14. Mr. Donald Scott
asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered a motion passed by the Whitley and Monkseaton Urban District Council at their meeting on 20th June, a copy of which has been sent to him, with regard to the closing of premises in their district used in housing electrically-controlled machines used for pleasure or gaming purposes; and what action he intends to take in the matter, in view of the undesirability of attracting young civilians and members of His Majesty's Forces to spend money at such places?
§ Mr. H. Morrison
Yes, Sir, and I have recently had the whole question of the influence of such places on young people under review. After considering the representations I have received in conjunction with reports from the police I have come to the conclusion that while the police should continue to enforce the existing law and to take action when the element of betting or gambling is more than trivial there are no sufficient grounds to justify me in proposing at the present time new statutory provisions with regard to these places.
Can the Minister say whether local authorities have any power with regard to the number of these places and the number of hours they are open each day?
§ Mr. Morrison
I do not think so. As far as I know, the local authorities have no statutory powers in the matter, except through the police.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Will the Minister take steps to verify that these machines are not faked in any way and give a perfectly reasonable chance?