HC Deb 11 May 1916 vol 82 cc908-9
29. Mr. G. LAMBERT

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many race meetings have been permitted in Great Britain during the past year; and whether he will take the sense of the House as to their continuance?


I am not in a position to state the number of race meetings held in Great Britain during the past year, but, as I said in reply to the question which my right hon. Friend asked on the 9th instant, the Government decision not to object to a limited number of race meetings only applies to a small number of specified places in addition to Newmarket. It is a distinct understanding that racing at those places shall not involve any demands upon the railways, and, as at present advised, I do not propose to take any action in the matter.


Is there any restriction in Ireland?


No, Sir. So far as I know there is no restriction in Ireland. The powers which I exercise are through the position which I occupy as Chairman of the Railway Executive Committee, and I have no functions in that capacity in Ireland.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take the sense of the House as to the continuance of these race meetings?


I am afraid I cannot answer that question. I shall be glad to make a statement to the House on the subject if the House desires. I ought to add, in fairness to those concerned, that the Government has been bound to look upon race meetings as connected not only with sport, which is a matter of small importance in war time, but as an important part of an industry which is of military value.