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Morals in music halls

by
22 July 2016

July 21st, 1916

THE Bishop of London addressed a letter to Tuesday’s Times, in which he pointed out the danger to the community from the practice of allowing promenades in licensed music-halls. As his lordship pointed out, one of the most popular of the halls is forbidden by the terms of its licence to have a promenade, and there is no reason in the world why any should have one. The Bishop, as everyone knows, is no kill-joy, and no one is less likely than he to begrudge the war-worn soldier an evening’s diversion. But the fact remains that the promenade is habitually used for an immoral purpose, and, with this knowledge before them, licensing authorities incur the charge of giving sanction to the iniquities resulting from what is done in houses under their control. The Times takes a sensible view of the Bishop’s letter. It says, as we are all agreed in thinking, that you cannot force people to be moral, but that is no reason why a public authority should not refuse to help them to be immoral. We were glad to see the Bishop’s exposure of the fallacy that the result of closing the promenades would be to increase soliciting for immoral purposes in the streets. Vigorous police control could deal with that. It is to be hoped that the London County Council and other licensing authorities elsewhere will take note of the Bishop’s protest and adopt his suggestion.

 

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