§ Mr. SPEAKER
Several Amendments are down to this Clause. They all deal with the same subject, and they can all be discussed on the first Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan), and this is the only Amendment on this Clause that I shall take.
§ 12.59 a.m.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I beg to move, in page 3, line 19, to leave out "eight" and to insert "sixteen".
There will be certain arrangements entered into in regard to the question of racing, and, if we read Clause 4, we find 1684Betting by way of bookmaking or by means of a totalisator shall not take place on any day on a track being a dog racecourse, in connection with more than eight dog races, and betting by way of bookmaking or by means of a totalisator on the results of dog races shall not take place on any day on such a track as aforesaid except during one continuous period not exceeding four hours.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I called the first Amendment of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division. I thought a discussion on all the Amendments could take place on that first Amendment, the only Amendment I shall take on the Clause.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I was explaining to the House that as the Clause stands it certainly does not allow a sufficient number of races to take place on a dog course and gives one continuous period of four hours. That in my humble opinion is wrong. Rightly or wrongly, the Home Secretary takes this view, and because it had been proposed that four hours racing would be sufficient he accepted it and inserted it in the Bill. But for the purpose of tracks and dog racing, this will not only be a limitation of the power of racing, but it will be of very little use indeed to give them the four hours. If my memory serves me rightly, an hon. Member who sits on the back benches suggested four hours, and I think it has been backed up by the hon. Member for Twickenham (Brigadier-General Critchley). Although he stands for sport in his own industry and has maintained his own particular standpoint, he made a fatal mistake when he seconded the Amendment that was moved from these benches. He has retracted his step since then, and now we find in the name of the hon. and gallant Gentleman something totally different from that to which he agreed when the Amendment was pressed and carried for the insertion of four hours.
My object in moving my Amendment is that there shall be a sub-division of the four hours. It is essential that the position should be understood. When I note that two days per week is to be allowed and that there is to be no extension and that six days are being taken away, I realize what was in the mind of the Home Secretary when he was so em- 1685 phatic in Committee in telling us there must be fixity of days and that we could not alter it and in no circumstances would he change that fixity of days. If fixity of days is the sum and substance of the Government's opinion, as represented by the Home Secretary, then fixity of hours must be the logical consequence. Your cannot possibly have fixity of days unless you have fixity of hours. There are many hon. Members of this House who only come in casually to listen to the Debate and then walk out and who are not thoroughly conversant with the subject matter under discussion. They merely go into the Lobby to give a vote, but they do not know and they are not very particular where they go. It is essential, therefore, that one should give an explanation of what is really meant by the Amendment.
§ Mr. HANNON
On a point of Order. Is not that a reflection on Members of this House in the discharge of their duties? I submit that the hon. Member has no right to make a statement of that kind.
§ Mr. LOGAN
My remark was only due to the interruption. I shall certainly confine myself to the subject matter before the House. I intend to explain what is meant by the Amendment, because I feel it is necessary. It is like speaking to boys at school. Some require to be educated as to what is meant by the Amendment, and I must therefore enter into the details of the matter which we are discussing. How is it possible for hon. Members who are not au fait with this subject to know all about this particular point. It is necessary to explain what is in my mind even to the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Isaac Foot), who pooh-poohed the idea. If such a proposition is hard for the hon. Member for Bodmin, it must be exceedingly hard for others. I give him credit for think- 1686 ing that he may anticipate what I am going to say, but I have very grave doubt whether he will understand what I mean when I do say it. It may be a very simple thing, but a little ambiguity at times is essential in a House so conversant and up-to-date in everything which applies to the general welfare of the public. It is very interesting to find some one sitting on the front bench of the Labour party who understands nothing about what I am now speaking of. The hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) requires some enlightenment in regard to the Bill and this particular Clause. As I understand him, he makes out that he knows nothing at all about either the tote, dogs or racecourses. Therefore, I am sure he will allow a humble back-bencher to make this explanation. I am serious about this position. It may be a joke to some hon. Members, but I am getting down to the seriousness of the Amendment.
§ Mr. HANNON
It may be a joke to the hon. Member, but on a point of Order, I submit that it is up to the hon. Member to come to the Amendment before the House and not to waste time.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I have been in a good many places in my time, but I have never known so many people want to assume the Speakership or the Chairmanship at any meeting as we find here. I always understood that in a, well-regulated meeting place, the gentleman who occupies the Chair was left to conduct the meeting, but this may be a different place. Now I want to come to the Amendment. If this Amendment be not accepted, preferential treatment will be given to the tracks in London which belong to a syndicate. If you do not have fixity of hours just as you have fixity of days, then any syndicate which owns a number of tracks—three for instance—will be able to have a six hours shift—three two-hours—with the same dogs, the same staff, and at much less expense. Any business man will understand that it would be from 3 to 5, from 6 to 8 and from 8 to 10, taking the hours as you like, so long as you get three shifts of two hours each. It is possible that if you have non-fixity of hours and have three shifts of two hours, they will be able to move from place to place. If they took the full limit of four hours, these tracks could not carry on their business because they do not want 1687 four hours. Not all the tracks, as I understand it, will require more than two hours to carry out the races, and, if there are two hours that are not required, my contention is that if the Home Secretary be willing, as he has been, to accept four hours for the allotted number of races he might agree to this still further concession.
I am suggesting that the allocation should be two divisions of two hours. It is not only a fair but a right and proper thing that the House should agree to it; but, if the purpose that lies behind the four hours is to strangle in a subtle way the business, then we ought to examine the question further. I say that the Amendment which I have put forward is a reasonable one and one that the Government ought to accept. I agree with the hon. Member who spoke recently that, if stringent rules are to be laid down to carry out the law of the land, then these men should be given reasonable facilities to carry on their business. I have no interests in dogs, but I have some interest in seeing that those people who have been put to great expense have reasonable opportunities to carry on their business.
§ 1.14 a.m.
Captain A. EVANS
I beg to second the Amendment.
I do so for two reasons. I honestly believe that it is a reasonable, practicable and fair one. Also it will give the Under-Secretary an opportunity of demonstrating for the first time in the course of the Debate that he is very sincere and honest—[Interruption]—I did not mean to use those words—that he really means what he says when he tells the House that the Government are anxious for this industry to run on an honest and profitable basis. This Amendment to the new Clause was put down in Committee by the hon. Member for Balham (Sir A. Butt), and I understood him on that occasion to feel a little anxious of advantage being taken of Parliament to allow dog racing to take place from early morning to late at night. For that particular purpose he thought it was in the interests of the public that the number of races should be curtailed. I do not think that anyone will quarrel with the hon. Member, but there is not the slightest doubt that if you limit the num- 1688 ber of races to eight per day, instead of 16 as is suggested here, you will find it will result in putting out of business definitely and permanently the small provincial tracks, and that, I understand, is not the desire of the Government.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell us what he means by putting out of business existing tracks? Is he aware that a track is not obliged to have a totalisator?
I mean that where they have totalisators and bookmakers on the track and where they are only allowed to have eight races it will cease to be au economic proposition. The hon-Gentleman knows that it is a question of turnover. It is all very well for the big London tracks, for they can deal with a large turnover and meet their expenses in that way; but the same thing does not apply to the smaller tracks in the provinces where the turnover is only £30 or £40. That is the purpose of this Amendment. The hon. Gentleman for Balham when he put down this Clause in Committee expected to compromise on another figure, and I think, if he were satisfied that the result of his Clause would be to close the small provincial tracks, he would be willing to agree to this Amendment. I submit to the Government, particularly as the totalisator is allowed by the Bill and as 6 per cent. is allowed to be deducted for expenses, that it is reasonable to suppose that if the public attend and invest their 1s. or £1 the amount will be the same whether there be eight or sixteen races. There is no difficulty for the large tracks, but for the small tracks in the provinces where people should have the same opportunity as people in the metropolis they really and honestly cannot meet their expenses. In view of that fact, I hope he will show that it is not the desire of the Government to suppress these small tracks and that he will accept the Amendment.
Mr. DEPUTY - SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)
The hon. and gallant gentleman cannot do that yet; but he can speak on this Amendment. Should the House decide to delete the word "eight," he can then propose his own Amendment.
§ 1.20 a.m.
§ Brigadier-General CRITCHLEY
First of all I would like to thank the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan) for what he has said. Eight hours are too few to enable a great number of tracks to live. A number of tracks which ought to live will go out if limited to eight races. The hon. Member for Balham (Sir A. Butt) who proposed the original Amendment for eight races per meeting, stated that we are bound to realise that it will not allow small tracks to continue; it will drive them out of existence. I do not think that is the intention of the Home Secretary, and I am perfectly certain that it is not the desire of the House. The Clause limiting the races to eight per meeting will do more to close down the smaller tracks than any other Clause in the Bill. It is perfectly right to say that the larger tracks can exist with eight races per meeting, and it is correct to say that the smaller tracks cannot exist on eight races per meeting. There are now 270 tracks operating in England, Scotland and Wales, and a very large proportion of them will go out anyway. They only came into existence on the spurious assistance of the totalisator, when they were allowed to run it as they pleased. A number of tracks which have a right to exist will disappear because they cannot exist on eight races. When they were running eight races before their expenses on the totalisator ran to 7½ to 10 per cent. If they were allowed to run 12 races per meeting, they would probably "break even" with the 6 per cent. They certainly cannot do so on any less number of races per meeting.
The Government must realise that a certain number of tracks run five, six or seven meetings per week. Where they are running five meetings with seven races, that is 35 races a week, this Clause will cut them down to 16 races per week. You have given them the totalisator, but they cannot operate the totalisator on a 6 per cent. expenses basis. The totalisator cannot he operated by them without losing money. They will have only admittances for two meetings where they had five before. Therefore, they must go out. It is my information that if this Bill goes through with eight races, and two meetings per week, instead of having 270 tracks, you may have from 25 to 35. I should be very surprised if you had any 1690 more. Is that the intention of the Government? If it is, it is up to them to let this Clause stand as it is. If they want to help genuine tracks, those which have run the sport honestly and fairly, they must give some concession. That is why I recommend 12 races. A great number of greyhounds have been bought by the rank and file. There are 43,000 registered greyhounds on registered tracks. There are a great number of tracks not registered, and that means a great number of other greyhounds. On the registered tracks there are 22,000 owners. If the Clause goes through un-amended there will be with regard to one track I have investigated the following results: The trainers must get rid on that one track of 200 dogs and dismiss 25 men who have been making an honest living in decent surroundings. That sort of thing will be multiplied all over the country. They have been running the sport fairly and cleanly on six to eight races per meeting. This will impose a very great hardship on a very large number of tracks, which should, by virtue of the way they have conducted their business, be allowed to carry on.
§ 1.27 a.m.
§ Mr. LEVY
I have listened very carefully to the speech of the hon. and gallant Member who has just sat down, It is obvious from what he has said that if this Clause stands as it is the larger tracks will be satisfied with the half loaf, although they desire to get the whole. The smaller tracks will go out of existence. Now that, if it be true, cannot be the intention of the Government. The intention of the Government, as I understand it, is to control this matter in such a way that there shall be an improvement in regard to betting and that, as far as possible, gambling propensities shall be limited while at the same time giving the tracks a square deal. It seems to me that a Bill which would have the effect of killing the tracks, because of its implications, is not one which would redound to the credit of any Government. The more I see of the Bill the more I am convinced that this Clause will create great injury. There is no doubt that it will create hundreds of thousands of enemies to the National Government. You are bound to create enemies where you create injustices. They were carrying on hoping for the totalisator, but our business, as I understand it, is not to consider the 1691 various interests of the larger tracks and neglect entirely the interests of the smaller tracks if we are to control racing throughout the country in the true sense of the word. I agree with what has been previously said in the Debate that the Government's duty is to study all interests, and not the interests of any particular association or track or dog owners. Are they studying the public interest as far as this provision is concerned? Are they going to close down the smaller tracks up and down the country and only keep the larger ones going?
I consider that the number should be increased. I do not suppose for one moment that the right hon. Gentleman will depart from the cast-iron front that he has built up at the very beginning of this Bill. He has told us that he must have all or none. Take it as it is or leave it, is his attitude. I am not unfriendly to the National Government when I oppose this Measure. I am opposing it in the interests of the National Government and the loyal supporters of the National Government. If the Clause goes through, it will not be a victory for my right hon. Friend; it will be a victory for the Chief Whip, but in gaining that victory he will strain the loyalty of all his supporters almost to the breaking point. I ask, is it worth while? What benefit or what good is it going to do? The only benefit that will be obtained, as far as I can see—
§ Mr. LEVY
The Amendment, if it be carried as it stands now, will certainly be of advantage and to the benefit of those interested in the larger tracks who will be able to carry on. In other words, it is hoped to create a monopoly for a few of the larger tracks to the detriment of the smaller tracks. Therefore, I consider that a great injustice will be done if it be carried through in its present form, but I have no hope that the Government will make any Amendment.
§ 1.32 a.m.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
The righteous indignation of the hon. Member has almost driven me to tears. His solicitude for the National Government was painful, and he showed such a fervent desire to preserve the small tracks in the Pro- 1692 vinces that one would have thought the provincial track was the essense of virtue and that there was not a single thing to be said against it. One would have thought that the Home Secretary was out to murder the sport almost in its childhood and that that was something which would mean for the National Government a loss of hundreds of thousands of votes. But let the House remember what the hon. Member thought about this Bill on the Committee stage. Then he suggested that there was a good deal that was crooked about some tracks.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
If that be so, then where there are tracks as straight as a corkscrew the Home Secretary can persuade them to straighten out all the corkscrews. Perhaps some Government, if not this one, will deal with the industry in the right direction. Within seven miles of my home, in anticipation of the proposed tote, there was recently a provincial track established that ran whippets and had a motor-car to pull round the rabbit. A man would have a threepenny bet and there was a shilling entrance fee. He received two seven-penny tickets for which he could get two seven-penny pints of beer.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member said that, if the Opposition were supporting the Government, he suspected the item that they were supporting. If the hon. Member for the Elland division (Mr. Levy) supports a proposal without having heard a word of it, then, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, I know that I should be right if I voted on the other side. We started upstairs with a proposal for 312 days. Then the law of diminishing returns came in, and next it was 260 days. Afterwards it was 208 days, and finally it was 156. Now the Home Secretary is proposing 104 days or four days more than was recommended, plus the re-establishment of the totalisator, with the 6 per cent. rake-off as against 3 per cent. when the Bill was originally introduced in another 1693 Place. Now they want sixteen races instead of eight on every day. Let any hon. Member work out what this 6 per cent. rake-off on sixteen races means, assuming a total betting sum of £100 to start with and assuming what will be left in the pockets of the betters at the end of the sixteen races. The fact is that at the end of sixteen races the backers would not have anything left at all, but something would have gone to the tote. After the failure to get 208 or 156 racing days, this Amendment for sixteen hours instead of normal seven or eight which characterizes every track in the country, is merely another way of asking the Home Secretary to give them 208 days instead of 104. That is equivalent to four meetings a week; on two days a week.
I agree that lots of tracks are going out of existence. There was a track referred to by one member as having an attendance of over 300. The other night the attendance did not reach 100 and once they had an attendance of four, inclusive of two newspaper men. A week later they decided that the track should be closed clown altogether. That is a place within a mile of Doncaster in my Parliamentary division. Hon. Members will understand that as the result of the words I have uttered on this Bill I have been subjected to criticism by the owners of that particular track. Because I felt that the Home Secretary was doing the right thing I ventured to support him in Committee and on the floor of the House. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman is not at this late stage going to accept this Amendment.
§ 1.41 a.m.
It may be a convenience if I explain the Government's attitude on this Amendment. When the Clause of the hon. Gentleman for Balham (Sir A. Butt) was before the Committee, I gave an assurance on the instructions of my right hon. Friend, that we would consider the proposal. It certainly met with the approval of the Committee for there was a division on the closure; but not on the main question. When the hon. Member for Balham put down his Clause we were prepared to agree to it because we thought it was a reasonable proposal. The Royal Commission Report and 1694 recommendations were more stringent than the proposals contained in the Bill.
They did not define a meeting, but it is pretty obvious from the evidence which was given that a meeting is the ordinary number of races that take place. My view is that there is no question that the greyhound racing spokesman said that at a normal meeting seven or eight races took place, and they all agreed on that. A difficult question then came up as to how we could define a meeting in the Bill and the hon. Gentleman found a way out. The Government have been very careful throughout the Measure to try to do nothing to control the sport itself. We have always directed our minds to finding words that will deal with the betting part of it. When the suggestion of eight races within a period of four hours was made, it seemed to us reasonable, and we adopted it.
The hon. Gentleman in moving his Amendment said that four hours were not required and that they should be separated into two sections. Four hours seems to be a reasonable time so as to allow some time before the first race. You must also have some time after the last race to allow the public to collect their winnings. I think that the four-hour proposal for eight races is a perfectly reasonable description of a meeting. If the hon. Gentleman has his way and it be divided up into two sections of eight races, that is exactly the same as giving 208 meetings in a year. The hon. Gentleman said that if you do not do something of that kind you will drive the smaller tracks out of existence and increase the turnover of the larger tracks. The Government are concerned with the public interest in the matter. The Royal Commission said that there were too many opportunities for betting and that there should be certain restrictions imposed by legislation. That is what we have done. May I conclude by reminding the House that the proposals of the Government as the Bill now stands were agreed to in Committee and that they all hang together.
There are three proposals that hang together, the 104 days, the eight races on each day as a meeting, and the 6 per cent. rake-off of the totalisator. If you alter the balance by increasing the number of races or meetings, then you have to consider whether the 6 per cent. on the totalisator is too much and whether, as the Royal Commission suggested, it should be reduced.
Captain A. EVANS
Is it not a fact that the percentage of 6 was put in the Bill by a Government Amendment and that the question of the days was in the Bill before the Clause was introduced.
The 104 days had already been passed by the Committee. If you alter one, you alter the basis of the other two. The Government have come to the conclusion that the three Principles of the 104 meetings, the eight races, and the 6 per cent. are reasonable in the public interest, and, that being so, I hope that the House will not pursue the matter further.
§ 1.50 a.m.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I must say that to me the Amendment appears perfectly reasonable. I see it from this angle. If the Government say that gambling is a complete evil and we have to eliminate the greyhound courses entirely, that is one method. But to attempt this limitation of greyhound racing by the backdoor method of closing them down altogether is another matter. The Government say that they desire the dog tracks to continue, and they recognise that there is a certain popular demand for dog tracks. Then they proceed to legislate to restrict the number of meetings. There have been only three occasions on Which I have been on dog tracks—once in London and twice in Glasgow—for the simple purpose of obtaining information. I am completely against gambling. I do not gamble myself, but I like on different occasions to have the opportunity of putting a shilling on a horse, or anything that I desire. Other people desire to put a shilling on a dog on a dog track. If this Amendment were carried, and they were given the right to run tracks on two days a week and to run an afternoon or evening session, I do not think that there would be great harm done. If the Government are prepared to allow it, they admit that there is some demand and reason for 1696 running it, otherwise, they would completely close it down. If it be admitted by the Government that there is a demand then I can only say that there are many people who attend a dog track in the afternoon who cannot do it in the evening. There are men on the night turn in and out of season. If they want to go in the afternoon and spend a shilling on the track why should the Government prevent them.
The Government talk a great deal about this 6 per cent. on the totalisator. I fail to see how some of these tracks can be run on that basis on two days a week. If you recognise the right of these people to run these tracks, you might recognise their right to run 16 races on two days and to break the sessions up if they desire to do so. I have no interest in racing. I have a greyhound track in my own division, and nobody has approached me and asked me to do anything. I have only had three postcards from employes in it. My only opportunity of getting points is from the hon. Members who have spoken. It has been obvious to me that the Government are using their powers of coercion to drive through a Bill which is unpopular with all sides of the House, except a few members of the Liberal party who are cranky in extreme and bigoted against every form of sport. They would like to see everybody indoors by eight or nine every night until next morning and to allow them to have no liberty of any kind. Looking at the thing from a desire for the greatest amount of liberty to other people I cannot understand the reason of it. One of the most degrading things for a popular assembly like the House of Commons is that we should have Whips going round and applying coercion to drive people into the Lobby. There is no body of opinion in this House in favour of the Bill, and no body of opinion in the country in favour of it. If I were a Conservative, it would antagonise me to the last degree to see the Government using their power in this way to override the opinion of the House and of their supporters in the country. Looking at it from the point of view of the man in the street, we cannot be guided and legislated for by cranks. The general public are tired of this sort of thing. The Government are very far from the principle of safeguarding the 1697 interests and rights of every individual, but they are determined to drive the measure through.
§ 1.58 a.m.
§ Sir A. BUTT
I do not wish to make a general speech criticising the whole of the Bill. As the Amendment is to a Clause which the Government accepted two nights ago I should like to explain. We restricted it to eight races a day. It is a middle course, and that is what I nave tried to defend in this particular Clause. If it were permissible to have an unlimited number of races on each day, it is clear that substantially most of the tracks would gain the major portion of their profits by the operation of the totalisator. In practice, it would only be a question as to the number of races which would be run each day. Ten, twelve or sixteen races would be given and the totalisator would provide to the promoters profits very much larger. It would mean that the public would be induced to bet much more. Everyone who has read the Report of the Royal Commission must be depressed by the evidence given before that body pointing out how serious would be the consequences if unlimited opportunities for gambling were allowed through the tote. I hope therefore that the Home Secretary will resist the Amendment to increase the number of races which take place each day.
§ 2.1 a.m.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I think it would be in the interest of progress if I again inquired at this stage, after another two hours have passed, if the Home Secretary would let us know what his ideas are as to the amount of political pressure he intends to put on the House to-night. In order not to break into the discussion which is now in progress, I would ask leave to move the adjournment of the Debate.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I could not accept that Motion now. If the right hon. Gentleman cares to ask the Home Secretary how long he is going on, I should raise no objection.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Of course, Mr. Speaker, I am bound by your ruling. Therefore, I will put a question to the right hon. Gentleman and ask him how long he intends to go on. Nevertheless, 1698 I would submit to you, Sir, for your ruling, that, although you may not be prepared to accept the Motion if related to some inquiry as to the intentions of the Government in respect of business, you might perhaps he prepared to accept it on the ground that it is high time that the Leader of the House was here. Are we to be left in an unprotected position, entirely at the mercy of a Departmental chief, who has not only lost his head in regard to the Measure—no, I will not say lost his head, but who has lost his sense of relationship to the House and to his fellow Members? Would you, then, Sir, accept the Motion if I put it in these terms?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Perhaps you will allow me later in the proceedings to put the proposal to you again. I do not, of course, for a moment argue with you at all; I only submit, as a suggestion for future action, that I might be permitted later on to raise the question again. I understand that at this moment you are not prepared to accept the Motion for the adjournment. Therefore, I will continue with the point which I raised and ask the right hon. Gentleman what course he proposes to take. Is he going simply to plod and plug on in an endeavour to put down by main force his fellow Members in this House or is he willing to set some terms to the severity of his demands on them? I trust that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give us some satisfaction. I am sorry if in speaking in this way I have exhausted my right to speak on this Amendment, because I have had to make this request in the course of my statement. The Under-Secretary made a speech which, if delivered from any other part of the House, would have been described as mere obstruction, and of a very high order.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The right hon. Gentleman is rather exceeding my ruling. I told him I could not accept a Motion "That the Debate be now adjourned." It is very customary for the Leader of the Opposition to ask how far a Minister is going, but we must confine ourselves simply to that question.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
With very great respect, I was not going against your 1699 ruling in any way, but, having put my question, I was returning to the question under Debate and to the speech of the Under-Secretary. I was proceeding to point out what he had said about the complications of this provision for 104 days, and so on.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The right hon. Gentleman misunderstood me. If he is making a speech, it must be founded on something. I could not allow him to move the adjournment, and I said he must confine himself to merely asking the question.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
May I ask for your ruling, Sir. If I confine myself to merely asking how far the Minister is going, shall I exhaust my right to speak on the Amendment?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
No, the right hon. Gentleman will not have exhausted his speech on the Amendment now before the House.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Then I will confine myself strictly to asking the Home Secretary how far he intends to go.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
On a point of Order. You, Sir, have said that it is customary for the Leader of the Opposition to raise this point. Are you aware that the Socialist Opposition have on this matter become the supporters of the Government and that it is the people on this side of the House who wish to make the inquiry? The Lord President of the Council or the Prime Minister said, when I asked him, that he was aware that the Eleven o'Clock Rule had been suspended every night since the House resumed, and I asked him whether he intended to force things through.
§ 2.7 a.m.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
We are discussing this group of Amendments. We have now had a considerable discussion upon them, and I should hope that an early decision will be reached. One is a drafting Amendment of mine, and on Clause 7 there is another drafting Amendment. Then there is an Amendment which I understand an hon. Member wishes to move, and a further drafting Amendment follows on Clause 16. I shall be quite 1700 satisfied if we reach Clause 16. The Amendments in my name are really drafting Amendments.
§ 2.8 a.m.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I expected that answer, and I propose now to deal with the subject before the House. We understand from the right hon. Gentleman that we are to go on. I wish to deal with the speech delivered by the Under-Secretary in which he described the discussion of the issues before us—104 days, eight hours each day, and what he prefers to call—using a very vulgar and common expression borrowed, apparently, from the gambling dens of Chicago—the rake-off of 6 per cent. He explained that if any one part of this meticulously studied and most beautifully balanced system were deranged or disturbed, everything else would have to be disturbed. For instance, if the 104 days had been 130, then I suppose the races that take place would have had to be reduced or increased and that would have had its effect on the rake-off. I think it is very demoralising to see the way in which His Majesty's Government have gone into the gambling system.
The discussion on this subject really raises the issue how far we are to consider it our duty to favour the development of dog racing in this country. I do not agree with my hon. Friend opposite, for I look with a tolerant eye on the establishment of this system. As a matter of fact, this is a frightfully important Clause for it is the motive power of the Bill. It is this charter to the dogs which is giving the right hon. Gentleman a great measure of support in carrying forward his proposals. It is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. I cannot complain at all. The Under-Secretary has given us a very full explanation—the kind of explanation to which the Chief Whip takes exception because of its length. At any rate, it was very clear; in fact, so clear that I turned to the hon. Member beside me, and said: "I believe that he has been put up to kill his own Bill, but that cannot be true." I hope it may be possible for us to have a gleam of light on our discussions before the sun enters the Chamber for it would 1701 be very refreshing. If you go across the Channel, you will see that dogs are used to draw carts; but, although it has always been considered an unusual method of using dogs in this country, that is the principle on which this Bill is based.
|Division No. 402.]||AYES.||[2.14 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Graves, Marjorie||Pybus, Sir John|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Greene, William P. C.||Radford, E. A.|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Grimston, R. V.||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Ramsay T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Ramsbotham, Herwald|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Bernays, Robert||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)||Rickards, George William|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Horsbrugh, Florence||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T||Howard, Tom Forrest||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Burnett, John George||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Jamieson, Douglas||Salt, Edward W.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||John, William||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Ker, J. Campbell||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Copeland, Ida||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Critchley, Brig,-General A. C.||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Soper, Richard|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Loftus, Pierce C.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Dagger, George||Mabane, William||Spens, William Patrick|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Stones, James|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||McKie, John Hamilton||Storey, Samuel|
|Drewe, Cedric||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C.||Magnay, Thomas||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Tree, Ronald|
|Edwards, Charles||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Melson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Morrison, William Shepherd||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Everard, Lindsay||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Munro, Patrick||White, Henry Graham|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Wilson. Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Orr Ewing, I. L.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Peake, Osbert||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Pearson, William G.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sir George Penny and Mr. Blindell.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Bragg)||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Bateman, A. L.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Bracken, Brendan||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown)||Smith, Torn (Normanton)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n,S.)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Levy, Thomas||Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Logan. David Gilbert||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||McGovern, John|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Petherick, M||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Pike, Cecil F.||Mr. Wise and Mr. Gurney Braithwaite.|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the word 'eight' stand part of the Bill."1702
§ Sir J. GILMOUR rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 136; Noes, 29.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 133; Noes, 30.
|Boulton, W. W.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Radford, E. A.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)||Ramsay. T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G, T.||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Ramsbotham, Herwald|
|Burnett, John George||Horsbrugh, Florence||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Howard, Tom Forrest||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Rickards, George William|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A D.||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Jamieson, Douglas||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||John, William||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Copeland, Ida||Ker, J. Campbell||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Daggar, George||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Salt, Edward W.|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Loftus, Pierce C.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Drewe, Cedric||Mebane, William||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Duggan, Hubert John||MacAndrew, Lt.-Col C. G. (Partick)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony||McKie, John Hamilton||Soper, Richard|
|Edwards, Charles||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Magnay, Thomas||Spens, William Patrick|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Stones, James|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Storey, Samuel|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Morrison, William Shepherd||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Tree, Ronald|
|Gilmour, Lt. Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Munro, Patrick||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Goff, Sir Park||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Graves, Marjorie||Orr Ewing, I. L.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Greene, William P. C.||Peake, Osbert||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Grimston, R. V.||Pearson, William G.||White, Henry Graham|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Petherick, M.||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Pybus, Sir John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sir George Penny and Mr. Blindell.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Bateman, A. L.||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Bracken. Brendan||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n,S.)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick.on-T.)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Levy, Thomas||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Critchley, Brig.-General A. C.||McGovern, John||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Denville, Alfred||Pike, Cecil F.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Mr. Logan and Captain Arthur Evans.|