HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 cc1895-6
36. Mr. John McKay

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that a large percentage of the people living round about Gosforth are convinced that there would be no adverse effect upon the National Drive for Production if Greyhound Racing at Gosforth Stadium was permitted between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. on Mondays and between the hours of 10.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. on Saturdays; and will he grant permission for this to be done.

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

I am aware that a number of residents have signed declarations to this effect, but the information before the Government does not support the view that it would be consistent with the urgent need of maximum production to permit mid-week or Saturday morning meetings in the area, and I regret that I am unable to comply with this request.

Mr. McKay

Is the Minister aware that thousands of letters and cards signed by people in the area have been received by me in recent months; is he further aware that the industries in that area are engaged on a five-day week and that in addition to the industrial workers, insurance managers and other kinds of professional people are signing these cards, because they think there is something unfair about it?

Mr. Ede

I am aware that cards have been distributed on Saturday afternoons and evenings at these tracks, and that a number of persons have received large quantities in consequence.

Mr. H. Hynd

Does the Home Secretary know the advice of the Ministry of Labour regional board in that area on this particular subject, and if not, will he inquire?

Mr. Ede

I know what their advice was and it is very satisfactory from the point of view that I am adopting.

Mr. Drayson

Could the Home Secretary say if trade union representatives in the area were invited to discussions on this matter?

Mr. Ede

I have received representations from trade union representatives as to the way in which the opening of grey- hound tracks in mid-week and on Saturday mornings would crowd out workers or their return from work.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is the Home Secretary also aware that the less greyhound racing there is in this country, the better it will be for the national welfare?