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Licensed Premises in New Towns Bill (Allocation of Time)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Marlowe Mr Anthony Marlowe , Hove 12:00 am, 21st July 1952

I was certainly under the impression that the information was readily obtainable. Certainly, in the Standing Committee upstairs the hon. and learned Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) has made reference to the contents of this book to which I have referred, which I believe is called the "Brewers' Almanac." I always think of it, whenever the hon. and learned Member refers to it, along with Erskine May, as obviously the sort of book which should be advertised on the bookstalls as "Bing's Bedside Book." The book is readily available and, no doubt, if the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale wants to know the names of the members of this Committee he can easily find them.

The right hon. Gentleman was wrong in making sinister reference to the summoning of a committee of this kind by the Whips, implying that it was a Committee of this House. It is nothing to do with this House at all. It is a perfectly ordinary committee of the kind which are possessed by many perfectly respectable organisations with which the right hon. Gentleman has been associated during his lifetime. There is nothing unusual or sinister about it.

I now want to refer to the question of the actual justification for introducing a time-table for this Bill. The Bill could easily have got through its Committee stage in time before the end of the Session if there had been a willingness by hon. Members opposite to make the best use of the time available. But nobody who has been on that Committee, or anybody who has not been on it but has read the Report about it, and is prepared to take an unprejudiced view, could hold otherwise than that there has been no desire to make the best use of the time.