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paying only £3 1os. each, and numerous other licences of various sorts and degrees.
Big Companies and Tied Houses. The law, as we have said, deals with an individual licence-holder controlling his own premises. But this is one of those legal fictions which play so large a part in modern life. The truth is that the retail as well as well as the wholesale liquor trade is quickly being concentrated in a few hands; and the whole business is becoming a series of gigantic monopolies.t In Burdett's Stock Exchange Official Intelligence for 1898, particulars are given of no less than 265 joint stock companies, trading in the United Kingdom, with share and loan capital varying from £100,000 to £6,000,000 apiece, and totalling £134,069,000. Besides these, forty-four smaller companies are mentioned with a total capital of perhaps £2,000,000, making in all 302 companies and €136,000,000 sterling in capital. Of these no less than twenty-one have each a capital of over £1,000,000. It is well known that an enormous part of this capital consists of tied houses owned or rented by the brewing or distilling company. Information as to the number of these houses is not easy to obtain. A return to the House of Commons in 1892 gives particulars of the ownership of licensed premises not owned by the licencee; but as the occupations of the owners are not stated, exact conclusions are diffi.cult to draw; and brewing companies undoubtedly lease many houses which they do not own. Numerous figures are, however, given by witnesses before the Royal Commission on the Liquor Laws now sitting. Their estimates of the proportion of tied houses vary from 75 per cent. in Manchester, &c., to 90 per cent. in Brighton, and 91 per cent. in Hull.
Precise numbers are quoted for Birmingham, 1,513 out of 2,300 houses; Cirencester division, 67 out of 89; Lancashire Police District, 3,454 out of 5,4181. From this it would appear that a general estimate of three tied houses to every one free house gives a fair average.
Compensation. This monopoly in the retail liquor trade has an important bearing on the thorny question of compensation. Many countries are luckily free of the difficulty. In the United States, for example, no compensation has ever been given, and it has only been seriously demanded where brewers have been ruined by State Prohibition. The Supreme Court decided that a State could do as it pleased, and in the case in question it pleased to ruin a brewer to the tune of $80,000. As to retail licences, sweeping reductions are frequently made, as for instance in Philadelphia, where the number was reduced from 5,770 to 1,740 in one year, and not a penny of compensation was paid. The only
countries where compensation has actually been given appear to be Victoria and Switzerland, to which allusion has been already made.
* Return of Taxes and Imposts. H.C.-334, 2 August, 1898. † The number of brewers has decreased from 15,774 in 1882 to 8,305 in 1897, whilst the number of barrels brewed has increased from 27,987,405 to 34,203,049. National Temperance League Annual, 1898, p. 128.
Questions 24,186, 22,881, 25,816, 5,622, 22,243, 9,981, &c. C.-8,356 and 8,523.
Its History. The story of compensation in England is peculiarly instructive. In 1888 Mr. Ritchie, in his Bill establishing County Councils, proposed to vest in them the power to license, but provided that compensation should be paid for licences not renewed through no fault of the holder. So great was the opposition to this proposal that the clauses were altogether withdrawn from the bill. In 1890 Mr. Goschen provided £ 440,000 a year in his budget with which he proposed that county councils might buy up licences in order to extinguish them, and he also proposed that no new ones should be issued without their sanction. Mr. Caine resigned his seat as a protest, and the agitation aroused was so vehement that the scheme was abandoned and the money devoted instead to technical education. In 1891 the battle was transferred to the law courts. The Kendal magistrates refused to renew the licence of one Susanna Sharpe, land. lady of an inn at Kentmere, on the ground that it was not wanted in that place. The decision was appealed against, on the plea that the magistrates were not entitled to decline to renew a licence unless for some offence of the holder. The case, entitled Sharpe v. Wakefield, was fought up to the House of Lords, but the Licensed Victuallers got absolutely not a shred of victory. Every court decided, and decided unanimously, that there is no vested interest in a licence, and that the magistrates have complete power to decline to renew, if in their opinion the licence is no longer required in the locality.
This principle is extensively acted upon. According to a House of Commons return, quoted by Sir William Harcourt, * between the years 1890 and 1893 no less than 189 renewals were refused by the magistrates for no other reason than that they were not wanted.
History, then, shows that the path of the compensators is thorny; the authority of the law declares that compensation is uncalled for. If, after repeated warnings extending over years, after unquestionable decisions of the law courts, and unchallenged practice of the magistrates, publicans and brewery directors are still fools enough to regard the renewal of an annual licence as a right, and to invest money on this rotten security, that is no reason why the community should make good their folly, or use public funds to protect the dividends of brewery shareholders. Property which the law and our forefathers have sanctioned should not be lightly confiscated. But it is another matter to give value for rights which the law both in theory and practice declares to be non-existent.
Compromise. Nevertheless, I suggest that we might go so far to as give a five years notice. Let the Act come into effective operation five years after the date of its passage. Further, out of the profits of high licences and municipal trading, let us authorize compassionate allowances to all persons who can prove that they have been brought to the workhouse door through the operation of the Act. The venerable village innkeeper, the hoary-headed publican,
Speech on introduction of the Local Veto Bill.
if any such there be, whose living is taken away from him, should receive enough to let him end his days in honorable retirement, The bar-tender who is unemployed, the barmaid who is thrown on an over-stocked labor market, should be entitled to assistance and out-of-work benefit. Lastly, the widow or the orphan, or the elderly spinster whose little all has been invested in a public house should not be driven to despair and suicide. All such cases should be met fairly, and even liberally. But I would refuse one penny of compensation to brewery companies owning tied houses, to landlords who have already fattened on a law-created monopoly, to mortgagees, to jolly publicans in the prime of life, and to all and sundry who are quite well able to take care of themselves, and for whom a five years' warning is the very utmost that can be demanded.*
This, then, is the law. That it needs reform is generally admitted. The question at issue is the method to be chosen.
The teetotal party has long advocated Local Veto. Fabian Tract No. 86 explains why this proposal must be unhesitatingly condemned, and what alternatives can be adopted.
* This was the opinion of the writer. For the view of the subject adopted by the Society, see Fabian Tract No. 86, “Municipal Drink Traffic."
LIST OF BOOKS.
The Temperance Problem and Social Reform. By J. RowNTREE and A. Sherwell. Hodder; ninth edition. 6s. This is by far the fullest compendium of information on the problem.
Other volumes by the same writers are :
British Gothenburg Experiments and Public House Trusts. Hodder ; second edn., 1901.
2s. 6d. Public Control of the Liquor Traffic. 1903. 2s. 6d. net.
The Taxation of the Liquor Trade. Vol. I., Public Houses. Macmillan ; 1906. Ios, 6d, net.
The Case for Municipal Drink Trade. By E. R. PEASE. King ; 1904. Is. net.
The History of Liquor Licensing in England, principally from 1700 to 1830. By SIDNEY and BEATRICE WEBB. Longmans; 1903. 25. 6d. net.
Drink, Temperance ana Legislation. By ARTHUR SHADWELL, M.A., M.D. Longmans ; 1902.
2s.6d, net. A valuable criticism of current opinions. Alcoholism : A Study in Heredity. By G. ARCHDALL Reid. Unwin; 1901. 6s. net.
The Licensed Trade: An Independent Survey. By A. E. Pratt. Murray; 1907. 5s, net.
Socialism ana the Drink Question. By Philip SNOWDEN, M.P. I. L. P.; 1908. Is. 6d. net.
Final Report of the Royal Commission on the Operation and Administration of the Laws relating to the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors. C—9379. 1899. 35. 6d.
Secretary, at the Fabian Office, 3 Clemeni's Inn, London, W.O. THIS MISERY OF BOOTS. By H. G. WELL.S. Paper cover, design by A. G. Watts. 3d.,
post free 4d.; 2/3 per doz., post free, 27.
FABIAN TRACTS and LEAFLETS.
Leaflets, 4 pp. each, price ld. for six copres, 18. per 100, or 8,6 per 1000. The Set of 78, 35.; post free 3/5. Bound in Buckram, 4/6; post free for 55. 1.-General Socialism in its various aspects.
TRACTS.–138. Municipal Trading. 121. Public Service versus Private Expenditure. By Sir OLIVER LODGE. 113. Communism. By Wm. MORRIS. 107. Socialism for Millionaires. By BERNARD SHAW. 133. Socialism and Christianity. By Rev. PERCY DEARMER. 78. Socialism and the Teaching of Christ. By Dr. JOHN CLIFFORD. 87. The same in Welsh. 42. Christian Socialism. By Rev. 8. D. HEADLAM. 79. A Word of Remembrance and Caution to the Rich. By JOHN WOOLMAN. 75. Labor in the Longest Reign. By SIDNEY WEBB. 72. The Moral Aspects of Socialism. By SIDNEY BALL. 69. Difficulties of Individualism. By SIDNEY WEBB. 51. Socialism : True and False. By S. WEBB. 45. The Impossibilities of Anarchism. By BERNARD SHAW (price 20.). 15. Englisb Progress towards Social Democracy. By S.W.BB. 7. Capital and Land (7th edn. revised 1908). 5. Facts for Socialists (10th edn., revised 1906). LEAFLET8—13. What Socialism Is.
1. Why are the Many Poor? 38. The same in Welsh. II.-Applications of Socialism to Particular Problems.
TRACTS.—136. The Village and the Landlord. By EDWARD CARPENTER. 135. Paupers and Old Age Pensions. By SIDNEY WEBB. 131. The Decline in the Birth-Rate. By SIDNEY WEBB. 130. Home Work and Sweating. By Miss B. L. HUTCHINS. 128. The Case for a Legal Minimum Wage. 126. The Abolition of Poor Law Guardians. 122. Municipal Milk and Public Health. By Dr. F. LAWSON DODD. 120. “After Bread, Education." 125. Municipalization by Provinces. 119. Public Control of Electrical Power and Transit. 123. The Revival of Agriculture. 118. The Secret of Rural Depopulation. 115. State Aid to Agriculture: an Example. 112. Life in the Laundry. 98. State Railways for Ireland. 124. State Control of Trusts. 86. Municipal Drink Traffic. 85. Liquor Licensing at Home and Abroad. 84. Economics of Direct Employment. 83. State Arbitration and the Living Wage. 48. Eight Hours by Law. 23. Case for an Eight Hours Bill. 47. The Unemployed. By JOHN BURNS, M.P.
LEAFLET.–104. How Trade Unions benefit Workmen.
TRACT8.—137. Parish Councils and Village Life. 117. The London
LEAFLETS.68. The Tenant's Sanitary Catechism. 71. Same for London. 134. Small Holdings, Allotments and Common Pastures: and how to get them. FABIAN MUNICIPAL PROGRAM, FIRST SERIES (Nos. 32, 37). Municipalization of the Gas Supply. A Labor Policy for Public Authorities. SECOND SERIES (Nos. 90 to 97). Municipalization of Milk Supply. Municipal Pawnshops. Municipal Slaughterhouses. Women as Councillors. "Municipal Bakeries. Municipal Hospitals. Munici. pal Steamboats.-- Second Series in a red cover for id. (90. per dos.);
separate leaflets, 1/- per 100. IV.-Books. 132. A Guide to Books for Socialists. 29. What to Read
on social and economic subjects. 60, net. 129. More Books to Read.
Supplement to October, 1906.
127. Socialism and Labor Policy. 116. Fabianism and the Fiscal
its Early History. By BERNARD SHAW. VI.-Question Leaflets. Questions for Candidates : 20, Poor Law Guard.
ians. 28, County Councils, Rural. 102, Metropolitan Borough Councils. Book Boxes lent to Societies, Clubs, Trade Unions, for 108. a year. Printed by G. Siandring, 7 Finsbury St., London, E.C., and published by the Fabian
Society, % Clemepi'e Inn, Strand, London WC.