two years previously?

Or at any time.

Mr. Belton

On this matter there are four points to which the Minister should give consideration. I agree with what Deputy Barron has said. You have the early morning opening hour from 7 o'clock and the next closing hour is 2.30 p.m. Great play has been made in this House by Deputies on both sides that 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. opening on Sunday is too long. I ask is 7 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. too long? Representations have been made to me by certain publicans in the area that a closing hour should be imposed at 9 a.m. or 9.30 a.m. because 50 per cent. of the people who use these early morning houses are people going home early in the morning. You will often see more people in dress suits in these places than people in working clothes.

The police reports do not confirm that in regard to the dock areas.

Mr. Belton

In other areas where there is early morning opening, you often have more dress suits than working suits. A second closing hour should be created for these houses that open at 7 o'clock in the morning. I suggest also that there is a certain amount of discrimination if you permit these publicans to hold an early morning licence and prevent other houses situated much closer to the dock area from getting a licence. There may have been several reasons why these people did not apply for a licence originally. I suggest that in Parnell Street there is one publican who has an early morning licence because he is catering for the dock area.

No, because of the Rotunda Hospital.

That is a fact. He made that submission in his application.

The Deputy does not repair very often to the Rotunda.

Mr. Belton

No. It seems unfair to me that all the houses in the street that are opponents in regard to business cannot avail of a similar licence. That is unfair discrimination. It would be difficult also to set a limit to the dock area. Who is qualified to define where the dock area begins and where it ends? I would also suggest to the Minister that these people who are anxious to trade earlier than the normal hours in the city should be permitted to have 13 consecutive hours trading. If they want to open at 7 a.m. let them close at 8 p.m.; if they want to open at 9 a.m. let them close at 10 p.m. That would make for more equitable distribution of trade.

At the present moment there are 50 or 60 houses in the dock area. As a result of that not one of them is doing a great business. If there were staggered hours in the dock areas the houses that would avail of the 7 a.m. opening would do a good business while they were open. They would be closed at 8 p.m. and then the other houses would do a good business. There is no sense in saying that a trader can close when he likes. Any trader is forced to do what his opponent in business does, otherwise he will lose his trade. I suggest to the Minister that he should consider imposing a second closing hour for the early morning openers, that there is a certain amount of discrimination if publicans are not allowed to apply for early morning opening, that limits should be made to the dock areas and that where this concession is given publicans should be confined to 13 consecutive hours.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 22 not moved.
Section 12, as amended, agreed to.
Section 13 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 23:

In page 10, subsection (1), lines 52 to 54, to delete "a six-day licence" and "or a licence granted under section 15 of this Act".

The amendment has two objectives. First, it will have the effect of permitting a six-day licensee to open for unlicensed business on Sunday mornings. As Deputies know, the Bill contains a provision whereby licensed premises will be entitled to open for unlicensed business for a period of threequarters of an hour on Sunday mornings. The idea is to enable them to sell papers, cigarettes and so on to the people coming from first Mass. What I now propose is that that facility should be made available to the six-day licensee also. That is only fair and equitable. The second part of the amendment is consequential on the deletion of Section 15 from the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 14, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Belton

I move amendment No. 24:

Before section 15 to insert a new section as follows:

"Section 12A of the Act of 1927 (which was inserted by the Act of 1960 and relates to limited restaurant certificates) is hereby amended as follows:

by the deletion in paragraph (a) of subsection 6 of the following words: `but not otherwise'."

This amendment relates to the Act of 1960 and deals with restaurant certificates. After the passing of the Act, there was a lot of confusion, possibly among the police authorities, as to the definition of the premises which would ordinarily be used for the serving of meals and which would not be ordinarily be used for the serving of drink; in other words, that food would be the main business done in that part of the premises. I suggest to the Minister, in view of his statement introducing the Bill, that if it were possible to close off that part of the premises that would expose drink for sale, the part of the premises that would ordinarily be used for the sale of food would qualify for a limited restaurant certificate.

In his statement introducing the Bill, the Minister recommended that licensed houses should go into food, provide substantial meals for the public and, thereby, help the tourist industry. It should be made possible for houses catering on those lines to avail of opportunities to serve the public. When speaking on the 1960 Bill, the Minister's predecessor, the then Deputy Traynor, assured me that a part of the premises ordinarily used for the sale and consumption of drink would not comply. But when the Bill was put into operation, I was in several licensed premises where all the bottles you wanted to consume were displayed and exposed. Possibly, there was a little bit of chicken wire in front of them, but this complied with the section. I suggest that if some sort of roller shutter were installed and the bar premises closed off, they would then qualify for a limited restaurant certificate.

At the moment the position is this: We have the licensed premises and then we have the attached restaurant with a limited restaurant certificate. I think this is the situation which with the Deputy is concerned, but I am not clear whether he is concerned with the restaurant portion to which the limited certificate would attach. It seems to me the suggestion he made was that in the public house part, as we will call it for convenience, if provision were made whereby the bar could be cut off at a certain stage, persons could remain in that portion of the premises for the serving of food. I think that would get us into a lot of difficulty. However, it is something I shall consider.

Mr. Belton

I do not think it would create any greater difficulty than would exist where a definite portion of the premises is allocated solely and all the time for the serving of meals. There are several houses here in town where meals are served. They are described, as they are described in England, as bar meals. Anybody who would not be consuming food would have to leave the premises at 11.30 p.m.

In the public house part, whether they are consuming food or not, they must be off by 11.30 p.m.

Mr. Belton

I suggest to the Minister the lounge or whatever place is most suitable to serve meals. I would suggest that the Minister go even further and consider the public bar as a proper place, if meals were served.

I think this is in line with the Deputy's suggestion about the midday break. It is the same point. If a person is in the public bar having a meal, he should be entitled to stay on up to the permitted hour?

Mr. Belton

Yes, provided he is having a meal.

When does he start having the meal?

That is the Deputy's extended suggestion. What was his lesser suggestion?

Mr. Belton

The lounge bar, instead of the public bar.

What facilities does the Deputy want for the lounge bar?

Mr. Belton

That a diner would be permitted to stay on.

When would the lounge bar patron start his meal? At 2.15 or 2.30?

Mr. Belton

I would suggest that patrons of lounge bars and public houses would commence at a time similar to the patrons of hotels and licensed restaurants.

In other words, they can go in and get it.

I shall think of Deputy Belton's suggestion. I cannot at this stage do any more than think about it because it seems to me to bristle with difficulty. It is a suggestion to which I would be attracted in principle, if it could be made to work, because, as Deputy Belton rightly pointed out, it fits in with my overall idea of what a public house should be. Section 9 of the 1960 Act, however, stipulated very clearly that the position of the premises to which a certificate could apply should not include a public bar or part of a room in another part of which there is a public bar. The stipulation of the 1960 Act is quite definite and precise in that regard.

Mr. Belton

It may have been definite and precise but I suggest that a coach and four were driven right through it during the past two years.

In other words, Dan O'Connell is not dead yet.

I think he said "a coach and six."

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 15 deleted
Question proposed: "That Section 16 stand part of the Bill."

Section 16 deals with licences for greyhound race tracks. The point has been made to me—and I imagine it has been made to the Minister also—that subsection (2), which permits the licensing of greyhound race tracks not only during race meetings but also during sales or trials, leaves the position very vague. Let me confess that I know very little about what happens at greyhound race tracks, but it has been represented to me that as this section is worded, continuous all-day drinking could be permitted. For the reason that sales or trials could go on for an indefinite period, they would not fit in to a limited time such as would be the case where there is a race fixture.

Under the section as it stands, the licence obtained for a greyhound race track could permit continuous drinking during the day, and while in the ordinary licensed premises the break from 2.30 to 3.30 p.m. will be observed, it would not have to be observed under this section by greyhound race tracks. That point has been made to me and I want to ask the Minister to look into it and see if some limiting definition so far as time is concerned could be imposed for sales and trials as well as races.

I feel that perhaps in Dublin city there is need for a bar at greyhound race tracks, but not outside Dublin city. I know the Minister's idea about having uniformity in this Bill, but I should like him to understand that in country towns where there are greyhound race tracks the practice has been for people to have a drink in the public house before they go down to the track, and a drink on the way home. In fact, I have seen that happen over the years and although I do not attend at greyhound race tracks very often, I have seen people get good service.

In Dundalk last Monday night I pulled up outside an office where I interview constituents, and I saw at least six people with greyhounds going into one or two public houses which had lounges attached.

What stage was that? How long was it before the first race?

I could not say, but I imagine it was just before the first race. However, I went into my office and when I had finished, I went into one public house to see what was happening. I found that race cards were displayed behind the bar and available before the meeting, and that facilities were always given to those people with regard to bringing the dogs into the lounge and that sort of thing.

I feel that if there were a bar in the Dundalk race track, for instance—and here I am sticking my neck out because I am sure there are a lot of people in my constituency who would desire to have a bar there—the capital value of their premises and the opportunity for profit of those publicans to whom I have referred would be impaired. I hold that the person who goes "to the dogs" in Dundalk is well served as he is, and I do not see any need in a relatively small greyhound race track down the country, such as the one to which I have referred, for a licence.

If we went right through every section of the Bill, I am sure we would find many occasions where there is a greater need and a greater case for a bar licence. This should not be considered in any Party way or in any, shall we say, area of argument, but between now and Report Stage, I would ask the Minister to consider amending this section to restrict the granting of licences to greyhound race tracks in specific areas such as the large city areas of Dublin, and perhaps Cork.

Dundalk is a large city.

The Minister is friendly enough with me to make jokes, but he is being a trifle political now because he implies that the representative of the constituency of Louth, myself, implies that Dundalk is not a large city. Dundalk is a large and thriving provincial town and it will become larger in the future.

Under the benign reign of Fianna Fáil.

It is a town in which I have a great interest. The Minister is being facetious. It seems to me that there may be a case for a bar in the Shelbourne Park and Harold's Cross race tracks but I do not think there is any such case in the provincial towns. The public houses have served those people who go to the greyhound race tracks, whether they run dogs or merely go for an evening's enjoyment.

The local public houses will be affected? Is the track in Dundalk not a considerable distance out?

No; it is in the town. I believe the local public houses will be affected. They have provided the service, and they have been bought and sold on the basis of the business available, and for that reason alone I think they are entitled to be left untouched. I ask the Minister to consider between now and Report Stage restricting this section and providing that licences can be granted to greyhound race tracks in the large city areas only.

I think the Minister was very wise to do this. I hold the view that if such provisions are made for horse racing, there is no reason why they should not be made for dog racing. I do not see that there is any danger of interfering with a neighbouring publican. Under the section, this operates more or less while the meeting is going on, a reasonable time before and a reasonable time after. I think it would be ridiculous to go on the line that it would take trade away from anyone.

I am perturbed about the sales. I am conscious of the fact that race horse sales take place in the morning, and I am told that greyhound sales take place in the evening time or late at night. I am concerned about ascertaining what would be the finishing time for serving drink at those sales.

I welcome the section because it will give employment. It will afford an opportunity to some of my redundant barmen—and I hope the Minister will not declare some of them redundant as a result of another section—to get work at greyhound race tracks and sales.

Anyone who attends a greyhound race meeting in Dublin knows very well that the dogs must be kennelled half an hour before the commencement of the first race, and usually the first race is at 8 o'clock, so the dogs must be kennelled at 7.30 p.m. I do not think that 15 minutes before the first race is sufficiently long to have the bar open. I am referring only to the place I know. There may be different conditions in other parts of the country. There may be tracks far away from public houses. If people come up from the country with dogs, as most people do, to the Dublin tracks, rather than have them going into licensed premises before they come near the tracks, it would be better if the Minister would consider at least 7.30 opening, half-an-hour before the first race. That would suit people better and I ask the Minister to consider it.

I am not a dog fan at all but I can see the sense of what has been said by Deputy Mullen and Deputy Barron. You cannot be at the dog track and at a public house at the same time so if you want beer you can only get it at the dog track. One point mystifies me and that is the inclusion of the greyhound trials. I can understand a full public attendance at a greyhound race meeting. At a greyhound sale only a limited number of the public will be present but at a greyhound trials I cannot imagine anybody being present but the people directly concerned with the dogs. Where is the need for a licence there?

In regard to Deputy Barron's suggestion to extend the time a little, I am not sure that it would not be worth doing. That point has been made by quite a few people since the terms of the Bill were published. One must bear in mind the interests of the local publicans and the proposals in the Bill are framed to ensure that there will not be any, or hardly any, interference with the trade and business because, as Deputy Sherwin rightly pointed out, we are giving licence facilities to the tracks only for a period practically coincidental with the period during which people would be there anyway. The argument has been made that 15 minutes before the start of the first race is a little too short. If Deputies agree, I should like to consider that between now and Report Stage and see whether we might make any change.

In regard to Deputy Donegan's point concerning greyhound tracks outside Dublin, I am not sure he is correct. First, we have the safeguard that the hours we propose should not necessarily mean any particular interference with the publicans' trade. I say this to Deputy Donegan who is a well-known sportsman himself. The greyhound industry is a very important one to the country and one which it is hoped, through the activities of Bord na gCon, will become more important as time goes on. It is the function of that board, and their objective, to develop this industry. One of the main ways in which they hope to do that is by providing better tracks, increased facilities and more comfort at the tracks. This proposal is just such an amenity as Bord na gCon hoped they would be able to provide for the racing public at the tracks. I do not see why the sportsmen of Dublin should be entitled to this facility at a greyhound race track while sportsmen of Dundalk or elsewhere should be denied it. It is just as important from the point of view of the greyhound industry that we should build up the tracks outside Dublin and it is just as important to provide facilities at these tracks as it is to do so in Dublin.

Would the Minister deal with the question of sales and trials?

I shall have another look at that.

Under Section 16, it seems obvious with this proposal, we are going so far as to say that there are not enough public houses convenient to the tracks to enable people to get drink. Speaking as one interested in greyhound racing, perhaps more in open coursing than in the tracks, I believe if people are really interested in the sport, the pleasure of the sport itself, plus perhaps the hope of making a few shillings, the couple of hours that they must spend without a drink at night will not break them.

The Deputy would not give a drink to anybody if he had his way.

The Deputy's views are in accord with the principles brought in here by Deputy Traynor as Minister, principles that were un-made by the present Minister last night. The Minister should remember that when he boasts that this Bill is "the Bill". He did not say that when Deputy Traynor was here. This is put forward because of the few hours at night that people may spend at a dog track in Dublin or Cork or other centres. The public houses are not far away. For these few hours, if people were really interested in greyhound sport, whether track or open coursing, they would not die of drought for the want of a pint or a "half one."

Greyhound trials, as we know, have been going on for many years in daytime. It is not a case of perfect timing as in the case of racing. There will always be delays in kennelling and unkennelling and bringing out the dogs and so on. This may go on for many hours. Apparently, according to the Minister's statement the new Board set up to deal with the greyhound industry is very much behind this proposal to provide drinking facilities. Let me remind the Minister that the greyhound industry was here long before such a Board was set up. It would be fantastic to suggest that, because one of the prominent factors influencing these proposals is the Greyhound Racing Board, the proposals are right. I believe the reverse could be the case. Trials may go on for many hours. There is no hurry. As some Deputies said, they can take place conveniently at hours when the public houses are closed. Apparently, we must make everything very comfortable for the new patrons of greyhound racing.

A greyhound sale may also go on for a long while, whether in the evening, early in the day or late at night. With all the talk of sporting facilities and the comforts that we offer with them now, I wonder how did sportsmen exist before. I oppose this section. I believe there are adequate facilities for people to get drink outside the race-track before they go in and when they come out. That should be sufficient.

I agree with Deputy Desmond there have not been the dramatic changes in the patronising of greyhound tracks on the establishment of Bord na gCon that the Minister would indicate. The patrons of greyhound tracks were always able to secure the facilities they required at establishments within easy reach. More dramatic changes have been the abandonment of the country fairs and the establishment of cattle marts. People are there for longer hours than people who are at greyhound tracks. They are there from dawn to dark, and after dark on many occasions. Yet it was found possible to get licensees already established in the licensed trade to provide facilities at these marts without any special public house licence being found necessary.

They have bars.

Not in every instance. If they have a bar, it is not a special licence that has been created for the purpose of the mart. The facilities are being provided under some existing licence.

That is right. They can get an occasional licence.

Yes, and there are no complaints and no difficulty. The people are trapped in that location for long hours and the location of a mart very often is not as central as a greyhound track, for instance, the track at Clonmel.

The occasional licence is perfect machinery for dealing with cattle markets.

Granted, but as far as Cork is concerned, for instance, the facilities are very definitely available within easy reach of the location of the greyhound track and I cannot see the need for the Minister's proposal.

The Minister seems to indicate that what he proposes to do under Section 16, namely, to install bars in the greyhound tracks, would not affect the licensed trade. I believe it would and I think it is the function of any Deputy to speak here on behalf of his lowliest constituent, to defend his way of life, and to defend his capital and his business. I propose to do that for some very few of my constituents, perhaps an unpopular thing to do with a greater number of my constituents.

The Deputy——

The Minister can be as slick as he likes but I shall get my points across, no matter how much he interrupts me.

I shall not interrupt.

The number of races at a greyhound meeting is such and the interval between races exactly half what it is at a horse race meeting, namely 15 minutes, is such that nobody has very much time for drinking except just before the races and right up to the end of the races. At the same time, the provision of these facilities will mean that people will pass public houses where they normally went for a drink. In the town of Dundalk when I was playing rugby football, we used to come up from the field and go to one of the public houses adjacent to the field. There are only two public houses, or at the most three or four, but if there were only one, I would still make the case that it is wrong that these facilities should be provided at the greyhound track. The person who goes to the greyhound track has not much time to drink and he will normally go to the public house, if there is not a bar at the track.

Somebody said that people of Dublin city have these facilities and asked why should the people of Clonmel, Dundalk or any other place not have them. You cannot compare a greyhound track, even one with potentialities for extension, in Clonmel or Dundalk with Shelbourne Park or Harold's Cross. There you have a vast number of people, and where you have a large number of people, perhaps ten per cent. of them might desire to miss a race or two in order to have a drink. If you take ten per cent. of the people at a greyhound meeting in Clonmel or Dundalk the result would indicate that there is no reason for a bar in such places.

The question of trials was raised and, as was indicated in conversation across the House, these trials can go on all day. When these trials go on all day, it is doubtful that there could be proper supervision. They cannot supervise in the Bluebell and in various other places——

The Bluebell is not a track.

It may not be a track but they cannot supervise a track which may not be an official track in the same way as some of the tracks I am talking about here in Dublin city. It is wrong to have bars at small tracks competing with a publican in the town who is providing facilities. I know public houses in Navan which traditionally provide——

I was ringing "An Uaimh" yesterday and the lady in the telephone exchange said: "You mean Navan?" However if the Deputy wants to be factual, we can be factual.

"An Uaimh" is the legal name.

It is no bother to say "An Uaimh" if it pleases Deputy Ó Briain.

It is the legal name.

In An Uaimh, there are publicans who cater for people before they go to the greyhound track. They can bring their dogs into the house and they are welcome again when they leave the track. They are known public houses, three or four of them, and these public houses will lose trade. It is only right that somebody should come in here and stand up for them. There is this glorious sort of global approach——

What about Dublin?

Did Deputy Flanagan ever see a greyhound?

We are in Committee. Will the establishment of a bar in Harold's Cross or Shelbourne Park affect the local publicans?

If you take the number of people who attend Shelbourne Park in relation to the number of people who desire to give up a few races and go to the bar to drink and the general trade of all the public houses around it, the answer probably is "no," but in a town like Dundalk or Clonmel the trade of the greyhound track is important. It is the harvest of the publican's week. It is his good night on which he depends.

When I was interrupted by Deputy Flanagan, I was making the point that there are three or four public houses in Navan which are known and which cater for this trade. Why should that trade be taken away? People have the habit of going to the track, placing their bets and when the races are over, going down to the public house for a drink. Why not leave that?

The Deputy is making me suspicious when he says the dogs are brought into the public house.

Their capacity to get around the track might be affected.

I should like to mention one fact. Dogs travel in cars, some of them, particularly greyhounds, very badly. Greyhounds seems to know when they are put into a car that, at the end of the journey, they will run in a race. Giving them a walk up and down the street on the way helps them to relax. They also relax if whoever is giving them a walk goes into a public house for a drink. Dogs suffer from tension just as much as Deputies and Ministers. My case is that in the small greyhound tracks, excluding Dublin, there is no argument for a bar. The Minister is not interested in the small places I am talking about but I am interested in them.

So am I. I want to give the facilities. The Deputy wants to deny them.

But the Minister is affecting the capital value of the premises which provided these facilities for the past 50 years.

I do not think the last speaker has read the provisions of the Bill. Harold's Cross greyhound track is situated in my constituency. When this Bill was first mooted, I consulted the publicans who get a very big trade on the nights that there is greyhound racing. As soon as the Bill was circulated, I consulted them again. They are perfectly satisfied because the situation is admirably covered by clause (ii) of subsection (2) which says: "ending, in the case of a race meeting, at the time at which the last race of the meeting starts...". No one will be staying on to have a drink after the meeting. While that provision remains, I cannot see how any of the arguments put forward by the last speaker can be sustained.

I have a card here for the meeting at Harold's Cross last Saturday night. I notice people had to bring dogs and kennel them at half past seven, half an hour before the first race started. Here I see Monasterevan, Cavan, Ballyheigue, Bagenalstown, Cahir, Ballymote, South Sligo, Meath, New Ross, Charleville, These people, who travel anything from 50 to perhaps a couple of hundred miles, should have an opportunity to get refreshment on either of the Dublin tracks.

Section 16 agreed?

I am opposing the section.

Question put and declared carried.


Will those Deputies who are challenging a division please rise?

Deputies Desmond, Donegan and O.J. Flanagan rose in their places.

Deputies Desmond, Donegan and O. J. Flanagan were recorded as dissenting.


On behalf of Deputy O'Keeffe and Deputy Ryan, I move amendment No. 25:

Before Section 17 to insert the following new section:

"Notwithstanding anything contained in any other enactment an off-licence may be granted in respect of any premises in any city or town if within an area of one mile distant from such premises there is the requisite increase in population and the other conditions of the law are satisfied."

I understand that the point involved is in connection with the granting of new licences. At the moment, as the Minister is aware, it is necessary to show an increase of population of 25 per cent. over and above the 1902 Census in the civil parish in which the premises in respect of which the application is brought is situated. In the city of Dublin, some of the old civil parishes have become extremely populous as, say, the Kimmage-Crumlin area. However, a situation can arise where a person who is an applicant for a licence, by reason of being slightly outside the area or the boundary of a civil parish and in the next parish, is unable to show the minimum increase in population, whereas the parish boundary may start on the other side of the road and within the immediate area of the premises more than sufficient increase in population may have taken place.

The Deputy is talking about a site which would be situated just outside the boundary of a civil parish in which the increase has taken place?

In which the increase has taken place. The suggestion in the amendment is that it might be possible to arrange it on an area basis rather than to keep the requirement tied to the old civil parish boundaries. It is a matter that I think it might be worth the Minister's while to look into.

I shall look into it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 26 and, with No. 26, perhaps, amendment No. 31.

I move amendment No. 26:

In page 13, subsection (1), line 36, to delete "15 or".

Yes, they are both consequential on the deletion of Section 15.

Amendment agreed to.

I formally move amendment No. 27:

In subsection (1) to add at the end of the subsection:

"; nor shall such an application be allowed unless (i) the licence or licences to be extinguished relates or relate to premises which are situate in the same District Court area as the premises which are the subject of the application, and (ii) the applicant shows to the satisfaction of the Court that the grant of a new licence is justified by reference to an increase in the population of the said District Court area."

Amendment No. 28 is cognate. Perhaps we can take both together?

I should just like, formally, to oppose them.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 28 not moved.

On behalf of Deputy Sweetman, I move amendment No. 29:

To add a new paragraph to subsection (2) as follows:

"(c) This subsection shall not apply to any application made before 31st December, 1962, if the applicant satisfies the Court that he had prior to the 11th April, 1962, incurred expenditure to prepare himself for such an application."

Perhaps amendments Nos. 29, 30 and 32 might be taken with it?

I think the Minister's amendment does meet the point which Deputy Sweetman was making in his amendment. There is just one point I should like to be clear on, that is, whether, in amendment No. 32, it is quite clear that a notice to the county registrar is sufficient, even if the actual newspaper notice which is necessary has not been published. There is a practical difference, in practice, as between Dublin city and rural areas in relation to these applications. In Dublin, the circuit court is sitting continuously. Certainly, the practice is that the notice to the county registrar is given by means of filing the newspaper notice, which has been inserted, together with a voucher copy of the newspaper.

In rural areas, where the circuits are not in continuous session, it would be possible to give notice to the county registrar but it would not be possible to insert the newspaper notice because, under the Act, there is a limit—I think of 28 days—within which the notice must be served. I think, from my reading of it, that the ministerial amendment does cover the situation. If that is so, Deputy Sweetman will not press his amendment.

It does cover it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I accept that amendment No. 30 is covered by the Ministerial amendment.

Amendment No. 30 not moved.

I move amendment No. 31:

In page 13, subsection (3), line 51, to delete "15 or".

This amendment was discussed with amendment No. 26.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 32:

In page 13, after subsection (3), to add to the section the following subsection:

"( ) The preceding subsections of this section shall not have effect as respects—

(a) an application notice of which was given, pursuant to rules of court, to the appropriate County Registrar or to the appropriate District Court Clerk before the commencement of this Act, or

(b) an application for the grant of a certificate entitling the applicant to receive a licence in respect of any premises on the hearing of which it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that a declaration was made by the Court in respect of those premises under subsection (1) of section 15 of the Act of 1960 before the commencement of this Act."

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 17, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

I have some misgivings about subsection (2) which stipulates that a licence shall not be granted in respect of a premises situated less than one mile from a premises which had a licence prior to the passing of the 1960 Act. A situation that arose as a result of the passing of the 1960 proposal was that two or three people from the same area could come into court, and have come in, and be granted licences. In my opinion, the 1960 Act in that respect was a little too wide. I do not think it is desirable that too many public houses should be created. It would be better that you should have one good public house catering for a rural area rather than two, three, four or five, none of which is doing sufficient business to carry on as a public house alone.

I do not think it was the object of the legislature in 1960 to establish too many rural public houses. What happened in practice was that in many areas because of the way the 1960 provision was framed—which was in effect that the establishment of the business would have to be proved to be unreasonably detrimental to other businesses already existing in the neighbourhood but it is practically impossible to prove that the establishment of a new public house would be unreasonably detrimental because it is almost impossible to say what is unreasonable—several people have been able to come along together in respect of the same area and be successful in their application to court. What I found happening in practice was that many of these places were really not proper public houses but general grocery and hardware stores and they added a licence as a sort of sideline. There is far too much of that in the country, far too much of the type of mixed business in which the public house portion is only a sideline and in which the public do not get the facilities to which they are entitled. In many cases, these premises have not got the sanitary facilities which would be regarded as a minimum requirement.

Any encouragement given in this or any other section to the establishment of these mixed places where you can get a licence and add on in the hope of getting a few extra shillings is a step in the wrong direction. I would urge the Minister to make this subsection considerably stronger than it is at present, to provide both for our own people and tourists a suitable licensed premises in rural areas but not too many of them.

I think the one mile should be extended and I would go further and say—although I have some misgivings in saying this but at the moment my mind lies in this direction—that the 4th July, 1960, should be removed and the provision should apply to any licence in existence at present. Even licences granted pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15, whichever is the relevant section of the 1960 Act, will debar a person from setting up within a mile. I would suggest three miles. Perhaps three miles would be too much but one mile is too little. I think the 1960 public house should be included. I hope the Minister will appreciate that it is better that we should have a reasonable number of licensed premises in rural areas which can cater for the existing and potential trade rather than set up this mixumgatherum type of place of which we already have too many.

I should like to say that I do not agree at all with Deputy Flanagan on this. One of the best ways of getting service for the public as far as the public house is concerned is competition. I have seen a single licensed premises in a locality where the service was anything but satisfactory and as a result of a second license being created inside a mile, both premises are now first-class. The new premises is a first-class structure and the result was that the other premises had to improve. If we do not provide opposition for the existing public houses, and unless we bring in punitive measures they will not exert themselves and give the service which Deputy Flanagan and everybody else wishes to see.

I am not at all in favour of being dogmatic in regard to one or one and a half miles. That question should be left to the courts to establish because if there were a big influx of people into a locality in a rural area—I cannot give a good example how it would happen at the moment as conditions are so bad in rural Ireland—but if there were a big influx and if there were only one licensed premises——

You can get a new licence in a town, if you have a 25 per cent. increase.

Not unless you get the 25 per cent. increase. Say you got a 20 per cent. increase? That is why it should be left to the discretion of the courts in a matter of that nature. As far as the mile or mile and a half or two miles is concerned, nowadays transport cuts out many of the advantages or disadvantages so there should be no limit at all. If an application is made to a court by a person who is considered suitable to have a licensed premises and the people of the locality would like to see a premises in the area, he should not be debarred because this House suggested a mile and a rigid line is laid down that a mile is the limit and that there cannot be another premises inside that.

You are acting in favour of the hotels in this regard because you can get a hotel licence, I presume, under this if you have the ten bedrooms and applied for it. I believe there are people in rural areas who may not go in for the hotel business but who will provide meals and who will give first-class meals in accommodation attached to the licensed premises. If there were such an application to the court and evidence given that meals were to be provided as in some of the top-class public houses in Dublin I think a licence is justifiable in the circumstances where the question of the hotel does not arise at all. The Minister himself is in favour, and rightly so, of seeing that meals are provided in licensed premises so that the customer can drink and have a meal in a civilised fashion. You will encourage that by removing this restriction of the mile. Unless the Minister has very strong reasons for bringing it in, he should get rid of it.

I have a feeling—I may be wrong— that again it is a matter of vested interests. To satisfy every publican, the Minister would want to bring in a special licensing law to suit each one of them. The public should count more than the individual publican. As I said, I may be wrong, but I think pressure is being brought to bear on the Minister to the effect that this will be hard on existing publicans. I do not think it will be. If the Minister leaves it as it is, he will taken them up.

I think Deputies will readily realise the purpose for which Section 17 is intended. The 1960 Act provided that it would be possible by extinguishing two licences to get a new licence in certain circumstances. The thinking behind that proposal in the 1960 Act was quite clear. Indeed, it had reference to a recommendation made by the Liquor Commission. That Commission had in mind the less well catered for areas in the country, particularly in the west of Ireland. The idea was that where rural Ireland was badly catered for in regard to licensing facilities—it could not, of course, show the increase of 25 per cent. in the population which would enable a licence to be granted under the other provision in the 1902 Act then you could get a new licence in certain circumstances.

Of course what happened was something that could not have been visualised. Admittedly, the process mentioned by Deputy McQuillan took place which did have a beneficial effect in a number of limited areas where the advent of a new licensee made the existing licensee or licensees buck up and improve their premises and so on. In fact, the facilities provided for the public were very considerably increased, improved and augmented.

As against that, it did work out unfairly in a number of cases. In fact, what was happening was that applications were being made for new licences in the already well catered for areas, on the outskirts of Dublin city, for instance, and so on. The provision was not being availed of to any extent to provide the facilities it was meant to provide for the rural areas. You had cases where the thing worked unfairly. In all this there is this background. There is a whole legislative process existing in this country for the protection of what are called the equities of existing licensees. All our liquor legislation has always recognised the principle that in so far as it is possible, the existing equities, in other words, the existing vested interests, should be protected. That applies to the licensed trade. It does not apply to any other trade.

Does that apply as far as the bona fide trade is concerned.

To a large extent, it did. We do not protect chemists, butchers or grocers. Anybody can come along and open a grocer's shop but there is that element in our legislation in this matter that the existing equities are preserved. Of course, premises have changed hands on that basis, so that whatever we may think about the validity of that situation, it is there. To interfere with it in any serious way at this stage would not be a just or equitable thing to do. If we were to start all over again, I should be inclined to approach the situation differently. Since that is the situation as we find it, the principle is that in so far as possible we protect existing equities.

That also has the other overriding situation attached to it. You do not, so far as you can possibly avoid it, have an unnecessary creation of new licences. Therefore, when you come to apply that particular criticism to this situation, you find that this provision, which was meant to have certain beneficial effects in the rural areas, was working out to the detriment of publicans who were providing a reasonable service to the public and catering adequately for the needs of the areas in which they were situated. Instead of having one good licensed premises in an area able to keep its head above water, you have two competing for existing business. It is almost impossible to establish that the granting of the new licensing arrangement would be unreasonably detrimental to the existing licence. It works two ways. Deputy McQuillan points to the area where the advent of the new licence improved the situation but, in fact, what happened more often was that the advent of the new licence disimproved the situation because you had two or, perhaps, three licensees now competing for the same business.

When you see a publican shaking his head in agreement, it is time to quit.

On balance, what we are proposing here is the fairest. This provision is still valuable and it is necessary to keep it for areas which are not catered for at all at the moment but we should introduce this restriction and prevent people availing themselves of this to move to lucrative areas and force them out into areas where we want them to go.

This qualification of a distance of one mile from one licensed premises to another does not go far enough. If that were extended to at least three miles, we would be coming near to satisfying the needs of rural Ireland. Prior to this Bill, the extinguishing of licences to create one led to all kinds of abuses. We have every day in the courts in every county in Ireland old licences that have been dead for years and years.

That is finished now.

Thanks be to God for that. That is the abuse that led to.

It is over.

Thank God. In rural Ireland, there has been a tradition that these houses are kept on in the family. Today in rural Ireland a public house during summer time might not sell drink until 9 o'clock at night. In the winter time, the fellows on the road might or might not have money. I do not know what the experience of Deputy McQuillan is in County Roscommon but I know from my own experience in Limerick that publicans are very tightly put and few of them get a living out of the public house alone. For that reason, I would say that the mile does not cover what is needed in the particular area from which I come. I would extend that to three miles at the very least.

As I said, I think the provision we have is all right. However, I shall have another look at it. I also want to mention that there are some other aspects of the granting of new licences in this and other regards that I want to think about a little further. I am mentioning that in case I want to bring anything up on Report Stage.

Will the Minister bear in mind his own point about the desirability of providing meals where new licences are being issued in future? Under the 1960 Act, it was made mandatory to purchase two existing licences before a new one was issued. That led to a rush. That is all over and done with now. As these licences are bought up, they will go up in value and there will be less of a problem as far as the Minister is concerned in the city areas and the large centres. People will not be as anxious to buy the licences because the licence will get dearer. On that basis, it will be only in isolated cases that such licences will be purchased.

Question put and agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 33, 34 and 35 not moved.
Question proposed: "That Section 18 stand part of the Bill."

Why are the amendments not moved?

The problem arose as a result of the rigid enforcement of the 1960 Act. There are many parts of the country where, traditionally, ponies and traps are put into the yards of licensed premises while people are attending Mass, and, of course, the rigid enforcement of the 1960 Act prevented people from doing this, since the yards were part of the licensed premises. We feel that was never intended under the 1960 Act. It resulted in a lot of inconvenience to people in certain areas and we are proposing to set it right now. From now on, a man will be able to stable his horse in the yard of licensed premises.

What about a motor car?

There is not the same demand and anyway a car does not run away while a man is at Mass.

It might run away when he comes out of the licensed premises later.

I raise the matter because a man left his car outside the church and he was told afterwards that he was committing an offence. However, no prosecution arose.

You can park a car on the side of the road. We are here only going as far as necessary and it is necessary in many cases to have somewhere enclosed in which to put a pony and trap. The yard of a licensed premises was traditionally an appropriate place for this purpose. As Deputy S. Flanagan has very strong views about it, I shall consider the question of cars and bicycles.

They are very weak views.

Supposing there was a hurling match, or a feis, will a man be able to put his cart into the yard of a licensed premises?

He is all right if it is on a Sunday.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 19 to 22, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 23 stand part of the Bill."

Subsection (2) provides that liqueur confectionery may not be sold in a public house to a person under 16 years of age but there is no provision to prohibit the sale of liqueur chocolates to a person over 16 years of age or to prevent him giving it to a person under the age of 16. Therefore, to my mind, the section provides for a free market for this type of chocolate to children under the age of 16.

There is nothing to prevent a man buying liqueur chocolates and giving them to anybody. The same applies to a glass of brandy.

Perhaps the Minister would try to understand that his little slick manner may not always cut ice with everybody. We heard last night about the danger that, if we do not allow later opening hours on Sunday evenings, people will get the beer, put it into their cars and go on to dances. What is to stop the same people buying liqueur chocolates and giving them to children under 16 years of age?

They can buy it at the moment.

If the Minister would wait.

The Deputy does not understand what is involved.

I understand that during the time the Minister was serving his apprenticeship to the last Minister for Justice, he should have learned to understand what manners meant.

At least Deputy Traynor was courteous to the House. The Deputy who is interrupting is very seldom in the House except when something affecting a certain profession is involved. There should be no provision in this Bill to facilitate the purchase of liqueur chocolate so that it could eventually find its way into the hands of young children. In this Bill we are permitting its sale and I am drawing particular attention——

Daft. Apart from his other qualities in respect to this matter, Deputy Desmond has the capacity to misunderstand practically everything that is involved. He is complaining, if I understand him correctly that the Bill provides that liqueur chocolates may be sold in public houses. The position already is that liqueur chocolates may be sold in public houses so we are not changing the law. I do not see what objection the Deputy has to it. Surely it is a bit of a laugh to say that we should not permit the sale of liqueur chocolates because persons might get them and give them to children under age. We are not a completely paternal society: we do not lay down in legislation that persons cannot buy whiskey or brandy and give them to children. We do provide that you cannot sell them to children.

The fact that this was done in the past does not prevent the Minister providing for its discontinuance.

I am extending it.

The Minister should be improving it. As a member of this House, I will not be prevented by the Minister from airing any views I wish to. I am entitled to do that as is every other member of the House and I will not be prevented by the Minister.

There is liquor in a Christmas pudding and the children get it.

Not very much.

Unfortunately I had to go out of the House and missed amendment No. 22. Would the Minister be good enough to answer one question on that matter?


In the event of some people assembling at a holiday resort and buying stout or whiskey and adjourning to one of their homes in that district would they be all right?

They would be all right, unless Deputy Desmond was around.

Question put and declared carried, Deputy Desmond dissenting.
Section 23 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 36 in the names of Deputies Ryan, O'Keeffe and Clinton:

Before Section 24 to insert a new section as follows:

"Notwithstanding anything contained in any other enactment a holder of a beer only off-licence shall be deemed on the passing of this Act to be the holder of a spirits off-licence subject to the same conditions as are now applicable to spirits off-licences."

I would ask the Minister to look into the subject matter of this amendment. I understand that it relates only to the city of Dublin and here there are 264 beer off-licences throughout the country and 258 spirit off-licences. The difference between the number who hold spirit licences and the number who hold beer licences amounts to only six. It is suggested in the amendment that as there are only six beer off-licences they should be put into the same position as the spirit licences and, if necessary, that there should be some fine, or premium or payment imposed on them for the privilege. That satisfies the Minister's principle of uniformity and as there are so few people involved I would suggest that he look at it and see if the proposition might be acceptable.

I will look into it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 24 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 25 stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Belton

On this section I should like to put a point to the Minister. Under the 1960 Act as referred to in this section the only people permitted to be on licensed premises after normal closing hours would be the holder of the licence, the owner of the premises, a person to whom intoxicating liquor may legally be sold or supplied, a person carrying out construction work or alterations to the premises, or a person in the employment of the holder of the licence or the owner of the premises and who is permitted to be there in the ordinary course of such employment, or a resident on the premises, or an officer of Customs and Excise who is there in the course of his duty. It would be desirable in the interests of the licensed trade, the hotel business and the licensed restaurant business that a subsection should be added to that providing that an employee employed there at the time would be permitted by his employer to purchase a drink after he finishes work.

What about the employer giving him the drink?

Mr. Belton

That is all very well but when you have 25 or 50 people employed in a hotel you could not expect the employer to stand them drinks but often after a big function the staff are permitted by the hotel owner to purchase a drink or two within reason.

He often gives it to them.

Mr. Belton

He may but he permits them to buy a drink as well. Any employer will permit his staff to buy a drink after they have finished work and I think that such people should not be subject to prosecuion. I think the matter was overlooked in the 1960 Act and now that the Minister has decided to bring in a new Bill he should include this provision in it.

I should like to support Deputy Belton on that point. In the Minister's constituency and in mine we have had a case such as Deputy Belton has mentioned. A Guard visited a licensed premises in my area where, after the glasses had been cleaned up, the owner of the premises stood a drink to the employees. The Guard came in, took the names of the assistants and the owner and went ahead with the prosecution. That is sailing very close to the wind altogether. I spoke here last night about people trying to manufacture cases and no Minister, no matter how good he might be, could alleviate the misunderstanding that might occur afterwards. I know of two such cases as a result of the 1960 Act although nothing was made of them afterwards.

I do not ask the House to agree that the publican should be allowed to go behind the counter and allow his employees to drink for two hours after closing time but many of these people are working hard all day and they cannot take a drink during duty hours. In such circumstances they should not be prosecuted if they have a drink after working hours. Possibly only one per cent. of the Guards in the whole country would do a thing like that but it has been done. I want to support Deputy Belton on the matter. While I do not agree with him on many things there are some things on which we do agree.

This is a novel suggestion and one which I should like time to think about. What does strike me about it, however, is that if we were to provide that the employer could permit the employee to buy a drink after hours the said employer might be less likely to give the staff a free drink and I might be cutting across the interests of the unions in that regard.

The Minister need not worry about that. I support Deputy Belton in this matter. We expect people who serve behind the bar, whether it be in a public house, hotel or restaurant to be on their best behaviour. Surely it is a nice thing for the person in charge of the function to be able to say to the employees: "Now, boys, we know this is a big night but at the end of it, we will be able to allow you have a drink and we will give you a drink," without having them in the position of being apprehensive? It happens on the eve of St. Patrick's Day, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and around all festivals. As I understand Deputy Belton, he is not advocating that they should go in for a few hours drinking, but that the man who is working hard is entitled to a refresher. I would implore the Minister to accede to his request.

Mr. Belton

I should like to make it quite clear that I am concerned only with employees directly concerned with the sale and handling of intoxicating liquor and, in the case of hotels, employees directly concerned with the handling of the function in question. I do not mean the rest of the people mentioned in the subsection I read out. I want to point out also that as soon as an employee buys drink he becomes a customer—he is no longer an employee.

Where there is a manager running a house, he cannot afford to do the same things as the proprietor.

I would join in the appeal to the Minister to accept the suggestion on the grounds that, if the proprietor or the manager desire on certain occasions to stand drinks to their employees, there are very few rooms on the ground floor in any public house which are not licensed. Every room on the ground floor is licensed and it would therefore be a breach of the law if an employee had a drink. It has even been stated that the owner himself is guilty of a breach of the law if he has a drink in his own bar after hours. That suggestion has been put forward. Because of the fact there are not any private rooms in most of our public houses, on the ground floor at any rate, I think it would be very wise if the Minister accepted that suggestion, thereby safe-guarding against any danger of frivolous prosecutions.

It is only fair that any worker in a public house should be able to get a drink after he finishes at night but it would appear under the law as it stands that, to do so, he would have to break the law. I would ask the Minister to consider that point carefully. But I hope that some of the gentlemen who made that proposition here will be as elastic in their own ideas as they ask the Minister to be in his. I should like to ask them how they propose that these people who are to get these drinks at these unusual hours of the night are to get home after having them. Consequently, I propose to the Labour members, who control the trade unions, that they now very graciously go to their members in C.I.E. and make sure these gentlemen keep the buses on at night until such time as these people can get home.

Another lighthouse.

The suggestion is a very laudable one. While I accept it in principle, I see a little danger. How long are they to be allowed to drink? A concession like that can be abused. The Minister is only too well aware of that himself. Some privileged people will hang on as one of the staff. Indeed, they may be appointed to the staff for the time being. It has happened in some places. They are up to anything. When the Guards knocked at the door, people were brought upstairs and put in bed and they were told they were visitors, uncles and aunts. I accept the suggestion that these people should be able to have drink within a limited period after closing without fear of prosecution but I should not like to think that men could hang on until a late hour and have their wives complaining. I should not like to have employees "invented" as some gentlemen would certainly do.

This may not be an appropriate time to mention the drinking time rule which has been brought into operation in England. In a number of prosecutions in the district court under the 1960 Act the question has been raised as to the possibility of getting people out at the closing hour. The publican is entitled to sell drink up to the closing hour. Theoretically, the place is supposed to be completely clear and everybody out at the closing hour, so that 30 seconds before 11.30 p.m. there might be 50 people lawfully there and 30 seconds after 11.30 p.m. there might be 30 people on the licensed premises during prohibited hours. In England they have got over that by introducing the 15-minute drinking time system. In the district court, the question has been decided in different ways by various district justices. Some of them held that if the publican is genuinely and obviously making an effort to get the people out he is not to be convicted. I think 20 minutes is the longest any justice in the last two years allowed for that purpose. But that was in very exceptional circumstances, one of the Swinford prosecutions in which something like 200 people were ultimately got out. It was accepted that the licensee and his assistants were making every possible effort. But, strictly speaking, under the law as it stands it is an offence to be there 30 seconds after the closing hour and, if the justice insists, he can convict. In view of the penalties which this House agreed were necessary under the 1960 Act, it becomes a very serious matter. Would the Minister give thought to the idea of giving a 10 or 15 minute drinking time period?

Would amendment No. 40 not help to meet that?

I wish to support the case made on behalf of the decent publicans and the experienced drinkers. I do not refer to the mean publicans, whether they are lighthouse keepers or come from Belmullet.

They are well able to look after themselves without any help from the Deputy.


There is a time-honoured custom among publicans on the eve of a special event such as St. Patrick's Day, on Holy Thursday, or Christmas Eve when, after the publican and his staff have been on their feet all day serving drinks and getting out orders, for the publicans—I have no experience of the ones from Belmullet——

The Deputy has no experience at all then.

In practically every county in Ireland, there is a time-honoured custom that when the work of the day is done, the publican, decently, "puts out the boat." We all enjoy ourselves after a hard day's work and then, again decently, the publican transports his staff home, no matter what hour of the day or night it is. The earlier in the morning, the better! It is something we can look back on when we come back to work again after the holiday. In that way, the publican and the worker work in greater co-operation until the next holiday.

I speak on this question unlike other people. I have no chip on my shoulder about the publicans. Some people seem to carry the Rock of Gibraltar on both their shoulders. I appeal to the Minister to be human and to meet the request of Deputy Belton, Deputy Davern, Deputy Burke, Deputy Mullen, and even Deputy Leneghan.

I do not mind promissing to consider it but it is something I would approach very warily. I want to remind the House of the whole principle behind the Truck Acts, and the fact that legislation has always been concerned to see that men do not drink their wages across a public house counter. I admit that circumstances are infinitely different now from those of the days when the Truck Acts were necessary and a serious situation prevailed. Still, this is something upon which the House should not lightly embark. From the arguments put forward here, it seems to be a reasonable proposal and one with which I should like to have a lot of sympathy, but it is something to which I should like to give a lot of serious thought.

The Truck Acts were mid-Victorian Acts.

The Truck Acts served a very useful purpose in their day.

The Minister will consider it.

Question put and agreed to.

I move amendment No. 37:—

In page 17, before Section 26, to insert the following section:

"26. (1) In Section 8 of the Act of 1902, Section 14 of the Act of 1924 and in this section `last census' means the last census of population taken under the Statistics Acts, 1926 and 1946, from which statistics of population other than statistics which purport to be provisional only, published by the Stationery Office have been derived.

(2) In any application to a Court under the Act of 1902—

(a) a document purporting to be published by the Stationery Office and to be compiled by the Central Statistics Office and to contain statistics of population derived from a census of population taken under the Statistics Acts, 1926 and 1946, other than statistics which purport to be provisional only, or to contain statistics derived from the census taken in the year 1901, shall be evidence, until the contrary is proved, of the matters relating to statistics of population stated in the document,

(b) a certificate purporting to be signed by the Director, or other person for the time being in charge, of the Central Statistics Office and to certify that the census referred to in a document of the kind specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection is the last census and, either, that no later census has been taken or that statistics of population derived from a later census, other than statistics that purport to be provisional only, will not be published during the two months immediately following the date on which the certificate is given, shall, without proof of the signature of the person purporting to sign the certificate or that he was the Director, or for the time being in charge, of the Central Statistics Office, be evidence, until the contrary is proved of the matters certified in and by the certificate,

(c) a certificate purporting to be signed by the Director, or other person for the time being in charge, of the Central Statistics Office and containing statistics of population and purporting to certify that the statistics are derived from the last census and, either that no later census has been taken or that statistics of population derived from a later census will not be published during the two months immediately following the date on which the certificate is given, shall. without proof of the signature of the person purporting to sign the certificate or that he was the Director, or for the time being in charge, of the Central Statistics Office, be evidence, until the contrary is proved, of the matters relating to statistics contained in the certificate and of the matters certified in and by the certificate, and

(d) a certificate purporting to be signed by the Director, or other person for the time being in charge, of the Central Statistics Office and containing statistics of population and purporting to certify that the statistics are derived from the census taken in the year 1901 shall, without proof of the signature of the person purporting to sign the certificate or that he was the Director, or for the time being in charge, of the Central Statistics Office, be evidence, until the contrary is proved, of the matters relating to statistics contained in the certificate and of the matters certified in and by the certificate."

This is an amendment to replace the present Section 26 by a more comprehensive one. The idea of the section is to obviate the need for applicants for new licences in urban areas bringing along officers of the Central Statistics Office to give formal proof of population figures that may already be officially published or that can equally well be given in a written certificate from the Director of the Statistics Office. The attendance of the officer is, of course, only a formality unless the figures are challenged, but it not only involves inconvenience for the Statistics Office but expense for the applicant.

The amendment is more comprehensive in that it applies the new procedure not only to current statistics but to the 1901 census which is the "base" year with which comparison is made—the reason for that, of course, being that that was the last census before the general ban was put, by the 1902 Act, on the issue of new licences.

I understand that it is the intention of the Statistics Office, if possible, to publish, for the convenience of applicants, both the 1901 figures and "current" figures for civil parishes on the outskirts of Dublin and possibly the other County Boroughs. Apart from these areas demand is very small and in most cases non-existent but, of course, a special compilation will continue to be made where necessary.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 26 deleted.

I move amendment No. 38:

Before section 27 to insert a new section as follows:

"Section 37 (1) of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1960, is hereby amended by deleting paragraphs (a) and (b)."

I think amendment No. 39 could be taken with this amendment.

And amendment No. 40.

No; amendment No. 40 is an alternative to amendment No. 38.

They could be discussed together and separate decisions could be taken.

Yes, I think so. This amendment is much the same as Deputy Dunne's amendment, No. 39, and amendment No. 40 is being proposed as the minimum which we would ask the Minister to accept, if he is not prepared to accept the proposal embodied in amendments Nos. 38 and 39. As the House is aware, the present position is that it is mandatory on the courts to record convictions, and to have convictions endorsed on the licences of the licensees, apart from the first conviction, I think. When there are three endorsements, the licensee loses his licence.

The history of this was that endorsements were provided in Section 25 of the 1927 Act. They were mandatory to a certain extent in the 1927 Act, but the following section of the 1927 Act, Section 26, contained a provision that if a district justice came to the conclusion that the offence was of a comparatively trivial nature, he could make an order so declaring, and if he made such an order, it was not necessary to endorse the licence. In other words, the district justice in the 1927 Act was given discretion to make an order against recording the conviction, if satisfied that, by reason of the trivial nature of the offence, it ought no to be recorded. The 1927 Act also contained a provision whereby an appeal could be made to the circuit court against a decision of the district court recording the conviction on the licence.

The next Act which dealt with the matter was the 1943 Act which made it clear, by amending Section 25 of the 1927 Act, that this matter could be left to the discretion of the district court. There was provision in Section 14 of the 1943 Act which specifically left it to the discretion of the court as to whether the licence would or would not be endorsed. That position obtained up to the passing of the 1960 Act. By Section 37 of the 1960 Act the section of the 1943 Act which made it discretionary was deleted, and it was made mandatory in the 1960 Act for the licence to be endorsed by the court, in the event of conviction.

I think all of us appreciate that in liquor legislation when certain restrictions are being imposed, the House will think it desirable to have those restrictions honoured and kept, and to have the Act carried into force. Therefore, it is obviously necessary to provide for the situation which will arise where breaches of the Act occur. We feel that as a general rule mandatory penalties are not good and as a general principle, when we have all the elaborate machinery in the establishment of courts to administer justice, it is right and reasonable that discretion should be left to, and invested in the courts with regard to penalties as in regard to so many other things. Consequently, we feel that the principle of mandatory endorsement of publicans' licences is bad. It should be left to the discretion of the courts to decide whether the facts relating to any conviction warrant the drastic step of recording the conviction on the licence which contains, so far as the publican is concerned, the risk that after a certain number of endorsements— three, at the moment—the licence will be lost.

Consequently, in amendment No. 38— exactly the same idea is contained in Deputy Dunne's amendment No. 39— we are asking the Minister to get back to the situation that obtained under the 1943 Act where it was left to the discretion of the court whether the conviction would be endorsed. That is our principal request in amendment No. 38 but, as we are discussing amendment No. 40 with it I want to mention briefly our attitude in relation to this.

First and foremost, we are asking the Minister to accept the principle that discretion should be vested in the courts in regard to the endorsement of licences. If the Minister cannot go that far we ask him, as a minimum, to accept the proposition contained in amendment No. 40 which suggests that, at least, in relation to offences committed within a period of 15 minutes of closing time, discretion should be allowed to the courts as to whether a conviction shall be recorded. The reason for this was, to some extent, advanced by Deputy Seán Flanagan when discussing another section this evening, when he was pointing out the difficulty publicans experience in clearing their premises immediately.

As the law stands, a person is entitled to drink up to the closing hour but at closing hour the premises should be closed and everybody should be out of the place. Physically that is impossible. The situation may obtain—I think it has obtained—in some places where raids were made on public houses within a very short time of closing. In those cases, the publican, once he was brought to court, had to be convicted because an offence had taken place. At times, as mentioned by Deputy Flanagan, if a publican was genuinely and obviously making an effort to clear his premises, the district justice might feel it was unreasonable to convict him, but, as the law stands if there are people on the premises after closing time, the publican is liable to conviction and if he is convicted at present it is mandatory on the court to endorse the conviction on the licence. When that happens three times the licence goes.

We suggest that if the Minister is not prepared to accept the principle that, generally speaking, it should be left to the court to exercise discretion as to whether the facts of the case warrant the drastic step of endorsement, that at least in the case of offences related to a period of 15 minutes after closing time discretion should be allowed to the court. I emphasise that we are suggesting that merely as an alternative to amendment No. 38. We would prefer the Minister to accept amendment No. 38 which contains the same proposal as in Deputy Dunne's amendment No. 39.

That was one of the clauses in the 1960 Act that I referred to as a penal clause for licence-holders. I felt very strongly about it at the time. I know publicans who are really in a state of nerves and insult customers in trying to get them out before 11 o'clock or 11.30 as the case may be. I have known a publican to snatch a drink from a customer— who refused afterwards to go back to that public house—because the Gardaí were outside waiting. I am not saying anything about the Gardaí——

The Deputy cannot have it every way.

The Act is there and the Gardaí are only carrying out the laws we pass here. I am against people staying on in public houses after closing time but we have had some experience of people being found in a public house three minutes after 9 o'clock on a Sunday night. We had another case of a man waiting outside for his wife who delayed talking to the proprietress for two minutes. His name was taken. We had some extraordinary cases in County Dublin. While I am all in favour of observance of the law that penal clause is very severe. Could the Minister consider it in this way: if a man found on the premises gets a substantial fine he will not be caught again. I do not know a case in Dublin city or county where a man was caught a second time in a public house after hours.

I know a few of them.

This is a very serious matter. If the Minister could consider introducing an amendment on the Report Stage to obviate taking away a man's licence——

Why wait until Report Stage? Why not do it now?

Amendment No. 38 is technically defective.

Amendment No. 39 is not. I am quite prepared to press for Deputy Dunne's amendment which is in no way technically defective.

I have enough confidence in my colleague to leave it to him to have another look at it before the Report Stage. I am dealing with experiences I have had since the passing of the 1960 Act. There is another clause to which I want to refer. I do not know if I am in order. I know the Chair gives me a lot of latitude.


Amendment No. 38 is what we are discussing.

We had another case. We must air these grievances that come to our notice from time to time.

There is another case of a man who was under the influence of drink coming off a bus. A publican, a charitable man, knew the person concerned and he took him into his house and sent for his nephew to bring him home. He was caught leaving the premises under the influence of drink and the publican was fined and his licence endorsed. The endorsement of a licence is a very serious thing for any publican. I investigated this case myself because the man concerned was a very good old friend of mine and I did not want to lose his friendship. These are things in the Bill against which a publican should be protected. If that publican were a callous fellow and said to this man who came off the bus: "I will leave you there. Do not come into my house——"

He should not have given him drink.

He did not give him drink. He came into this house, drunk, off a bus. The publican did not bring him into the public house at all but sent for his nephew. That publican was prosecuted and brought to court. His licence was endorsed and he was fined a considerable amount of money. I shall not mention the amount of money because you might know who the publican was. I do not like to mention my friend's name here in the Dáil. I have not his permission to do it.

I do not care who he was, any person who would harbour a drunken man or encourage him does not deserve any consideration.

I have already stated here that the publican in this case gave him no drink but because he did the good Samaritan his licence was endorsed. In conclusion, I would ask the Minister to look into the few points I have raised between now and the Report Stage.

I should like to speak mainly in support of amendment No. 39 in the name of Deputy Seán Dunne. Deputy O'Higgins has indicated he feels that amendment No. 39 is more correctly drafted than amendment No. 40.

It is exactly the same point but it is more fully drafted.

Yes. I do not wish to elaborate on what Deputy O'Higgins has said. He put the case fairly and concisely and I do not want to hold up the House as we have been discussing this Bill for quite a long time. I would appeal to the Minister to give this matter serious consideration. It is a penal clause. I am quite well aware there must be some system of endorsement for the rowdy house that is kept deliberately by a publican. It is no harm that after a series of wilful violations of the law such a publican's licence should be taken but this question of whether or not the endorsement should be there should surely be left to the local district justice who, having heard all the facts and being, as he should be, a fair-minded man, may feel that a conviction and endorsement are not necessary probably on the grounds that a technical offence had been committed or perhaps on the grounds that although an offence had been committed it had been committed without the countenance or the knowledge of the legal owner of the public house. I hope the Minister will consider accepting amendment No. 39. Should he not do that I would then have to ask him to consider the subject matter of amendment No. 40, but I do appeal to him to accept amendment No. 39.

Mr. Belton

I am in complete agreement with amendments Nos. 38 and 39. Quite definitely I believe 15 minutes grace should be allowed after closing time. The hours suggested in this Bill are 11.30 p.m. closing on week nights during summer-time, 11 p.m. during winter-time and 10 p.m. on Sundays. If the Minister would not favourably consider 15 minutes grace I would seriously suggest to him that he should make the legal closing time 11.15 p.m. and permit the grace up to 11.30 p.m., no drink to be served during that time. The position at the moment is that licensess or publicans are offending their best customers. They produce the closure motion, as it were, at a quarter of an hour before the legal closing time. If a good customer comes in before the legal closing time he is refused a drink. The legal position is that the publican has to have the premises empty at closing time.

I raised this point on the 1960 Bill with Mr. Traynor when he was Minister for Justice and he said the grace was provided before closing time. Anybody in this House who has had any connection, remote or otherwise, with the license trade will agree that it is most difficult and awkward to operate this system. Publicans are insulting their best customers. If the Minister does not favourably consider allowing the licensees 15 minutes to empty the premises after the legal closing time, 11.30 p.m., I suggest that the legal closing time be stepped forward by 15 minutes to give some legality to the fifteen minutes grace.

I am satisfied there is a point to be considered in the matter of endorsements arising out of offences committed shortly after the closing hour. I mention for the Minister's information something that occurred recently in a village in my constituency. A Guard entered a licensed premises four minutes after the closing hour and he was quite satisfied the publican was doing his best to clear his premises. He left after advising the people to go as quickly as possible and he went across the road to another licensed premises where three men were present. It was a very wet night and they were waiting for a car. There was no drink of any kind and it was 11 minutes after the closing hour. He did not prosecute the first publican because he said he was doing his best to clear the premises when he arrived four minutes after the hour. The other people were waiting in the kitchen for a car and there was no drink there but that publican was prosecuted. If that were the second prosecution he would have got an endorsement for what could only be considered a trivial offence. If an offence is committed in such a short period as 15 minutes after the closing hour, except in extreme cases, it should not carry with it an endorsement.

I came across a peculiar case which I should like to put forward for the Minister's consideration. It is the case of a publican who was either renting or selling his public house on a tenant purchase agreement. I am not quite sure which. The person who was renting the public house has been convicted twice already under the 1960 Act. The owner has been in touch with him and the tenant's attitude is that he does not care if he loses the licence eventually because it is the landlord's licence. That is the kind of aggressive attitude he has adopted. This public house was rented before the endorsement clauses were reintroduced in the 1960 Act. Anybody now renting a public house is left in a rather difficult position. As well as that, it has the effect of preventing a publican disposing of his property. A man might get on in years and want to retire, renting his public house to his manager or foreman, and living on the income from it in his old age.

Several Deputies have expressed the view that since the 1960 Act, order has been restored to the drinking habits of the people. We agree there was very little order before the 1960 Act. A great many publicans traded outside the permitted hours. I suggest to the Minister, however, that it was the vigilance of the Garda which in the main helped to restore order rather than the reintroduction of the endorsement clauses. Whether or not enough time has now elapsed to permit the repeal of these clauses, I am not sure. For that reason, I think the idea in amendment No. 41 is more acceptable. Perhaps the Minister between now and the Report Stage would consider this 15 minutes grace and also, possibly, a reduction of the periods of endorsement.

I am against mandatory punishments. I have heard old and tried supporters of the Government— I might say distinguished supporters, like Deputy MacCarthy—pleading with the Minister. I have heard Deputy Lemass, a young Deputy from a very distinguished family in the Government Party, also pleading with the Minister. But the Minister refuses to give way to anybody. We heard our old friend, Deputy P.J. Burke, telling us the other night that it was his leading the embattled publicans of Dublin in their representations to the Minister that resulted in the removal from the Bill of Section 15. I believe that we should not be pleading with the Minister at all; we should be pleading with Deputy Burke and making our representations to him so that he may persuade the Minister. Indeed, we ought to ask for an adjournment so that we might have an opportunity of asking Deputy Burke to bring pressure on the Minister so that he will meet us in this.

We would cheer the Minister "from the ranks of Tuscany" if he would meet us on this. This is a very important section. It is a very important matter from the point of view of the publicans' livelihood and property. The majority of our publicans are reputable people who have never had their licences endorsed and who have conducted their businesses properly all through the years. If they are caught one minute past closing time and are prosecuted, that would be a first offence. Another situation might evolve in a short space of time, as situations evolve everywhere, and the publican might not be able to clear his public house. If he goes into court again, before he knows where he is, his licence will be endorsed and the value of his premises will be reduced by 30 per cent. That is a very serious penalty for Parliament to inflict. I do not think the offence is one that calls for such a penalty. This section convinces me that the Minister has no confidence in the judiciary.

He has £5,000 worth in one case.

Did he not give them an increase in pay?

He will probably have more confidence in them now that they are so highly paid. He is giving them this mandatory section so that, if some unfortunate publican is brought before them a second time for being open one minute past closing time his licence will be endorsed. I do not think the Minister's approach is fair. We have been a long time on this Bill.

The people of Tramore will not like the Deputy if he keeps us here too long on this.

They will. I am here with the full backing of my constituents.

The whole 500 of them.

I have no doubt about my backing.

An extension in Tramore for the Waterford Festival!

Certainly. It is a festival that pays. The festival in Dublin did not pay. It lost thousands.

There is nothing about festivals in amendments Nos. 38, 39 and 40.

We must give a distinguished Deputy like Deputy Noel Lemass the courtesy of a reply.

The Deputy will come back to the amendment now.

I should not be on my feet at all if the Minister were reasonable. We have been very reasonable and very tolerant. We have shown great restraint. If the Minister would only show a little tolerance the Taoiseach's plan to adjourn the House on 19th July might bear fruit. If the Minister continues to be as intolerant as he has been in relation to most of the amendments we will have to start writing our Christmas cards.

The Deputy need never go near Kerry if he does not let this Bill through in time for Puck Fair.

I have never attended it but, from what I know of the people of Kerry, they would not care about the Minister or anybody else. Puck Fair will be held, come hell or high water, Minister for Justice or anybody else.

I wish to draw the Minister's attention to the fact that I think Section 37 of the 1960 Act was most ruthless. First of all, take the position of a hotel. Now, a certain amount of drink is laid out at night in the hotel and given to the night porter for the residents. I have met cases where the night porter provided his own drink and allowed some of his friends in and had them, maybe, in the kitchen or in some other place. In a matter such as that, if that hotel had been convicted, the chances are that, on the first conviction, they would be fined but that, on the second conviction, there would be an endorsement on the hotel. You can imagine the effect on an hotel, say, of the value of the Gresham or any place else—maybe the hotel in Belmullet. However, you can imagine the effect on value of the property by reason of its carrying an endorsement.

Now we have the case of the lettings. Suppose a licensed publican transferred his licence either by way of sale or rent to any other person and that person misbehaved and did not comply rigidly with the Act of 1960 with the result that endorsements were placed, not on the tenant but on the house. That house, with every conviction, lost not 33 per cent. but much more because you have two endorsements on your licence, you can say that——

——you have had it.

——you have had it. I would recommend to the Minister that convictions and endorsements be left to the discretion of the district justice.

Then the question of clearing the premises arises. I would go so far as to say that it is an absolute impossibility to abide by the 1960 Act because you can be served drink up to the time but you cannot be on the premises one minute after it. There was the absurdity in the 1960 Act. I would agree with what Deputy Belton has said. The publicans and their assistants are human beings. A man comes in after a picture and has maybe five minutes and asks for a drink. Surely a regular customer in any house will not be refused? Suppose that, two or three or four minutes after the time, the Gardaí come in. If the Gardaí want to go ahead with the prosecution, there is no more about it.

I would ask the Minister to consider seriously (1) the endorsement on the person, not on the premises; (2) the endorsement to be allowed to the discretion of the district justice and (3) that a stay of 15 minutes be granted, provided no drink is served after the time, to clear the premises. The Minister has been very fair on this Bill. He has treated all our suggestions with a certain amount of sympathy. We are all trying to do something the people of rural Ireland want. We are all trying to help them and we are here to make our suggestions. I am sure the Minister will take cognisance of what I said.

The Minister will know that at no stage of this Bill did I intervene. As a matter of fact, this is the first comment I made, despite the fact that probably every Deputy has addressed himself in some way or other to this Bill. I feel that my voice may not be a very influential one with the Minister but, realising that the Minister is noted for his courtesy and, not alone for his courtesy, but for his kindliness and his anxiety to co-operate, I rise on this occasion for the purpose of joining with the many Deputies who have already——

Wait for the sting now.

——made a very special appeal to the Minister.

I cannot understand why or how the Minister can listen so attentively, so carefully, with great ease and with keen notice, to the appeal made by Deputy N. Lemass and Deputy MacCarthy—the reasonable request which his sincere friends and colleagues have made—and not be moved. But the sincerity that was behind Deputy MacCarthy and Deputy N. Lemass fades out into complete insignificance in comparison with the influence which Deputy P.J. Burke has on the Minister. That is why I feel that when the Minister hears the pleading of Deputy N. Lemass, livened up with the appeal by Deputy MacCarthy and backed by the influence of Deputy P.J. Burke, we on this side of the House are pushing an open door when such influential people are already pleading with the Minister to adopt the suggestions in the amendments which I have not read, though I am speaking on them. Nevertheless, I want to ask the Minister to give this matter more serious thought than apparently he has given it. From my knowledge of the publicans—and, mind you, my knowledge of the publicans is extremely limited— I may say that the big bulk of them are strictly honest and law-abiding citizens. They do not want to break the law; they have no desire to break it in any way. They are anxious to co-operate to the fullest possible extent.

I feel, in regard to the unreasonable attitude which, may I say, unlike Deputy P.J. Burke, has been adopted by members of the Garda Síochána in relation to certain publicans, that any member of the Garda who in his sane, common-sense way could go into a licensed premises a minute after closing time and take out his notebook and proceed to register the names and addresses of those caught on the premises, would certainly be abusing his duty. Certainly I feel that to take advantage of the situation to prosecute a publican who may have men on the premises five minutes after the time, and who has not served a drink since the stroke of closing time, would be most unfortunate.

I join with Deputy Belton in appealing to the Minister to give 15 minutes grace for the purpose of assisting the publican to clear his premises. We know very well that no matter how anxious they are and no matter how willing publicans are to have their premises cleared in time, it is an absolute impossibility. We know very well that where a good customer calls in for a drink after the pictures which may finish after 10.30 p.m., with his friends, it is impossible for the publican to get, say, 12 or 14 people out on the stroke of 11 o'clock. Where the publican serves no drink after the appointed closing time, he should not be prosecuted. The whole question of endorsements is very bad because, in plain language, the publican who has had the second endorsement on his licence has "had it", so far as the value of his property is concerned. Deputy Lynch is one of the most progressive and best known men in the auctioneering business in the south of Ireland——

The Deputy is not so bad himself.

We are not allowed to advertise here. Deputy Lynch has sufficient intelligence and experience as a businessman to know, as I know, that in the event of a licensed premises having a second endorsement, the premises, as Deputy Coughlan stated, drops in value substantially. That is why I appeal to the Minister to comply with Deputy O'Higgins's request. I presume the Tánaiste is now whispering in the Minister's ear that the Opposition's plea is very reasonable and that the Minister should agree with it.


I feel that the Tánaiste's aim is to be helpful.

It is disorderly for the Tánaiste to speak while sitting on the stairs.

What brought him in?

Just the desire to create trouble.

I feel he is dealing with the amendments when he is whispering in the Minister's ear and I feel that his presence in the House will lead to the acceptance of Deputy O'Higgins's amendments by the Minister. Let us hope that when the Minister makes his comment, it will be a favourable one because when we hear the strong plea of Deputy MacCarthy, and the recommendations of Deputy Burke backed up by the terrific influence of the Tánaiste himself, I think we can describe these two amendments as the lucky amendments in that they have the support of such influential people in the Fianna Fáil Party.

If the Minister cannot see his way to meeting us to the fullest possible extent, I would ask him to leave endorsement to the discretion of the district justice. Naturally enough, the district justice will view each case on its merits. He is the most highly qualified person to judge on the question of endorsements. If the Minister has every confidence in the district justices in this regard—no Minister of State has ever had more trust and confidence in the judiciary and the district justices than the present Minister, as is evidenced by the recent increases he introduced for them —this is another way in which he will be able to show renewed confidence in the district justices, by leaving the matter of endorsements to their discretion.

There is a good deal to be said for what Deputy Coughlan advanced in relation to having the endorsements, if there are to be endorsements, on the owner rather than on the premises. The endorsements are a considerable handicap to the value of the premises and the property ought not to have such a serious handicap which interferes drastically with its market value. If the endorsement were on the owner, arrangements could be made by the owner——

By the auctioneer.

I will not dispute that. Arrangements could be made so that the value of the property would not be adversely affected. The Minister would be well advised to give this matter further consideration. A plea has been made to him and a reasonable one to let us know on Report Stage the results of his considerations. Knowing the Minister to be a man of action who never leaves matters in the air, I feel this is a matter on which he can give a decision and I would urge him to be helpful in this regard.

First of all, it is very difficult for a logical man to resist these persuasive appeals to his reason but before going all the way with the House in this matter, I should like to put a few of its aspects to the Deputies. I want to point out that there is a considerable amount of exaggeration about it. Take, for instance, the matter raised by Deputy Burke. Usually, when we investigate hardship cases of this sort, where the inoffensive publican has been harshly treated by all concerned, the Garda and the district court and so on, the facts have a habit of turning out somewhat differently from what they have been——

When the polish is taken off.

That is right. If Deputy Burke looks at Section 14, paragraph (b) of the 1927 Act, he will see it points out clearly that no offence is commited for:

the supplying at any time of intoxicating liquor on licensed premises to any private friends of the holder of the licence bona fide entertained by him at his own expense in any part of such licensed premises other than the part in which the sale of intoxicating liquor generally takes place, or

and so on. So that if the facts are as described by Deputy Burke, the law was administered very badly in that case. However, if we are to delve into the facts they may not be as put to us.

With regard to the point raised by Deputy Lemass, I would not feel obliged to give a very definite opinion on the matter one way or the other, but it seems to me in the circumstances a civil action would lie on the part of the proprietor. I think he could almost certainly take an action for the protection of the licence involved. However, as I say, it is not for me at this stage to go into that in any detail. This whole question of endorsement, of course, is bound up with the question of the enforcement of the licensing laws. I know that it is the unanimous desire of all Deputies that the licensing laws, whatever they may be, should be enforced. I think that is also the view which most responsible people throughout the country would take. This business of compulsory endorsements is merely a mechanism or machinery by which to ensure that enforcement is real and effective.

I met a deputation from the Dublin City publicans. They were talking to me about this question of compulsory or mandatory endorsement. I said: "Of course, this provision is there to endeavour to make enforcement effective. If I put it to you as a question whether you want to have a relaxation of enforcement or the retention of compulsory endorsement, which would you prefer?" They unanimously agreed with me that in that case they would opt for mandatory endorsement if they thought that the removal of mandatory endorsement would in any way interfere with the effective enforcement of the licensing laws. As responsible publicans they were prepared to accept the retention of mandatory endorsement. That is the background to this whole business.

I want to mention what is the reality. Deputies endeavoured to convey the impression that a publican has only to make one mistake and he is finished. The reality of the situation is this: First of all, since the passing of the 1960 Act, all endorsements prior to that were wiped out, which was not a very bad gesture at all on the part of the Legislature towards erring publicans; but more than that, the 1960 Act went on to stipulate that the first offence after the passing of the Act would not go on the licence at all. In other words, every publican would have one free offence so to speak. The 1960 Act also stipulated that the first endorsement—which would arise out of the second offence—would last for two years; the second for four years and the third for six years.

I want Deputies to be clear about this. It is not just because a publican has three endorsements that he must lose his licence. The three endorsements must be extant on his licence at the same time so that I think we can all agree that he has to be a fairly well erring publican before he loses his licence. First of all, he has the free offence with no endorsement. Then he has the next offence after that, with compulsory endorsement, which disappears after two years. The next endorsement lasts only four years. Only then would he get into the comparatively serious long-term endorsement of six years. The three endorsements must be on the licence at the same time. Even though a publican might have committed an offence which demanded a mandatory endorsement of four or six years, if the first endorsement of two years had disappeared he would be quite safe until he committed another offence. Deputies should realise exactly what is involved in this question of mandatory endorsements.

Having said all that, I am still prepared to accept that there is some validity in the case made here that hardship can in certain isolated instances result to some publicans. The question which I would have to decide in that regard and which I think the Legislature would have to decide is whether or not the overall good from the point of view of effective enforcement would be more than counter-balanced by the case of individual hardship that might result. I am quite prepared to say to the Deputies that I will consider this matter further between now and the Report Stage. I want to emphasise particularly that I give this promise to consider without any undertaking whatever of being able to come back and do anything along the lines the Deputies suggest. I see that there is a very strong volume of opinion about this matter. I am prepared to go that far.

In the event of coming back without any proposal, will the Minister agree to allow us to recommit this on Report Stage?

Yes, because I may be asking for some things to be recommitted myself. Now I come to the question of drinking-up time. I think that the case that is being made here against the mandatory endorsements has been based to a large extent on the situation prevailing in the five, ten or fifteen minutes after closing time. If I were to say to Deputies: "Very well, we will give drinking-up time of ten or fifteen minutes" most of the arguments about the unfairness of the mandatory endorsement would disappear. The Deputies who spoke concentrated on the period immediately following closing time. Nobody will have any sympathy with the publican who is caught breaking the law one, two or three hours after closing time. It may be that in the consideration of this matter I might see whether something could be done along the lines of remedying what I readily admit is a difficult situation at the moment.

The law, as every Deputy knows provides that a publican may sell a drink to a customer right up to two seconds before the closing time. At the same time, the law requires that customer to be off the premises a couple of seconds or a minute later. I admit that there is a difficulty there for publicans but whether or not it is as serious as Deputies have endeavoured to portray I am not quite sure. I know that many publicans have solved it in their own way by serving drinks 10 or 15 minutes before closing time. I know that there are parts of the country where the customers would just not be prepared to accept such an arrangement. However, all these things can be considered in the same context and I give the undertaking which Deputies pressed me to give in that regard.

We will not press the amendment in view of the undertaking given by the Minister.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendments Nos. 39 and 40 not moved.

I move amendment No. 41:

Before section 27, to insert the following section:

"An application under section 15 of the Act of 1960 in respect of any premises may be granted notwithstanding the fact that it is not shown to the satisfaction of the Court that the premises comply with the provisions of section 5 of the Act of 1902, but an application to which both the said section 5 and subsection (1) of section 17 of the Act of 1960 refer in respect of any premises shall not be granted unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that the premises comply with the provisions of the said section 5."

This is a very technical business. It is to cater for a certain procedural difficulty which has arisen in applications that are made to the courts on the basis of plans. The idea of these applications is that the court should be asked to say on the basis of the plans submitted that the premises which will be built in accordance with these plans would get a licence. It has been suggested that the courts could not possibly say on the basis of the plans whether it would grant a licence because the question of granting a licence arises only where a premises have a certain minimum valuation. The actual figure is different for different areas. Deputy Lynch will no doubt be quite pleased to know in this connection that Waterford is put in the same category as Cork and Limerick.

It is most unusual to have Waterford mentioned at all, so I am grateful for that much—that the Minister even thought of the place.

I am afraid I must give credit to my predecessor, long since gone, in this connection. It is quite obvious that a valuation certificate cannot be granted on plans alone. The courts have their usual sensible ways in these matters because we have a very excellent judiciary in this country.

So they should be. You are paying them well enough.

Wait until we give them the money first.

Amendment No. 41, therefore, is to clear up matters for the future so that when the applicant goes to the court with plans, the valuation factor will be fulfilled.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 42:

In page 18, before section 27, to insert the following section:

"Section 17 (which relates to the licensing or certification of premises the subject of a declaration under section 15 of the Act of 1960) of the Act of 1960 is hereby amended by the substitution of the following sub-section for subsection (1):

`( ) If, on the hearing of an application for the grant of a certificate entitling the applicant to receive a licence in respect of any premises, it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court—

(a) that a declaration has been made by the Court under sub-section (1) of section 15 of this Act,

(b) that the premises have been acquired, constructed or altered in substantial accordance with the terms of the declaration, and

(c) where the application is made pursuant to any provision of the Licensing Acts that provides for the extinguishing of one or more existing licences on the grant of the licence—

(i) that the licence or each of the licences in respect of which it was shown to the satisfaction of the Court on the application for the declaration that the applicant was the holder thereof or had secured the consent of the holder to the extinguishing thereof is in force, or

(ii) if such licence or licences or any of them is or are not in force, that the licence or licences not in force has not or have not been forfeited or extinguished and the premises to which it or they related have not been deemed, by virtue of any provision of the Licensing Acts, never to have been licensed,

it shall not be open to the Court to refuse the application—

(I) in a case where it is made pursuant to section 21 of the Act of 1943, on any ground, and

(II) in any other case, on any ground other than the character, misconduct or unfitness of the applicant,

and where, as respects a licence or licences and the premises to which it or they related, it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that it or they comply with the provisions of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (c) of this subsection, the licence or licences shall be deemed, for the purposes of the provisions of the Licensing Acts relating to the granting of licences, but not otherwise, to be in force and to relate to the premises to which it or they related and, on the grant of the new licence, shall accordingly be extinguished and the premises to which it or they related shall be deemed never to have been licensed."

This is also to deal with a procedural difficulty. It was mentioned by Deputy Costello on the Second Reading. He pointed out that when a person goes into court with the plans of a new licensed premises he has to prove he is in a position to extinguish one or two existing licences and that the owners of these licences have agreed to sell their interests, that they have no further interest in keeping the licences alive. The need to keep them in being may cause serious inconvenience because it may be impossible to use the premises for other purposes if the annual renewal of the licences is not to be in jeopardy. This amendment is to ensure that the licences need not be renewed between the granting of a declaration on the basis of plans and the final granting of the new licence— that they are held in abeyance.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 43:

In page 18, before section 27, to insert the following section:

(1) The power of a Justice of the District Court under the Licensing Acts to transfer temporarily an on-licence or an off-licence upon the death of the holder of the licence shall include power to transfer the licence to any person (being a person approved of by the Court and not disqualified by law) nominated by the executor or administrator of the holder or, if there is no executor or administrator, by any person having an interest in the premises to which the licence relates, and the transfer shall operate to authorise the person to whom the licence is transferred to carry on in the premises to which the licence relates the business authorised by the licence until the date of the sitting of the annual licensing District Court in the Court area in which the premises are situate held next after the expiration of one month from the date of the transfer, or if the Court should then, or on any subsequent application to it, think fit to so order, until the sitting of such annual licensing District Court in the year, or in the second year (as the Court may think fit to order) after the sitting aforesaid.

(2) Where a licence has been transferred by virtue of sub-section (1) of this section. the licence may, on application by the nominator of the transferee to the Court at any sitting thereof for the District Court District within which the premises are situate, be transferred, by endorsement made by the Court on the licence or, if the licence is not available, on a copy thereof, to such other person (being a person approved of by the Court and not disqualified by law) as the nominator may nominate.

(3) In this section `off-licence' and `on-licence' have the meanings assigned to them by the Act of 1927.

Amendments Nos. 43 and 44 may be discussed together.

I realise I am meeting Deputy Sweetman's point in the following amendment in my amendment.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 44 not moved.

I move amendment No. 45:

In page 18, before Section 27 to insert the following section:

"(1) References in the Licensing Acts to the Dublin Metropolitan Area shall be deemed to be references to the Dublin Metropolitan District.

(2) The county borough of Dublin shall be deemed, for the purposes of the Licensing Acts, to include the whole of the Dublin Metropolitan District and such borough and District shall be deemed, for the purposes of those Acts to be a city.

(3) The preceding subsections of this section shall not have effect as respects—

(a) an application under Section 13 (which relates to the grant of new licences in rural areas upon the extinguishment of two existing licences) of the Act of 1960 notice of which was given, pursuant to rules of court, to the appropriate County Registrar or to the appropriate District Court clerk before the commencement of this Act, or

(b) an application under the said section 13 for the grant of a certificate entitling the applicant to receive a licence in respect of any premises on the hearing of which it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that a declaration was made by the Court in respect of those premises under subsection (1) of section 15 of the Act of 1960 before the commencement of this Act."

This amendment was discussed with amendment No. 1.

That is so. This arises out of a recent Supreme Court decision. It is to clear up the anomaly.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 27 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.

We could order the Report Stage for this day week, 11th July, 1962.

I suggest Tuesday week next, 17th July, 1962.

Will we have risen by then.

Would it not be possible to have it next week? We have a very good reason for asking that it be taken next week.

We could order it for this day week and if any difficulty arises, we could put it back.

Two or three members of my Party will not be here the week after next and we would accordingly be obliged if we could have the Report Stage next week.

Even if it were ordered for next week, I might be compelled to ask the Dáil to have it put back until the following week.

I might, also.

Before we leave the Intoxicating Liquor Bill, I just want to make a technical point. I have given a number of undertakings to Deputies to consider various points between now and Report Stage and out of them others may arise. I want to mention these in order to keep myself in order in case any drafting or other amendments may become necessary. The same applies in respect to the granting of new licences in certain circumstances, particularly in respect to CIE stations.

There will not be any in existence. They will have them all closed down. The Minister should refer to his colleagues and grant special licences to facilitate the men engaged in tearing up the lines.

Do not be political now.

Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 11th July, 1962.