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Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, I do not believe that the noble Lord the Captain of the Yeoman of the Guard should be too inhibited by a limit of 20 minutes. There is no new rule in this respect. The only new rule concerns finishing by 10 o'clock. We have three-quarters of an hour to go should he wish to take a proportion of that time to respond to a few more points than he would otherwise have done. He should not be too inhibited by the time limit.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I am most grateful. I turn to what is clearly a passionate concern—of mine as well as of others—and that is the subject of music. I believe that there has been a profound misunderstanding of what the Bill seeks to achieve. It was suggested that by abolishing the two-in-a-bar rule, which we all agree was completely anachronistic, somehow we are damaging the possibilities of live music. That could not be further from the truth.

The truth of the matter is that the considerations that we must take into account in licensing music are two-fold: one is noise and the other is safety. It does not matter whether the music is live or canned from a noise or a safety point of view. In the past, canned music has been allowed and live music has been discouraged by the two-in-a-bar rule. If we make adequate provision for noise safety—I say this to the noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, my noble friend Lord Pendry, the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, and the noble Lord, Lord Skidelsky—then we are meeting the requirements of licensing. But there will be no additional imposition on licensed premises because, as I said, the licence for live music will be an integral part of the premises licence. It will cost no more than obtaining the alcohol licence in the first place.

My view is that there will be an explosion of live music as a result of removing the discriminatory two-in-a-bar provision. The simplification will apply and the inclusion of this measure in an alcohol licence will

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also apply, regardless of how many musicians are involved. If live musicians make an unacceptable noise which disturbs local residents, then they will be subject to penalties in the same way as applies to canned music. But they will not be discriminated against.

In the guidance we can and will make provision for sound insulation. We can consider whether there should be standards measured on decibel levels. We can provide for fines on licensees who disregard or ignore the provisions of a licence. That is provided for in Clause 134. We can have capacity limits, although anyone who has spent much time in New York bars does not think too much of fire department capacity limits. Of course there are health and safety provisions. But I believe that the provisions for music are enormously to the benefit of live music.

I shall say a few sentences about the protection of children. The noble Lord, Lord Avebury, spoke as though there was unrestricted access for children. That is by no means the case. We shall have easier access for children because we have been told by all kinds of people, not just the tourist industry but people from this country, that it is absurd that children should be excluded from pubs as they are now. Tourist families like to eat with children in pubs. They think it is a great attraction of this country. It is a nonsense that they

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should be excluded. It is a nonsense that children of five years and above can drink alcohol in a pub garden or in a family room. That must be got rid of.

So, yes, there will be access for children, but the sale of alcohol to children will be illegal anywhere. The Bill will introduce a clear prohibition on the sale of alcohol to children, not necessarily by proof-of-age cards. I think there are major difficulties with them.

I recognise the difficulties of servers in pubs in recognising those who are under age. Those problems are not made worse or better by the Bill, but I do not deny that they exist.

I do think that I have now exhausted the patience of the House. I believe that this is fundamentally a good Bill. One has to look only at the list of repeals in Schedule 7 to the Bill to realise how far we have gone in dealing with the ragbag of conflicting and out-of-date legislation which has applied to licensing over the past century or more. I believe that the issues raised in debate today are worthy of detailed attention in Committee. I am sure that they will have that. Many of the points raised can be answered by a closer and more accurate scrutiny of the Bill. I commend the Bill to the House.

On Question, Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

        House adjourned at nineteen minutes past nine o'clock.

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