HC Deb 06 November 1934 vol 293 cc865-9

4.6 p.m.

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gilmour)

I beg to move, in page 8, line 42, after "revoked," to insert "or cancelled."

The object of this Amendment and the next Amendment in my name is to enable a licensee, if he so desires, to surrender his licence, whereupon it will be cancelled, and will cease to have effect.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 9, line 16, at the end, to insert: () The censing authority shall, upon receiving from the holder of a licence for the time being in force a written request in that behalf accompanied by the licence, cancel the licence, which shall thereupon cease to be in force. () In respect of any application for a licence, such fee, not exceeding ten pounds, as the licensing authority may from time to time fix for their licensing area, shall he payable by the applicant before the hearing of the application, but, if the licence is granted, the fee so paid shall be treated as a payment on account of the first annual payment to be made in respect of the licence under the next following sub-section. It has been represented to us that there will be considerable expense which will fall upon the local authorities in connection with the licensing of tracks, and it is right that some fee should be exacted for that purpose. A maximum of £10 is suggested.

4.8 p.m.


I would like to know, Sir Dennis, what is your Ruling in regard to the Amendment standing in my name which bears on the same matter—in page 9, line 17, to leave out Sub-sections (4) and (5), and to insert:

(4) no fine, rent, or other sum of money shall be payable for or in respect of a licence.


If the hon. Member wishes to discuss that point on this Amendment, he can, no doubt, do so. For his information, I may tell him that I am not proposing to select the Amendment in his name.


I thought that would be so, and that is why I have risen to object to what is now being placed before the Committee. I do not agree with what is now asked. I am one who feels that further penalties and restrictions are about to be placed on the owners of tracks. You are putting upon them an impossible task in asking them to pay to the extent proposed. When it was a matter of six days, the burden could be easily borne by these people, but that is an entirely different thing when it is a matter of two or three days a week. There may be a possible chance of three days but with a 50 per cent or 60 per cent. reduction—


There appear to be two separate issues in the Amendment, one dealing with the surrender of licences and other other with the fee to be paid on application for a licence. They seem to raise two entirely different points, and I would ask, Sir Dennis, whether you would put them separately?


No, they are down as one Amendment, and I shall put them as one. There is no Amendment to the Amendment on the Order Paper.


Did I understand you to say that you would allow the hon. Member to discuss his own Amendment?


No. I said that an Amendment had been put, and that it was open to him to discuss that Amendment which is now before the Committee.


May I call the attention of the Committee to the amazing sentence with which the first Sub-section of the Amendment begins?


Is the hon. Member rising to a point of Order?


Certainly not.


The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. Logan) is, I think, in possession of the Committee, and I do not know whether he wishes to proceed.


I am quite willing to speak now or afterwards, and I am ready to give way.


Perhaps the hon. Gentleman had better wait until his turn comes. We had better have one speech at a time.


I really do not know what is the feeling of Members of the Committee with regard to any further taxation or charge upon people in connection with these licences. I feel that it is a matter of injustice, and I appeal to Members of the Committee to consider the position. Your are determining the power which is to be vested in a particular body. Representations have to be made, and questions of character and all these things have to be considered, and then we are told that there is to be an imposition for the holding of such a licence. There is to be a limitation in the earning capacity of the tracks, and, bearing in mind that there will have to be deductions, it is absolutely impossible to concentrate on two days a week so as to benefit the particular tracks. They must have mechanicians and others in regular attendance, and there is no calculation possible at the present moment how they will stand from a financial point of view. I think the Amendment ought to be rejected. I do not think that we ought to allow a charge of this character to be imposed upon the proprietors. We are dealing in an extreme fashion with these people, and I do not think it is fair. Because of that, I am opposed to the Amendment which has been moved by the Home Secretary.

4.16 p.m.


I must protest against the rather amazing lack of good grammar in the first Amendment. It says:

"The licensing authority shall, upon receiving from the holder of a licence for the time being in force a written request in that behalf accompanied by the licence,"

I feel sure that if the Under-Secretary had been a private Member he would have viewed this matter with horror. I hope that between now and the Report stage, for the sake of the purity of Parliamentary language, the Amendment will be redrafted and that we shall get from the Home Office that purity of language which we might expect from the National Government.

4.17 p.m.


As the local authority will be put to a certain amount of expense, it is proper that the expense should fall upon the industry and not upon the rates. The maximum fee is £10. It cannot be more than that, and it is credited to the interests concerned if they get the licence.

Vice-Admiral, TAYLOR

Is the 1() returned if the licence is not granted?




I should like to reinforce the appeal mode by the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams). It is rather startling to find an error being made in the grammar of drafting. I hope that the Home Secretary will consider this matter before the Report Stage.



Amendment agreed to.


I shall now call upon the Home Secretary to move in the underlined Sub-sections (4) and (5) of Clause 8, on page 9 of the Bill. In view of the fact that there are on the Order Paper in the name of the Home Secretary a number of small Amendments to the underlined parts of the Clause, it will be for the convenience of the Committee if the right hon. Gentleman is taken as moving in the underlined Subsections as they will read with the Amendments to them which appear on the Order Paper.

4.20 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 9, line 17, to insert:

"(4) In respect of every licence, such annual fee not exceeding fifty pounds as the licensing authority may fix annually shall be payable during the currency of the licence by the person who is for the time being the holder thereof, and the first of such payments shall be made on the day on which the licence takes effect, and subsequent payments shall be made at intervals of twelve months thereafter.

(5) In respect of any transfer of a licence, such fee not exceeding ten pounds, as the licensing authority may from time to time fix for their area shall be payable by the person to whom the licence is transferred.

() Every fee which by virtue of this section is payable by any person shall be recoverable from that person by the licensing authority as a debt due from him to them.

() A standing joint committee who receive any sum in respect of fees paid under this section, shall pay, or account for, that sum to the county council represented on the committee."

The first Amendments are drafting Amendments with regard to the transfer fees payable. A further Amendment provides that the fees required to be paid shall be recoverable from the person liable by the authority exercising the licensing function. A further Amendment provides that as the county councils are to defray the expenses of the standing joint committees the standing joint committees shall pay to the county councils any fees received by them when they are acting in the capacity of a licensing authority. These are matters of detail and accounting.


Is the Amendment that has been read from the Chair a manuscript Amendment, or is it on the Order Paper?


No. If the hon. Member had listened to what I said he would have been able to follow me. The Home Secretary has moved in the underlined words of the Clause on page 9 as they will read with the Amendments made to them which are down in his name on the Order Paper.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.