HC Deb 16 May 1944 vol 400 cc10-1
15. Flight-Lieutenant Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that professional cricketers can enter the restricted area of Brighton and Hove on their professional business, he will also allow amateur cricketers who are members of the same teams as professionals to take part in matches in the restricted area; and whether he is aware that the difficulty of obtaining wholly professional elevens will force the Sussex County Cricket Association to abandon all fixtures unless some such relaxation of the rule is allowed.

Sir J. Grigg

Among the classes of persons who are permitted to enter a protected area are "persons engaged or employed on necessary business which cannot be deferred, and which they cannot transact or carry on otherwise than by entering that protected area." The question whether any particular person comes within the terms of that permission depends on the individual circumstances, and could, in the last resort, only be authoritatively determined by a court of law. But, however the rule may affect individuals, I regret that I could not properly make a special concession in favour of cricketers as a class.

Flight-Lieutenant Teeling

Surely voluntary workers assisting the Services, without being paid, are allowed to enter the restricted areas? Will my right hon. Friend not consider whether these cricketers, especially in first-class cricket, do not come within the same category?

Sir J. Grigg

The interpretation of these Regulations is a matter for the local police, in the first place, and I certainly would not dream of making any general pronouncement on these matters.

Mr. A. Hopkinson

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that these regulations will not interfere with the activities of the dog racing racket and of the national black market, whose headquarters are in that area?

Mr. Petherick

Will my right hon. Friend warn the cricketing authorities not to hold the Gentlemen v. Players match at Brighton this year, in view of the fact that the Players, apparently, are allowed to go down and the Gentlemen are not?