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tion of our countrymen, comprising inn-keepers, tavern-keepers, ale-house keepers, &c., as well as in regard to the interest of the community at large, I presume to hope for a speedy emancipation of the publicans, by a revision of the licensing powers, so that they, in common with other Englishmen, may enjoy the protection of the laws; that they may know, that so long as they act well, no private caprice, malice, or cupidity can divest them of their property and livelihood; but that if they do wrong, no private influence can effectually defend them. When so relieved from their present peculiar state of dependence and degradation, we may justly expect to see this extensive class of tradesmen become as respectable as any other; and in no trade is individual respectability more necessary to the good order and comfort of the public. I am, &c.

Dec. 1815.


FROM what has preceded, it appears, that, under the existing system of licensing, the justices exercise, in their respective divisions, an uncontrolled and uncontrollable power in opening and shutting up public-houses, which has been found productive of great oppression and injustice to individuals, and loss to the public.

That the immediate effect of this system is to throw the publichouses into the hands of brewers and license-jobbers, instead of their remaining with the owners of the estates to which they are appendant; a conversion of the ownership of such houses, which tends to promote drunkenness and disorder, and to cause the public to have their beer at a higher price, and of a worse quality, than they would otherwise.

That the annual power of withholding licenses does not afford such speedy means of repressing disorders as is yielded by the ordinary course of law-while its punishments, arising without trial, and on secret reasous, do not produce the beneficial effect of

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example; but being generally attributed to partial or interested motives, they drive the publicans from a reliance on good conduct to the procurement of good interest.

That the dependent, or else precarious, tenure of a victualler's license, discourages respectable persons from embarking their property in that trade; and that the magisterial character is injured, in public estimation, from the connexion which, under the present system, is seen to exist between justices and the sellers of beer and spirits.

Under these circumstances it is submitted, that a new law is wanting-1st. To prevent the further accumulation of publichouses in the hands of brewers and spirit-dealers.-2dly. To subject the licensers' acts, when necessary, to the revision of a higher power. For these objects, the following provisions are thought expedient.

Heads of a proposed Bill for regulating the Licensing of

That no license be granted for the selling of beer or spirits to the occupier of any house belonging to a common brewer or distiller, or vender of beer or spirits in the gross, or a trustee for any of them-except in respect of such public-houses as shall have belonged to such brewers, &c. previous to


That no vender of beer or spirits in the gross, nor any trustee any of them, shall be eligible to take an assignment of a term any house used as a public-house, or to rent such house; and that every contract entered into for such purposes, shall be, ab initio, void.


That where new neighbourhoods arise, or other circumstances occasion a number of persons (being substantial householders) to desire a new public-house in the vicinity of their residences, such persons shall be competent to apply to the justices, at their session for licensing in September, and by memorial, and plan, elevation, section, and specification, to show to such justices the situation and description of any new public-house proposed to be built, the

number of new houses around such house, and its distance from any other public-house; and if a majority of justices assembled shall agree in opinion that such house ought to be built and opened as a public-house, then upon such house being built and an approved tenant provided, such tenant may and shall be licensed at any subsequent meeting for licensing or for the transfer of publicans' licenses.

That the justices be empowered to take sufficient sureties of the party applying, that a house, accepted as proper to be opened as a public-house, shall be built previous to the licensing in the next ensuing September.

That where an owner of a principal estate in the immediate vicinity of an intended public-house is willing to erect such house, he shall have a preference, unless good reason appear to the contrary.

That if the justices shall, otherwise than on good reasons, with hold a license, or grant a license improperly; the Court of King's Bench shall be empowered to compel the granting of a license in the first case, or to declare it void in the second.

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&c. &c.

WHEN a ship is in danger, it is the duty of every one on board, whether a mariner or a passenger, to afford his most strenuous assistance to preserve her from the violence of the storm and from becoming a wreck! And the man who quits his post while there is any chance of saving the ship, deserves every reprobation; and in general the person who under these circumstances deserts his station falls, as he deserves, a sacrifice to his cowardice or to his selfishness.

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That which is true of a ship in a storm is equally just when applied to a state, laboring either in the storm of revolt or of insurrection, or that which is equally to be dreaded, the consequences of revulsion, arising from a system of error or a system which, however beneficial at its commencement, has been carried to an injurious excess.

The following observations are not dictated by party spirit; either by favor to statesmen of one class, or by opposition to those of the other class. The times are too important, and too much depends on wise and prompt measures, to make it warrantable in any man to promote his own views, or to gratify his own wishes. His sole attention should be directed to the public welfare; and every man, however humble his station, and however moderate his abilities, ought to afford his assistance most cordially and earnestly, to discover the source of existing evils and the remedies best adapted to them.

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