HC Deb 09 December 1948 vol 459 cc541-3
23. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what regulations he has made regarding the playing of games in licensed premises under State Management.

25. Mr. Granville Sharp

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the regulations about the playing of darts in public houses under State Management; whether individual managements decide whether dart-playing facilities are provided; and whether these are provided.

Mr. Ede

There is no objection in principle to the playing of darts in public houses under State management, and no regulations on the subject or on the playing of other games have been prescribed. It would be a matter for the local management to decide in any particular case, where there appeared to be a demand for facilities to play darts, whether they could be provided with due regard to the safety, comfort and convenience of the customers. It is not always easy to find accommodation for the game, but I am anxious that if a proved demand exists it shall be met, and I have given instructions that the provision of suitable space shall be considered in the planning of new or altered premises.

Mr. Chetwynd

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a nation-wide campaign stimulated by brewing interests to denigrate State-managed houses by saying particularly that the playing of darts and dominoes is prohibited in them?

Mr. Ede

I have noticed that this subject has received certain attention, and I can only congratulate the brewing interests on their imagination.

Mr. Sharp

Can my right hon. Friend answer the last part of my Question, and say whether, in fact, facilities for dart playing are provided at the present time?

Mr. Ede

Yes, there are places where they are provided.

Mr. Vernon Bartlett

Is it not the fact that brewing interests quite apart, a great number of people in this country do like to play darts, and that in the smallest and oldest pubs they find room to play? Why should it be that in the newly-planned State houses we should have these questions about danger, and so forth?

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Will the right hon. Gentleman send a carbon copy of that answer to "Punch"?

Mr. Gammans

Is it the fact that in the Carlisle pubs no darts are played, and that the reason for that is, that the atmosphere is so miserable no one wants to stay there longer than necessary?

Mr. Ede

I have already answered that question.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Does what my right hon. Friend has told us apply also to the very popular game known as shove-ha'penny?

Wing-Commander Hulbert

Would the right hon. Gentleman explain to the House what, in the view of His Majesty's Government, is a "proved demand for darts"?

Mr. Ede

There are cases in which other users of the house object to the playing of darts.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

May I have an answer to my question, please?

24. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what regulations he has made regarding the drinking of beer standing in licensed premises under State management.

Mr. Ede

It has been the practice in the State management districts to provide seating accommodation for customers in the bars to the fullest extent practicable. A notice is displayed at the counter requesting customers to move from the bar after being served. There is no compulsion to do so, and attention is drawn to the notice only when congestion at the bar threatens to interfere with the service or the convenience of other customers.

Mr. Chetwynd

Is my right hon. Friend also aware that many people in this country are now being led to believe that they must drink their beer standing up in the premises?

Mr. Ede

I have come to the conclusion myself that it is as well on occasion that a person should be able to prove that he can drink in a perpendicular position.

Mr. Bartlett

It is not the case that people know themselves when to sit down without being told to do so?

Mr. Ede

I have myself on rare occasions been in public houses, and it has been very difficult to get to the bar, because people who arrived earlier have not made way. I should have thought that this is a sound motto: "Drink and let drink."