7 MAY 1927, Page 17

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

Sm,—Your correspondent, Mr. P. Williams, calls attention to the fact that many public-houses in the country do not supply tea. May I ask whether your correspondent failed to find the ordinary tea shop and temperance refreshment house on his travels, and if it was tea he wanted, why did he not go to such places ?

The fact is that there is not sufficient demand to warrant every publican supplying refreshment of this character, apart from the fact, where the trade is small, that the restaurant piuprietor is naturally opposed to any competition in the supply of teas.

I do not see that State control would get over this difficulty. Dr. Shadwell has pointed out that the same difficulty was experienced at Carlisle. Only a comparatively few of the houses in Carlisle supply meals, &c. Ile says : " There were at one time twenty-eight of these houses, but the plan proved less successful than was hoped, and seven were given up before long for lack of demand. By 1918 only a few were left to continue the practice."

The general manager reported that the provision of food in the ordinary public-house is not appreciated, and meets little demand. He goes on to say that this experience is of great interest because the usual motive for not supplying food, tea and coffee (say the temperance reformers) is the desire of the publican, under orders, to push the sale of drink.—I am, Sir, &e., II. BELL.

29 Dahneny Avenue, Norbttry, 16.