HC Deb 03 April 1947 vol 435 cc2219-20
72. Mr. Austin

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information, of a general character, he has of the numbers of juveniles attending greyhound racetracks; and whether he is now in a position to approve and embody in a Bill the substance of a short draft Bill providing for the exclusion of juveniles under 18 years of age from greyhound racetracks, forwarded to him by the hon. Member for Stretford.

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

In reply to the first part of the Question, I can only say that the experience of the Metropolitan Police is that in London the proportion of persons under 18 attending greyhound racing tracks is very small. On the second point, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave him on 12th December last.

Mr. Austin

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many responsible bodies differ from him on the estimate which he has just given, and, in view of the fact that the Government have committed to their care 30,000 destitute children, will he not take into account the welfare of the children of the country and protect them from this unwholesome atmosphere?

Mr. Ede

I cannot imagine any more responsible authority on a matter of this kind than the Metropolitan Police, and my observation of the crowds going to and from greyhound race tracks confirms their view, that the number of young persons attending under the age of 18 is very small indeed.