11 JULY 1931, Page 11


Thank God there are left in this country sufficient right- thinking, high-minded, patriotic, far-seeing, knock-kneed, anwmic busybodies to raise a storm of protest against Mr. Lansbury's scheme for authorizing the sale of beer in the Royal Parks. It passes our comprehension how such a hair- brained, subversive, un-English project ever reached even the stage of publicity. It would be at variance with the whole spirit of the Licensing Laws to allow an Englislunan to have a drink except under conditions to which, on a fine day, no one would submit himself without the expectation of being mellowed by more alcohol than he needed. Besides, not once or twice in our rough island story, but several times, deplorable results have been produced by the consumption of alcohol out of doors in the London district. So recently as 1874, a man, describing himself as a ship's chandler, drank a pint of beer in a field near Esher and had a fit ; while in the following year two old men, after sharing a bottle of stout on Parliament Hill, described themselves as the Holy Roman Empire and were thrown into prison. But what a Victorian humorist described (inevitably) as the Ale Fresco Menace has, Heaven be praised. been averted ; so it would be idle to multiply