HC Deb 12 November 1934 vol 293 cc1732-8

I beg to move, in page 16, line 42, after "Act," to insert: or under the First Schedule to this Act. I said on a previous Amendment that this would be the very same discussion over again, except that in Clause 16 it was a question of making a reference to the Schedule.

4.43 a.m.


I take it that it is to the same section of the Schedule that my hon. and gallant Friend is referring. I think that the House has very grave reason to complain, for it imposes again a savage penalty. This Bill is filled with savage penalties, and it imposes a maximum penalty and subjects all offences to the same penalties. For instance, obstructing an accountant or a technical adviser is liable to a fine of £50, and under paragraph (c) a person who knowingly gives to any such person as aforesaid any information which is false or misleading is also liable to a fine of £50. This is grotesque and misleading. I think this is one of the most demoralising Statutes, from the criminal law point of view, that has ever been attempted to be placed on the Statute Book. It has always been an axiom of British criminal law that the penalty should fit the crime, and to put down a large fine and to say it does not apply to small things is bringing the criminal law into contempt. The Home Secretary, in bringing in this Amendment, is trifling with the House.

4.45 a.m.


I want to raise a point of substance, namely, the fact that Clause 11, Sub-section (3), reads as follows:

Division No. 410.] AYES. [4.49 a.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil) Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Denville, Alfred Gunston, Captain D. W.
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Drewe, Cedric Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Duggan, Hubert John Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)
Bernays, Robert Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Horsbrugh, Florence
Blinded, James Edwards, Charles Howard, Tom Forrest
Bossom, A. C. Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N.)
Boulton, W. W. Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) James, Wing Com. A. W. H.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Everard, W. Lindsay Jamieson, Douglas
Burnett, John George Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Ker, J. Campbell
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Fox, Sir Gifford Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Fremantle, Sir Francis Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Cooper, A. Duff Fuller, Captain A. G. Lindsay, Noel Ker
Copeland, Ida Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Loftus, Pierce C.
Courtauld, Major John Sewell Goff, Sir Park Mabane, William
Critchley, Brig.-General A. C. Goodman, Colonel Albert W. MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Graves, Marjorie MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Daggar, George Greene, William P. C. McKie, John Hamilton
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Grimston, R. V. McLean, Major Sir Alan

"The provisions of the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to every totalisator operated in pursuance of this section on a licensed track being a dog racecourse, and if any person operating a totalisator on such a track contravenes, or fails to comply with, any of the provisions of that Schedule not being a provision failure to comply with which is punishable under that Schedule, he shall be guilty of an offence."

What I am not clear about is that Clause 16, Sub-section (1, d) refers to where a manager is convicted under Part I of the Act. I am not clear as to whether the reference to Clause 11, Sub-section (3) is, as it stands, an offence under this Part of the Act or the Schedule. If it is an offence under this Part of the Act, then obviously the Amendment we are now discussing is not. If this is an offence under the First Schedule, then the points which the hon. and gallant Gentleman discussed on Clause 7 were of a narrow aspect because of the paragraphs of the Schedule from 1 to 11. I shall be glad if one of the Law Officers will tell us the effect of this.


As I understand it, the case is this, that Subsection (3) of Clause 11 deals with all the Schedules. Offences such as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) described are covered by that Sub-section (3) of Clause 11. The offences under Section 7 of the Schedule are not offences under Sub-section (3) of Clause 11.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 123; Noes, 19.

Magnay, Thomas Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Ramsbotham, Herwald Stones, James
Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Ramsden, Sir Eugene Storey, Samuel
Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Strauss, Edward A.
Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Reid, William Allan (Derby) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Rickards, George William Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Rosbotham, Sir Thomas Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Morrison. William Shephard Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Runge, Norah Cecil Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Munro, Patrick Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy) Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury) Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
O'Donovan, Dr. William James Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l) Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Orr Ewing, I. L. Salt, Edward W. Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Pearson, William G. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart White, Henry Graham
Penny, Sir George Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Petherick, M. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H. Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Procter, Major Henry Adam Somervell, Sir Donald TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Radford, E. A. Soper, Richard Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Sir Walter Womersley.
Bailey, Eric Alfred George Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Tate, Mavis Constance
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Todd, Lt Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Broadbent, Colonel John Levy, Thomas Wise, Alfred R.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer McGovern, John
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Pike, Cecil F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Fleming, Edward Lascelles Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Sir William Davison and Mr. Herbert Williams
Hanley, Dennis A. Renwick, Major Gustav A.
Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Rutherford, John (Edmonton)

4.53 a.m.


I beg to move, "That further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."

4.50 a.m.


On that Question, it may be convenient that we should hear from the Government a little more of the intentions they have for the conduct of this Measure. A great many people will have to make their arrangements, if they can. It will be for the public convenience that a statement should be made as to whether the Government intend in the sitting to-morrow to take, not only the Report stage, but the whole of Part II and Part III, which are also full of controversial points. Do they then intend to take the Third Reading? They cannot blame us for the Third Reading being put off to a very inconvenient time. We have got, with much toil and pain, to the point prescribed. The Home Secretary has got his Clause 16, and I hope he enjoys it. If the remaining stages of this Bill, and the Third Reading, cannot be taken at a reasonable time I hope the right hon. Gentleman will think the matter over before we meet again. Either he should drop Part II of the Bill, or he should let the Third Reading be taken on Thursday, on the day following the discussion on the depressed areas. I understand that it would not be possible to closure the Debate on the Third Reading if we came to it after 11 o'clock. At that time the Debate is entitled to run. I think that this House will debate the Bill at great length on the Third Reading, if it is taken in the early hours. It would be important to the country that a large part of the discussion should take place during the hours of daylight when the public was here.

The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary has had a marvellous success—I hardly remember a more signal success—through the tact, adroitness, and grasp of his speeches. He has had the aid of the patronage Secretary. Having been victorious and trampled on his enemies, he may be more yielding. He may be content with the remaining part of the Report stage without Part II, or, if he insists on going through with the whole Bill, he may give part of Thursday to that. If he would give us three or four hours on Thursday, I have no doubt we should arrange to finish at a reasonable hour to-morrow night. If not, we shall simply have to go on fighting as well as we possibly can in order to prove to the country the injury which is being done.

5.1 a.m.


Before the Home Secretary replies to that very fervent appeal, I suggest that, after having been here for 13 hours, it would be a scandal if the right hon. Gentleman undid the agreement already entered into with the Opposition with regard to the discussion on the distressed areas. That provided Wednesday and any time available on Thursday after the ordinary business, excluding the betting business, had been disposed of. While I am very anxious to see this Bill disposed of, no one can deny that a goodly portion of the last 13 hours has been spent, not so much in discussing the Bill, as in discussing the evils which are to come to the National Government if it is passed. Those of us who have sat throughout the debate constitute a very formidable majority and represent by our votes the feelings of the Royal Commission. It would be a scandal if this vast majority of the House at this late hour were to be chivvied into a change of business, and I hope that the Patronage Secretary will see that there is no suspension of the Rule to-morrow night and that both the Report stage and Third Reading will be taken to-morrow.


The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken is in error in supposing that it is possible to closure the Third Reading as well as to conclude the Report stage.


I can only suggest that although the right hon. Gentleman may have been a meticulous student of certain Amendments on the Order Paper, he cannot have studied the Amendments which stand over as part of the Report stage. I do not think he will suggest that those which have yet to be dealt with can occupy so large a time. I am sure if he were sitting on the Treasury Bench and we or any other hon. Member were to suggest that these four Amendments should occupy a large part of the day, he, with that wonderful flourish of his, would simply ridicule us. I hope the Patronage Secretary will bear in mind not so much the 19 hon. Members who have gone into the Division Lobby as the 120 who have stayed here all night.

5.4 a.m.


All I can say at this stage is that I have taken note of what has been said. I cannot agree that with the number of Amendments remaining on the Report stage, there should be any grave necessity why we should not enter on the Third Reading to-morrow—that is, to-day—at a reasonable time. I hope the good sense of the House will agree to that.

5.5 a.m.


The hon. Member opposite spoke about some consideration being given to those who had supported the Government. Who are they? They are the Socialists and the Liberals. Surely some consideration ought to be shown to the Conservative followers of the (Government. If we are a small band to-night, we are not small in the country, and the country will remember it of the Government which forced this unpopular Measure through the House in the early hours of the morning and the few Members who tried to stand up for the liberties of the country when the Liberals and Labour supporters forced Amendments through the House.

Question, "That further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned", put, and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, to be further considered To-morrow.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

It being after Half-past Eleven of the Clock upon Monday evening, Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned at Six Minutes after Five o'Clock a.m.