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Sale of Food.
34. The result of the attempt made to associate the sale of fcod with the sale of drink generally throughout the public houses in Carlisle is of great interest and importance.
the outset of the scheme a sustained effort was made in this direction in Carlisle ; special provision was made for the supply of food and non-intoxicants in the public houses, and managers were personally encouraged to push the sale of food and were given a commission of 75 per cent. on the gross profit from such sales. Notwithstanding the efforts made, the attempt to make the sale of food general in the war-time conditions then prevailing was not successful. At present there is a regular organisation for the daily service of such food as pies, sandwiches, etc., in many of the Carlisle houses not possessing a regular dining room and kitchen, and while the amount of the food trade done in this direction is relatively small, it is the view of the management that this trade can be fostered and is capable of further development. It does not appear, however, that it has yet been found possible to couple the sale of food with the sale of drink throughout all the public houses in Carlisle; and in this respect the experience of State Management appears to confirm the view which was put before us by more than one witness that in the main the working man resorts to the public house for drink and social intercourse with his friends and that, for this reason, in many public houses, no demand for food exists at present.
35. Provision for the supply of regular meals is made at nine houses in Carlisle which are specially equipped as food taverns (with dining rooms and kitchen facilities) and also at the 10 residential hotels under State Management.
36. The nine food taverns, including the Gretna Tavern, the Pheasant, the Bluebell and the Citadel, cater for various classes of customers in the town, and at varying scales of prices; they are well-equipped and attractively decorated. The extent to
which these houses are resorted to for meals appears to vary considerably-in some a large trade in food is done, in others the takings from food sales are relatively small. At the Pheasant a considerable trade is done in catering for mid-day meals for the work-girls from factories in the neighbourhood; the room in which these meals are served is upstairs, while the public bar is on the ground floor; there is a separate entrance to the upstairs room from the street and in this room no intoxicants are served. At certain of the houses, notably at the Pheasant, provision is made for the off-sale of cooked food. Hot soup, stews, puddings, etc., are sold at mid-day, particularly to children whose parents are at work: the off-sales department being separate in each case from the rest of the house and from the public bar.
Games and Recreation.
37. It is the policy of State Management to make provision for games and recreation at its public houses wherever possible. Two houses at Carlisle had bowling greens attached to them when they were taken over, and these have been maintained. A putting green has been provided on a lawn beside another house, and a putting green will also be provided at one of the houses which is now under reconstruction. Experiments are being made in regard to the introduction of wireless installations, which are now provided at four of the houses in the Carlisle area; and in several houses a billiard table is provided, not in a separate room, but in full view of the public bar, so that the public bar customer can not only play if he wishes to, but can also take an interest in the game as a spectator. Music is regularly provided by an orchestra at the Gretna Tavern on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons, and there are pianos in many of the houses. A large hall which is attached to the Gretna Tavern is available for dances, concerts, lectures, and
38. Provision is made for draughts, dominoes, etc., in most of the houses, but here, as in other parts of the country, the possibility of gaming by customers has to be considered, and managers are authorised not to permit play when the conditions are such at any time as to make supervision in this respect difficult.
39. In the Scottish areas the same policy in regard to recreation is pursued, notably at Gracie's Banking, in Annan. This house has a large dining room where meals are served, a billiard room equipped with tables, and gardens which are pleasantly laid out around a quoiting pitch, a putting green, and a bowling green The premises include a large hall which
is let for use as a cinema and is used for the exhibition of films on two or three nights a week. The facilities for outdoor recreation provided by this house are, we are informed, much utilised by residents of and excursionists to the town; season tickets for the bowling green are sold, and there is a ladies' bowling club which uses the green. Intoxicants are served on the premises but not in the gardens or on the greens.
40. It is claimed by the management that the provision of recreational facilities tends to decrease excessive drinking; the public house customer has something in addition to his drink to occupy the time which he spends in the house and he drinks less or takes longer over his drink, in consequence. This is stated to apply not only to the customer who actually plays the game, but to the customer who merely watches the players on the bowling or quoiting green, or, as at the Irishgate, watches the billiard players in the public bar.
Separate accommodation for women.
41. A feature of the State-managed houses in Carlisle is that separate accommodation is provided for women-in some houses a room is set aside for them, e.g., at the Pheasant, a large room on the ground floor, furnished with tables and chairs and pleasantly decorated, in which food as well as drink is served, is reserved for this purpose; in others, such as the Irishgate, a section of the public bar is reserved for women only. We are informed that when the State took over in Carlisle, it found itself confronted with the existence of a strong local custom in this matter, contrary to the prevailing custom in the South of England; the men object to the presence of women in their public bars and the women were accustomed to congregate about the doors or in the passages of the public houses. The alternatives before State Management were either to exclude women altogether from its houses or to provide rooms available for men and women or to make separate provision for women, and it was decided to adopt the latter course. Much criticism was made in evidence of the provision of separate accommodation for drinking for women; and it was urged upon us that such provision tended to encourage drinking by respectable women-particularly girls and young women-who would not otherwise have ventured to enter a public house but who are tempted by the privacy and security from observation afforded by the separate rooms. Provision of mixed rooms, for men and women, has been made in certain of the houses which have recently been reconstructed in the Carlisle area.
Conclusions in regard to the State Management Schemes.
42. From the financial point of view the State Management schemes at Carlisle and in Scotland can be regarded as sound: sums have been set aside out of earnings from year to year, which have reduced the indebtedness of the schemes to the Exchequer to a figure which stood on 31st March, 1926, at £140,682 odd. In considering the financial aspect of the schemes it must be remembered that the State has a monopoly of the supply of intoxicating liquor in the State-managed areas, and further, that the schemes are not subject to Income Tax (Schedule D), and in the past have not paid Excess Profits Duty or Corporation Profits Tax; they are, however, subject to all other taxes and duties applicable to private commercial enterprise of a similar character, and figures placed before us showed that even if deductions are made in respect of the items mentioned above the schemes are financially sound. If the reduction of indebtedness continues at the same rate, within a short period the whole of the advances with interest, so far as the Carlisle area, which is much the largest of the State-managed areas, is concerned, will have been repaid, and the State will be in possession at Carlisle free of all cost of a flourishing business with assets valued at over £900,000. The present success of the
schemes from other points of view, and in particular their social success, is, however, the subject of great controversy. On this question we have heard a mass of evidence, in London and locally, both for and against the schemes.
43. The whole experiment of State Management was condemned in evidence by a certain school of temperance opinion which holds that the State ought not to associate itself with the liquor traffic, and that by doing so it gives a prestige to an undesirable trade and leads to drinking by persons who would never have ventured to enter the ordinary public house. We were interested to find, for instance, that what is claimed by the Carlisle management as an advantage, viz., that the glitter of the ordinary public house has been abolished in Carlisle, that the houses are inconspicuous and the windows curtained, was represented to us as a demerit by important bodies of temperance opinion who hold that it is easier for respectable persons who would be ashamed to enter or be seen. in an ordinary public house, to slip unobserved into these houses. Criticism again is made by those who do not object to State trading in liquor, and who are in favour in general of improving public houses, but who doubt the wisdom of associating games and music with drinking on the ground that they are likely to attract people-particularly young people-to public houses and lead them to acquire the habit of taking intoxicating drink. Objection was raised to such places as Gracie's Banking from this point of view, while other witnesses who came before us testified to the value of Gracie's Banking as a recreational centre and as an asset to the amenities of the town of Annan. Again, the attractive refreshment rooms such as the Gretna Tavern and the Bluebell which have been developed at Carlisle are criticised on the ground that while possibly fulfilling a genuine demand. for good meals at cheap prices, they are associating with this form of catering the sale of intoxicating drink.
44. The evidence before us was conflicting upon the question whether the schemes have reduced drunkenness in the areas in which they have been applied. The greater part of this evidence related to the City of Carlisle, in which the policy of reduction and improvement of houses has been carried out on a more extensive scale than elsewhere in the State-managed areas, and which affords the best example by which the experiment of State Management can be judged. There is no doubt that the measures taken at Carlisle on the inception of the State Management schemes in 1916 were of great effect in coping with the outbreak of drunkenness at that time. As regards more recent years, the figures for convictions for drunkenness in Carlisle show a considerable decrease in comparison with the average pre-war figures, with some fluctuation from year to year (the figures for 1926, for instance, record a rise in the convictions), but there has been in this period a decrease in the convictions for drunkenness throughout the country as a whole;
the restrictions imposed during the war, the reduction of the hours during which intoxicating liquor may be sold, and the increased cost of drink, especially of spirits, have all contributed to this result, and with these and many other factors operating, it is difficult to determine what precise effect can properly be assigned to the existence of State Management. A comparison of the records of convictions for drunkenness in different towns is of doubtful value owing to the variation in conditions as between one town and another, but so far as this comparison can be made, it does not appear that any greater reduction in the number of convictions for drunkenness has been achieved in recent years in Carlisle than has been achieved in many other cities and towns.
45. As regards the consumption of intoxicating liquor in Carlisle, it does not appear to us to be established that the reduction of public houses by approximately 50 per cent. and the improvement of those retained has led to a reduction in the quantity of intoxicating liquor consumed beyond that common to the rest of England, Scotland and Wales in the post-war period.
46. From our observation during our visit to Carlisle, Gretna and Annan we formed a favourable opinion of the work of those in charge of the practical administration of the State schemes. In our view the policy of improvement which has been adopted, involving eliminating the small and inferior houses, is to be commended, and the new and enlarged type of house which has been developed is a marked improvement upon the old style of public house which is generally to be found throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
47. We think it important to emphasise, however, that what has already been done in this respect has been rendered possible by the existence of the special privileges referred to in Paragraphs 24 and 25 of our Report, which differentiate the State Management schemes from other enterprises subject to the ordinary law, and to which, rather than to the actual system of management upon which the houses are conducted,, the improvements. which have been realised are to be attributed. Owing to the possession of these privileges the State schemes include certain features which licensing benches in many parts of the country would be slow to allow, such as the provision of separate accommodation for women at Carlisle, and the service of intoxicating liquor with food in the refreshment rooms which are attached to certain of the Carlisle houses. Again, it was suggested to us that the fact that this is a State enterprise, and that the managers are under State inspectors, may possibly tend to induce a less strict supervision by the police than is maintained elsewhere. It must therefore be borne in mind, in comparing the State schemes with other forms of enterprise under which the supply of intoxicating liquor is conducted, that the schemes