asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that members of the State Management Council recently visited Maryport, near Carlisle, with the view to purchasing 29 licensed houses in West Cumberland not at present under State control; that the owners refused to sell; and that, during the period when the supply of alcoholic liquors was restricted, State control houses at Maryport were supplied with liquor far in excess of their ration, while private houses were strictly confined to their ration; and when it is proposed to stop this State competition with private enterprise?
Certain members of the Council visited Maryport and discussed the question of purchase with certain owners. The latter were unwilling to sell. As I told the House, there is no present intention of making any further purchases. I know of no foundation for the allegations contained in the third part of the question. It is not proposed to end the State Management Scheme.
Is it not a fact that a distinct pledge was given to the House that there should be no extension of this State control, and, in view of that pledge, how is it that negotiations have been taking place since?
There has been nothing done behind the pledge. The negotiations were in existence, then the Schedule came out, the pledge was given, and nothing further was done.