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British Gothenburg Experiments


SINCE 1895, when the Aberdeen proposals called public attention to the question, suggestions for the public management of the liquor traffic have received increasing support in Scotland, where several important experiments are already in active operation. The earliest of these owed its inception to Mr. Charles Carlow, the managing director of the Fife Coal Company, Limited, but it was left to Mr. John Ross, a well-known educationist in Dunfermline, who is solicitor to the Fife Coal Company, to develop and extend a tentative experiment by organising the present public-house societies in Fifeshire.


Date established
Estimated Population of Village
June, 1896

The first of the experiments referred to above was that established in 1896 at the Hill of Beath, a small colliery village in Fifeshire. The village was built and is owned by the Fife Coal Company, Limited, who rent the cottages to the miners in their employ. The miner's tenancy of a cottage ceases with his employment.

The present public-house is situate just outside the village proper (i.e. outside the property of the Coal Company), and was erected by its original owner for the express business of a public-house, and he evidently chose the site in order to escape the control of the Fife Coal Company. He appears to have made unsuccessful application for a licence on two occasions, and the Fife Coal Company, believing that a licence was inevitable, decided to transform certain of their cottages into a small public-house, and themselves to apply for a licence. The first application (made in 1895), although supported by the Chief Constable, was refused by eleven votes to nine, and the matter remained in abeyance until the following year, when the Fife Coal Company again made application for a licence, a similar application being made by the owner of the private premises. Mr. Carlow, in support of the Fife Coal Company's application, stated that, in the event of the licence being granted, the Company would restrict themselves to a dividend of 4 per cent, on their outlay, the balance of profit being spent for the benefit of the village. In the result a licence was granted to the Company by eleven votes to eight. The owner of the rival house, evidently feeling that he no longer possessed any chance of obtaining a licence, subsequently sold his premises and all fittings to the Fife Coal Company for £1,500, and the Company at once transferred the business from their own house in the centre of the village to the present premises. Until the end of last year (1900) the public-house was managed by a committee of five, three of whom were representatives of the Company, and the remaining two were elected by the miners themselves. This committee seems to have been somewhat careless in its appointments and arrangements, and two successive managers proved unsatisfactory. In December, 1900, however, the Hill of Beath Tavern Society, Limited, was formed, part of the capital of which was subscribed by the miners themselves, and the Fife Coal Company sold the public-house to this Society for £1,200. This sum included not only premises, fittings, stock, furniture, but also a balance of nearly £300 in the bank.

The objects which the Society sets before itself in its printed rules are " to carry on, in or near the village of Hill of Beath, in the county of Fife, the businesses of innkeepers, publicans, alehouse-keepers, cafe-, and restaurant-keepers, manufacturers of aerated waters and such other commodities as may be agreed upon by the members from time to time, and purveyors and caterers for public entertainments and amusements." The capital of the Society is raised in shares of £1 each. No member other than a registered society may hold more than £200 worth of shares. Each shareholder is allowed one vote in respect of his holding and irrespective of the total amount of his shares. Shares are entitled to a dividend not exceeding 5 per cent, per annum. The surplus profits, after making provision for (1) depreciation of assets, (2) a reserve fund for the redemption of capital, or other purposes, if the committee of management resolve to establish such, and (3) share dividends, are to be applied " to such purposes of public or quasi-public utility in the village of Hill of Beath or neighbourhood as the Society in general meeting may from time to time determine."

The management of the Society is vested in a local committee composed of six members and the Secretary. The chairman of the present committee is the manager of the Fife Coal Company's works, and the rest of the committee are working men. The executive work is in the hands of the Secretary, who receives a small salary, and who, subject to the committee, orders and pays for all liquors. The promoters seem to have been somewhat unfortunate in the appointment of their first Secretary, but the present Secretary (Mr. W. Keir, who is an employe in the office of the Fife Coal Company) appears to be thoroughly in sympathy with temperance ideas and work, and although he only entered upon his duties in March of this year, he has already accomplished several valuable improvements. One of his earliest acts was to induce the committee to close the house at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. as formerly. The manager of the public-house receives a fixed salary (£2 per week), with free house, coal, and light. He is allowed the assistance of two helpers, a lad and a woman, both of whom are paid by the committee. The woman helper is not allowed to serve in the bar. By way of security for fidelity, the manager is required to take shares in the Society to the amount of £50, the share certificate, together with a signed transfer of the shares, being deposited with the Secretary. In his agreement with the Society the manager binds himself " to carry out all the instructions of the committee of management, to secure the good conduct of the business and the diminution of excessive drinking, and he binds himself strictly to conform to all the conditions on which the licence is held, and not to contravene these in any respect. He binds himself particularly not to supply liquors to intoxicated persons or to suffer persons in a state of intoxication to remain on the premises." He further binds himself " to refuse all perquisites whatsoever, and to report to the committee the names of any merchants who may offer perquisites to him or inducements to deal with them." He has nothing to do with the ordering of the liquors; they are ordered by the Secretary, who invoices the liquors to him at selling prices. The present manager appears to be a thoroughly respectable man, and fully capable of carrying out any policy that the committee may decide upon.

The public-house itself is a good building and superior to the ordinary public-houses in the district. It contains five or six plainly furnished rooms downstairs, all of them provided with seats, and a better furnished room upstairs for the accommodation of travellers, cyclists, etc. As already pointed out, it was originally erected as a private public-house, and was only sold to the Fife Coal Company when the man who built it failed to obtain a licence. The house is the only licensed house in the village; but there are several public-houses in Crossgates, which is less than half a mile away, and it would seem to a stranger that they are sufficiently near to have rendered the house at the Hill of Beath unnecessary. There can be no doubt that the experiment is prejudiced in the eyes of temperance people in the district from the fact that its establishment meant an additional public-house; but the responsibility for this is perhaps not strictly to be laid upon the Fife Coal Company, since there appears to be a general opinion that, if they had not taken action, a licence would have been granted to a private publican sooner or later.

No games or other amusements are allowed in the house, nor is any credit given. There is no explicit rule in respect of sales to children, but the manager stated that he refuses to serve very young children, and suggested thirteen as the age below which he would not serve. No attempt is made at a " Black List," but it is said that such a list is unnecessary, owing to the fact that all the regular customers are in the employ of the Fife Coal Company, and a man could at once be dismissed if he were guilty of disorder. No provision is made for clubs, nor is there any stable accommodation for carts, etc. The hours of sale are from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; the house is thus closed an hour earlier than the public-houses in Crossgates, the change dating from the appointment of the new Secretary in March last. This reform is said to be possible because the house is the only one in the Hill of Beath. Owing to the Forbes-Mackenzie Act, there is no sale on Sunday.

A general public-house trade is done, spirits being sold as well as beer. The purchases of liquor show that about one gallon of spirits is sold to six gallons of beer. There is a fair "off" trade, the same prices being charged as for " on " sales. The trade in mineral waters is relatively small, and there is little demand for food.


These consist of (a) a reading-room and institute, and (b) a bowling-green, both of them separate from the public-house. The institute has 110 members, which, considering that the total population of the Hill of Beath is not more than 1,200 or l.SOQ, is a fair proportion. A yearly subscription of sixpence per member is charged. The Public-House Society has, however, in the course of erection a much larger and better building, which it proposes to open as a new institute to take the place of the present inferior building. The new building, which will be ready by the autumn, will cost fully £1,000, a sum which seems small considering the character and quality of the building. The institute will consist of four good rooms, one of which will be devoted to the loan library, another will be fitted as a good reading-room, and a third will be supplied with two billiard-tables and also furnished with side-tables for other games, such as dominoes, draughts, etc. There will also be a temperance bar in the building. The building is certainly a good one, and, so far as it goes, will well carry out the idea of a counter-attraction to the public-house.

The bowling-green is also to be strongly commended. It is situated in a central part of the village, and covers a moderately large piece of ground given by the Fife Coal Company. The sides and one end are stocked with shrubs and plants, and give a pleasing effect, while the green itself is about as perfect as a bowling-green can be. There is a well-built pavilion, where the bowls, etc., are kept.

It is important to note that the counter-attractions are entirely separate from the public-house, where no games of any sort are carried on. In each case the counter-attraction is a good distance from the public-house. In this connection we may note a statement made by Mr. John Boss, the chief promoter of the Fifeshire Public-House Societies, when discussing the subject with one of the present writers. Mr. Ross stated that he had originally proposed to associate the games and recreative features of the experiment with the public-house on the lines originally proposed by the Bishop of Chester, and now by Lord Grey, but that the miners themselves had represented to him that such an arrangement would not do, and that the recreation must be entirely separate from the sale of liquor.


The following statements give particulars of the receipts and expenditure of the public-house for the last three years. The third statement, it will be noticed, is for nine months only, owing to the change from the old regime to the new, which began on January 1st, 1901. The figures thus relate in all cases to the earlier management of the house under the committee appointed by the Fife Coal Company.

The reduced profits in 1900 appear to be chiefly accounted for by the defalcations of the manager then employed, and we were informed that they are also partly explained by the fact that formerly spirits were bought at distillery strength and reduced to selling strength by the manager. Now they are bought at selling strength, and only the better qualities are purchased.


The profits are devoted to various objects of public utility in the village, among which are the lighting of the village by electric light, the maintenance of the reading-room and institute, bowling-green, etc. The disbursements for these objects in 1898-9 and 1900 were as follows:

These objects were selected under the earlier regime, and the appropriation annually made for electric light is certainly questionable. Inasmuch as the Fife Coal Company are the owners of the village and, apparently, the sole ratepayers, they in the natural order of things must have borne the expense of lighting the village, so that the allocation of profits to this purpose, made when they had the control of the public-house, actually relieves them of rates they would otherwise have had to pay (It is not of course suggested that the appropriation was deliberately designed to this end, but the fact of relief appears to be clear. It should, however, in fairness be noted that the Company, in disposing of the property to the new Society in December, 1900, appear to have acted with great generosity.) In any case the allocation of profits to this purpose is mischievous, being a direct subsidy in relief of rates. The other appropriations are of a character that can be heartily approved, this being especially so in the case of the bowling-green and the reading-room, which are direct and efficient counter-attractions to the public-house.


In estimating the general results of the Hill of Beath experiment it is necessary to distinguish between its present management and its past. Like all similar experiments, it has met with much criticism, some of it undoubtedly just, but a part of it unquestionably hasty and ill-founded. In the latter category must certainly be placed the suggestion made by outsiders, but discredited by temperance workers in the village itself, that the establishment of the house has been responsible for a decline in the activity of certain temperance societies, etc. in the village. That the establishment of the house has not led to a diminution of drunkenness is perhaps true, as also the allegation that, by increasing the facilities for obtaining liquor, the establishment of the house has actually increased the amount of liquor consumed in the village; but the indisputable defects of the experiment as at present conducted appear to be of a negative rather than a positive character, and lie chiefly in the fact that there is little actual difference in methods of management between the Society's house and an ordinary well-conducted public-house. Certainly the restrictions aimed at and imposed do not appear to be as great as a somewhat exceptional opportunity would permit. Probably the objection which more than any other has influenced criticism against the experiment is the fact that it has introduced a public-house where no public-house previously existed, and where the neighbouring facilities appear to have been sufficient to meet any legitimate demand. Against this it is urged that in taking the action they did the Fife Coal Company did no more than anticipate events by keeping out a private licensee, and that from this point of view the question really resolves itself into one of choice between an ordinary public-house conducted for private gain and one from which the element of private profit has been eliminated. Without committing themselves to a definite pronouncement upon the question of fact here raised, but admitting its probability, the present writers feel compelled to acknowledge that a consideration of all the local circumstances (especially the close proximity of Crossgates, where licensed premises exist) induces in their minds a doubt of the wisdom and expediency of this particular experiment.


Date started
Population of Village
January 1st, 1900

The rules and constitution of the Kelty Society are so closely similar to those of the Hill of Beath Society that detailed description is nnnecessary. The chief differences are: (1) that the share capital is raised in shares of five shillings each instead of £\, and (2) that the committee of management consists of eight instead of six members.

Kelty is another mining village belonging to the Fife Coal Company. Its population at the recent census was nearly 4,700. It is the centre of a very prosperous mining district, and work has been plentiful and wages high for some years past. A proof of this prosperity is seen in the fact that at one pit alone the daily output is from 1,600 to 1,800 tons of coal. The miners work eleven days a fortnight, and their wages range from 6s. to 7s. 'id. per day, while mere lads can earn from 2s. 6d. to 4s. per day. It thus happens that the family income is, as a rule, high.

The proposal to establish a " Gothenburg " public-house originated with Mr. John Eoss, of Dunfermline. Mr. Ross paid a visit to Kelty in the autumn of 1899, and lectured on the Gothenburg system. Shortly afterwards a meeting was summoned to consider a definite proposal, which Mr. Boss then submitted, to establish a " Gothenburg " public-house in Kelty. The proposal aroused considerable local feeling, and encountered much opposition from religious and temperance people in Kelty, with the result that at the meeting the proceedings were somewhat excited. Mr. Boss's resolution failed to find a seconder, while a resolution against the establishment of the hous-e was carried. In the end it was decided that a plebiscite should be taken on the question, and a committee was appointed for the purpose. The promoters of the new public-house were asked to co-operate by appointing to the committee a number of representatives equal to those appointed by the public meeting. This they declined to do, but the committee, nevertheless, included some who were in favour of the scheme who had been nominated at the public meeting. The question put to fhe voters was: " Are you opposed to the granting of a licence to the Kelty Public-House Company ? " The result of the voting was as follows:

NB: Householders and Resident Voters - This heading is said to cover resident parliamentary voters and such other male householders as had not qualified for the parliamentary vote.

It seems unfortunate, in face of such a pronouncement, that the proposal was persisted in; at the same time it is highly probable that an additional licence would have been granted to Kelty in any case, so that the responsibility of thrusting an additional licence upon the place is not strictly to be charged against the promoters of the scheme. Practically everyone agrees (and the chief officer of the local police entirely endorsed this view in conversation with one of the present writers) that an additional licence had become almost inevitable owing to the pressure of trade at the other houses and the growing population.

The new public-house stands in an exceedingly good position, and is a substantial stone building much superior to the other public-houses in the village. It was built specially for its present purpose by the Kelty Public-House Society at a cost (including furniture and fittings) of £3,500. It is rated at £180 per annum. It has a large bar, with accommodation for a crowd of customers; also a small separate jug compartment, and four rooms off the bar. Upstairs there is a large room, 30 ft. by 20 ft., furnished with seventy chairs and used for Cricket-club dinners and teas, dinners of the local Burns Society, smoking-concerts, etc. There is also a restaurant room on the ground floor with a separate entrance from the street.

The house was visited on Thursday and Friday, June 13th and 14th, 1901. The latter day was the fortnightly payday, and we were told that the houfe would be well patronised. We visited the house at 9.40 p.m. The public bar was tolerably full of miners, and two men were also drinking in the private jug department. Trade was evidently brisk. The manager and two other men were serving in the bar, and the place was full of the loud voices usual in a busy public-house. The manager stated that they had been exceedingly busy all the evening. In addition to the general bar, the four rooms off the bar were also full, the orders from these rooms being taken by two young women who were busily engaged carrying liquor between the bar and the rooms. At ordinary times the bar is served by the manager and his assistant, but when trade is busy the women-helpers also serve. They occasionally serve when trade is slack if the manager and his assistant happen to be in another part of the house when customers come in. The manager much dislikes the side-rooms off the bar, since he finds it impossible to keep them under his own personal supervision and control. He mentioned that he had " rushed out of the bar to get a flying look at them at least twenty times" that evening.

The manager is a fairly young man, smart and respectable, who has had previous experience of the public-house trade, and he evidently does his best to keep the place respectable. There are no special restrictions governing sale. He will not knowingly serve liquor to any man who shows signs of intoxication, and although there is no " Black List" or anything approaching to one, he is able in a broad and general way, from his knowledge of the place, to sort out his customers (Speaking at Dunfermline on March 21st, 1901, Mr. John Ross stated that " tricks had been played by putting men in the house who were already under the influence of liquor, in order that blame might be attached to it; but the greatest care was exercised, and the manager was strongly backed up by the committee." ). He mentioned, for example, that in some cases he would probably refuse to serve a man who he knew was addicted to excess with more than two pints, whereas he might serve other men with four pints. In this respect observation would lead us to say that the house is conducted much as an ordinary public-house is conducted where there is a good manager.

The house is managed by a committee of the miners, which meets every Monday. They have the assistance of a Secretary, who receives a salary of £16 a year. The latter is a teetotaler and thoroughly in sympathy with temperance work, and the opponents of the scheme speak in the highest terms of him. He orders all the liquors, and they are debited to the manager at selling prices. The usual hours of sale are observed, and there are no special restrictions concerning the sale of liquor to children. No credit is, however, given. A general public-house trade is done, but beer-sales preponderate. The manager stated that, speaking generally, they would sell about one hogshead of spirits and thirty-two barrels of draught beer a month, besides bottled " Bass " ; also about two hundred and forty dozen of " minerals" a month. (He explained that the mineral waters were being largely used in conjunction with beer for what is known as "shandy gaff").

He further stated that there was a fair " off" trade, but that the " off " sales would not amount to more than a tenth of the whole. In accordance with local practice, beer is sold a halfpenny per pint cheaper for " off" consumption.

The manager is paid a fixed salary of £2 per week, with house, coal, and light. He receives no commission upon sales, even in the case of mineral waters, but it was stated that it is intended to let him have the profits on food in the restaurant as soon as the restaurant gets properly established. This restaurant is a good room with a separate entrance. It has, however, only been running a short time (being opened at the end of 1900), and at first involved a loss, but it is now paying its way. It is not likely ever to do a great business, inasmuch as it must depend upon cyclists and other visitors, the miners themselves having their meals at home. The manager at Kelty, as also the manager at the Hill of Beath, confirmed what had been stated elsewhere, that it is not really possible for a manager of a public-house to do much in pushing the sale of non-intoxicants. If it were possible, the high profits upon mineral waters would probably induce private publicans to do their utmost to sell them.


The "takings" of the house average at the present time from £60 to £7Q per week. They are, as elsewhere, heaviest at the end of the week, and are specially affected by the fortnightly pay-day.

The following particulars give the takings for two recent consecutive weeks:

The full effect of pay-day is further shown in the particulars of another week to which the manager called our attention

Full particulars of the first year's working results are given in the following statement, which is copied from the balance sheet for the year ending December 31st 1900:

It will be seen that the net profit on the year's trading was £602.


Only a portion of the profits has so far been appropriated. The appropriations already made include a grant of £50 to the local library, and the maintenance of a certificated district nurse. The district nurse is a great success, and is very popular in the village. Her maintenance will mean an expenditure of at least £100 per annum. The general rule of the Society governing the appropriation of profits is the same as that adopted by the Hill of Beath Society.


As the experiment is only eighteen months old, and has only completed one financial year, not much has been done so far in the way of direct counter-attractions to the public-house. As already explained, out of the last year's profits a grant of £50 was made to the local library. This institution is an excellent building, containing a loan library and reading-room, and a billiard-room with one table, in addition to accommodation for the caretaker and his family. The members pay a subscription of 2s. 6d. a year, and the building seems to be fairly well patronised. Although excellent in its way, it is quite inadequate to meet the recreative needs of the village, and especially inadequate as a counter-attraction to six public-houses and a drink-club. The Public-house Society, however, proposes shortly to lay down a bowling-green away from the public-house at a cost of about £500, and there is also some vague talk of a people's park, but there is little likelihood that the latter will be established just yet. It should be mentioned in this connection that some at least of the other public-houses in Kelty provide games for their customers.


In estimating the general results of the experiment in Kelty it is but just to make full acknowledgment of what the present writers believe to be the absolute sincerity and disinterestedness of aim which led to the establishment of the scheme. Mr. John Ross, the actual promoter of the Society, is a well-known and influential citizen, whose devotion to the cause of education and other public questions in Fifeshire has won him widespread respect; and it is unquestionable that in promoting the Fifeshire public-house societies he has been actuated by a sincere desire to make a practical contribution to the solution of a difficult and dangerous problem. He himself regards the local public-house societies as little more than experiments. " They are," he says, " picking their way," and he urges that they have been in existence for too short a time to show decisive results.

On the other hand, it is clear that in Kelty local feeling is strongly oppo'sed to the experiment, and many complaints are made of increased drunkenness, and of persons who did not formerly frequent the public-houses of the village, but who now are said to visit the " Gothenburg " house owing to its supposed greater respectability. It is not clear that there is much in this last charge, although one or two instances were given, nor do we think that it is quite fair to charge the alleged increase of drunkenness in Kelty against the new public-house. The fact seems to be accepted that an increase of drunkenness has taken place during the last year or so, but this would appear to be due to (1) the very prosperous times which the miners have been having; (2) the growth of the population ; and (3) the establishment of a club which is really no more than a drinking-saloon without the restrictions of an ordinary public-house. The chief officer of the local police was especially emphatic in his condemnation of this club, to which he evidently attributes the increase of drunkenness. He went so far as to say that the Sunday closing of the public-houses in Kelty is being rapidly undone by the heavy sales in the club on Sunday, and he gave illustrations of what he had himself seen in support of this. The club was opened about a year ago, and its establishment seems to have been the familiar case of a man thwarting the licensing justices who had refused a licence. In any case, its evil influence must be kept very prominently in view when considering the alleged increase of drunkenness in Kelty. The police officer, in speaking of the " Gothenburg " public-house, stated that in his experience it was well conducted, and lie had no complaints to make against it. He seemed to think (in common with many others) that its chief virtue was that it diverted the profits of some part at least of the local liquor traffic to public purposes. On the whole, his testimony was favourable to, rather than against, the " Gothenburg " house.

Mr. Terris, J.P., chairman of the Kelty School Board, who has always been a supporter of the experiment, evinced no great enthusiasm for it in discussing the matter with one of the present writers. His great point was that in a choice between an ordinary public-house and a Company house it was better to have the Company house. He practically admitted that the chief value of the experiment was that the profits were diverted to useful ends.

The opponents of the scheme (some of whom are very hostile) chiefly take the ground that the way the profits (which were £602 for the first year) are likely to be appropriated may injure the cause of temperance by giving the people a direct monetary interest in the continuance of the traffic. Some of them also feel that the establishment of the house has increased drinking and drunkenness; but the chief objection is clearly the apprehension of an appeal to the cupidity of the village. In some respects the most weighty opinion was given by a resident doctor—a comparatively young man and a regular Church worker. He was, on the whole, distinctly opposed to the experiment, and especially felt the difficulty likely to arise out of the villagers' pecuniary interest in the scheme. It was, however, generally acknowledged that if a scheme of local option could be devised whereby the whole of the public-house traffic in Kelty could be brought undei effective and stringent public management, and arrangements made under which the locality would derive no profit from the traffic save and except a fixed grant for direct and efficient counter-attractions to the public-houses, the objections now felt would largely disappear.

The present writers are of opinion that it is practically impossible to decide whether the house has or has not increased drinking in Kelty. Upon the whole they would be inclined to suggest that its effect has not been great either way. That it has not diminished drinking and drunkenness may be accepted as certain. It could not well be expected to do this, in view of the fact tbs-t it has increased the facilities for obtaining drink ; and it is further possible that to some slight extent it has increased drinking among those to whom its respectability is said to appeal. (That this is not the result of the Gothenburg system, rightly applied, is strikingly shown by the declaration of Mr. Lars O. Jensan, Right Worthy Grand Templar of Norway, at the International Alcoholic Congress at The Hague, in 1893. Mr, Jensen said: " When the Gothenburg system was introduced, it was feared that this system would throw an air of respectability about the drinkiug-customs. This has not been so. On the contrary, it is regarded as a far greater shame to enter a ftamlag shop than to enter an ordinary drink-shop or restaurant." ).

It is clear, however, that with the competition which the house encounters it is hopeless to look for very satisfactory results. In addition to the " Gothenburg" house there are five other public-houses in Kelty (one of them immediately opposite), as well as two grocers' licences and a drink-club. The manager himself is fully alive to the injurious effect of this competition upon his own efforts. " My principal bother here," as he recently informed the special commissioner of the Alliance News, (Alliance News, June 13th, 1901.)" is drunken people coming from other places. This place is doing no good. One of its kind in a place is no use. If we had all the houses in the place under our management we could do some good; but what would be the use of us closing earlier, or anything like that, when our customers would just go across the way to the public-house opposite ?" In conversation with the present writers he was equally emphatic.

Summed up briefly, the defects of the Kelty experiment do not indicate any inherent defect in the principle of public management, rightly applied and directed, but rather the urgent necessity of legislation which shall allow localities to acquire a complete monopoly of the local traffic under conditions that will give free play both to restrictive and constructive agencies, and prevent the traffic being conducted for local pecuniary gain. At present there is a distinct danger that localities may drift into experiments before the necessary safeguards are properly understood.


Similar societies to those at Hill of Beath and Kelty have recently been formed at Cowdenbeath and Dunferm-line. In neither case, however, has an additional licence been applied for. At Cowdenbeath an existing public-house was purchased for £7,000 (£4,000 of which was said to represent the value of the licence alone); while at Dunfermline a smaller house was provisionally acquired for £3,000. In the latter case the sale was conditional upon a transfer of the licence being obtained. The transfer was, however, subsequently refused by a majority of the licensing justices, with the result that the proposed sale was not completed. At Cowdenbeath the Society has already begun operations, but the experiment has been working for too short a time to justify comment here.


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