HC Deb 25 February 1927 vol 202 cc2053-4

Read a Second time, and committed.


I beg to move, That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Bill that they shall have regard to the provisions of Section 56 of The Public Health Act, 1925, so far as Clause 14, sub-clause (2), is concerned.


I beg to second the Motion.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask, Mr. Speaker, whether it is in older to ask for some explanation on this matter—whether this question is debate-able I If so, I think that, before the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams) is allowed to "get away with" this Instruction, if I may so phrase it, some of the other distinguished Conservative Members whose names are attached to this Motion should—the hon. Member himself having now exhausted his right to speak—give us some explanation. Otherwise, I myself propose to vote against such an irregular procedure, and I hope the House will support me, not in order to serve any particular interest or anything else, but to serve the far more important matter of the correct procedure of this House where Private Bills are concerned.


Perhaps I may be allowed to say that this Motion has the approval of the promoters of the Bill. Its purpose is to limit the amount of money which a municipality may be allowed to spend upon theatrical performances or entertainments. According to the Public Health Act, they are restricted in that direction, and the promoters of the Bill are quite prepared to accept this Instruction.


It seems to me that that explanation makes it more undesirable than ever. I think the municipality ought to be free to decide for itself how much it is going to expend upon matters of that kind. It may be very desirable, in the interests of the well-being of the residents in that particular municipality, that there should be public entertainments of an educative and recreational character, and I certainly think that the Corporation itself should be the proper judge of that. I hope that, if this Instruction is going to be pressed, the House will force it to a Division.


Opposed Private Business cannot be taken on Friday. The Motion must stand over.