HC Deb 01 August 1924 vol 176 cc2488-90

Order for Second Beading read.


I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

This Bill only proposes to give powers in regard to the holding of motor car races similar to those given in other countries. The motor car industry has suffered very serious difficulties in this respect, and it is undoubtedly admitted that racing leads to many new improvements in motor cars. This Bill gives power to the Minister of Transport to authorise races upon certain roads. The application for leave has to come to the Minister of Transport from the local authority and therefore it would have the consent of the people in that particular district. It is only proposed to have these races in places which are very remote from towns. I do hope the House will see their way to getting us have the Second Reading of this Bill, because, if there be anything to which the Government object, and I do not think there is, we shall be quite ready to meet them in Committee.


This Bill is very topical and timely, because I understand, exercising the rigidity of the law with all its antiquated procedure, there is about to be a prosecution for motor racing on the Sabbath in Wales. I should like to know whether the promoters of this Bill have made provision for dealing with this Statute of Queen Anne, which I understand operates against so-called Sunday amusements.


There is no intention of having any racing on Sunday.


Motor racing on Sunday is expressly forbidden in this Bill, so the point of the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills) is already met. I do not think, however, that it is very desirable to give power for the public highways to be used for motor races. The object of the highways is that people should be able to pass and repass upon them for the purpose of going to and from particular places, and should be able to do so in reasonable safety. I know that it is probably somewhat out of place to say this from the position I now occupy, but I venture most strongly to oppose the Bill. Motor racing at the best is a very doubtful form of amusement, and there are certainly ample tracts on which motor races can be held. It seems to me that a Bill enabling MEP public highways to be used for motor races ought not to be allowed to go through in a small House on a Friday afternoon, and I should like to move, "That the Debate be adjourned until a quarter to Four o'Clock." No one anticipated that a private Member's Bill would be taken after Government business, and, in ordinary circumstances, at the conclusion of Government business, the Government would have moved the Adjoins-intent, but they have not done so owing to the fact that our pressure is soon to be required elsewhere. If it be not in order for me to move the Adjournment, I shall simply oppose the Bill, and, if necessary, divide upon it at the proper time.


The right hon. Gentleman would be in order in moving, "That the Debate be adjourned," and that would mean that the Bill would not be taken to-day.


I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and, at the end of the Question, to add the words, "upon this day three months."


I sincerely hope that the course proposed by my right hon. Friend (Mr. Rawlinson) will not he followed. He has addressed the House under some misconception as to what the Bill proposes. It is in no sense a mandatory Measure. No one proposes that the House of Commons should compel different localities to indulge in motor racing. It is a Bill to enable any local corporation to apply to the Ministry of Transport for powers to have such races on a limited number of days in one year. It seems to me that the Bill is really a very reasonable Measure and one worthy of having a Second Reading in this House. We are anxious to do all we can to foster the motor car industry in this country, and there can be no reason for objecting to motor races taking place under well-regulated conditions in suitable parts of the country. I submit that Parliament, in its wisdom, may well allow local authorities to make application to be allowed to carry out such races, and if they do so and secure the approval of the Minister of Transport, my right hon. and learned Friend can have no real ground for objecting to the user of the roads for the purposes concerned, both in the interests of the motor trade and of sport. I therefore hope the House will give the Measure a Second Reading to-day.

Notice taken at twenty-five minutes after Three of the Clock that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present—


There not being 40 Members present, I shall resume the Chair at a quarter to four when a Royal Commission is expected.

Mr. SPEAKER resumed the Chair at a Quarter before Four o'Clock.

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