HC Deb 15 May 1941 vol 371 cc1237-8
13. Mr. Tinker

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will again examine the position in respect of horse-race meetings being carried on, as there is a strong feeling against it, as it is a waste of material, man-power, transport, and other things that are wanted in our war effort?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to Questions asked by my hon. Friends the Members for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) and Ipswich (Mr. Stokes) on 3rd April last.

Mr. Tinker

I am asking my right hon. Friend to examine the question again. Will he have a census taken of the number of motor cars and other vehicles going to race meetings next month, so as to get some idea of the waste of petrol?

Mr. Morrison

That will certainly be taken into account, and the effect of the continuance of racing through the summer —that is, after the end of June—is under general consideration by my Department, the Ministry of Transport and the Scottish Office. But the House will realise that there are other considerations to be taken into account besides that to which my hon. Friend has referred. There has been, in fact, a material reduction in the number of race meetings.

Mr. Shinwell

Does my right hon. Friend not realise that it is not the race meetings to which exception is taken, but the use of materials and transport? Would he allow the meetings to proceed, but deny people the petrol and other means of proceeding to them?

Mr. Morrison

That seems to me to be a question for the Minister of Transport.

Sir Herbert Williams

Would the right hon. Gentleman also take into account the fact that the complete suppression of amusements would have a bad effect on our war effort?

Mr. Morrison

That is one of the factors that is being taken into account.

Mr. Thorne

Would the Home Secretary also take into account the fact that there were over 900 motor cars at New market yesterday?