Sale of Liquor to Children, 1901

In March 1901, the Grand Lodge L.O.G.T wrote to Blantyre Parish Council asking for them to sign a petition in favour of the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Children (Scotland) Bill. This was a new bill aimed at prevention of selling alcohol to children.

The 1901 Act was a step in the right direction, but the ultimate aim was to prevent the sale of alcohol to children altogether, as this Act only restricted sales to children rather than prevented it.

Mr Turnbull on Blantyre Parish Council committee was all in favour of signing this, but Mr Douglas reminded everybody they had discussed it the previous year and decided against it, recognising the liquor fetched by errands, wasn’t being consumed by children.

Mr Devanney added that if it was currently possible for mothers and fathers to prevent their children drinking liquor at home, then it was possible for them to control and ensure children didn’t drink it when fetching it on errands. He agreed with Mr Douglas’s position that there was no need to sign the petition.

Mr Turnbull, then made a case that if petition was signed, it should aim at avoiding children hearing foul language and cursing in Blantyre’s public houses. The Committee responded to this, by suggesting children used equally or worse language in the streets.

The motion fell by the wayside, no petition signed and children allowed to continue to buy liquor. It would take several years later for this to change.

Photo for Illustration: Courtesy Blantyre Project, AI generated.

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