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A PARSON'S BEERSHOP.

» AND HIS SUGGESTIONS FOR REGULATING THE TRAFFIC. The Rev Osbert Mordaunt, rector of Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire, told the Licensing Commission his experienoe as sole trustee of a beershop under the will of the former rector, who left it to the parish. When witness became reotor he was sorely exercised as to whether he ought to keep the public-house open ; but feeling that if he closed the house another might be opened over whioh he would be unable to exercise any control, he came to the conclusion that it would 'be better for the parish if he ran the house himself, and consequently for the last 22 years he had done so. He attached the greatest importance to the sale of wholesome beer. Complaints as to adulteration, he believed, were fewer to-day than 20 years ago, and this, he thought, was beoause great care had been taken m respect of the men put into the houses. Drunkenness m his village had been reduced to a minimum. The man he put m to manage the house was generally bis coachman or gardener — one* of bis own servants. The manager was allowed the profits on the mineral waters and eatables sold, but not on beer. No spirits were served. As a consequence of his refusal to sell spirits, he was of opinion that spirit-drinking among women had practically been abolished. The profits of the undertaking nearly all went to the parish m some shape or. another. One thing was the provision of a " harvest home " feast, which was enjoyed very much. The turnover would be about £400 annually, and the net profit would be about £80, whioh went to the parish. The house was kept open for about six hours on Sunday —the usual public-house hours — and he thought it was much too long sometimes. In his opinion, the local authorities should be given the control of public-houses on the Gothenburg system, or something similar. He would lay down the broad principles m an Aot of Parliament, and let the local authorities apply them as they liked — go m for prohibition if they chose. They would soon learn what was best 'by experiment. He would, however, have licenses reduced m number immediately by onehalf or one-third, and provide compensation to respectable publicans out of the profits of the remaining houses. The important thing was that managers should not have an interest m the sale of drink. As to the profits after the compensation had been paid, he would give them to the hospitals.

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A PARSON'S BEERSHOP. Marlborough Express, Volume XXXIII, Issue 191, 16 August 1898

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