HC Deb 27 February 1941 vol 369 c635
67. Sir T. Moore

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he proposes to take in regard to the general opening of theatres and cinemas on Sundays?

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. Johnston)

I propose to take no steps to alter the existing laws of Scotland on the subject. I am advised that in counties the control of theatres and cinemas is vested in the justices of the peace and the county council respectively, and in burghs, in the magistrates. I have no doubt that in considering applications for Sunday opening these authorities have due regard to local public opinion.

Sir T. Moore

In view of the fact that the troops and workers of Scotland require relaxation and entertainment just as much as those in England, will not the Minister consider giving an indication to local authorities that in his opinion it would be advisable and desirous in the public interest that a broader and more generous attitude should be taken towards this subject?

Mr. Johnston

No doubt the hon. and gallant Member is aware that in a number of areas in Scotland magistrates have already sanctioned special Sunday performances for the troops. I would remind him, however, that we might quite easily achieve a superficial uniformity here at a heavy price of national unity.

Mr. Rhys Davies

If the Minister is considering this subject any further, will he be good enough to read a recent report by the chief constable of Chesterfield in which he states that cinemas opened for the purposes of entertaining soldiers were filled with children?

Mr. Denville

The Minister is no doubt aware that in Scotland theatres and cinemas and all places of entertainment are open on Christmas Day.