HC Deb 26 April 1927 vol 205 cc652-3
20. Mr. LEE

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Home Office Circular of 20th August, 1920, defines the limits of discretion that may be exercised by Justices with regard to the conditions that may or may not be attached to the licence of a building for the performance of a play; and, if not, whether he intends to issue a circular defining such limits?

Captain KING (for Sir W. JOYNSONHICKS)

Owing to complaints as to the unsatisfactory condition of theatres in different parts of the country, a circular letter was sent to licensing authorities on the 25th August, 1920, drawing their attention to the matter, and suggesting that use should be made of their powers under the Theatres Act, 1843, to ensure the buildings being maintained in a proper state. I have no authority to define the limits of these powers. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the circular.


Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether the discretion of the Justices applies to the play as well as the building, or to the building only?

Captain KING

I must refer the hon. Member to the terms of the Act of 1843.

Colonel DAY

Is it not a fact that all plays are licensed under an old Act called the Disorderly Houses Act, which is several hundred years old, and is it not time that that Act was amended?