HC Deb 30 November 1955 vol 546 cc2451-69

10.26 p.m.

Dr. Barnett Stross (Stoke-on-Trent, Central)

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations, 1955 (S.1., 1955, No. 1129), dated 22nd July, 1955, a copy of which was laid before this House on 27th July, be annulled. Perhaps it would be for the convenience of the House, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, if we also discussed the following Motion: That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Cinematograph (Children) Regulations, 1955 (S.I., 1955, No. 1131), dated 22nd July, 1955, a copy of which was laid before this House on 27th July, be annulled.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris)

If the House agrees, I think that would be convenient.

Dr. Stross

Both the Motions refer to- the same subject, and it would save time if they were discussed together.

The Joint Under-Secretary will, I think, remember all of our discussions in 1952 on the Committee stage, particularly when we were discussing Clause 5 of the Bill. I am sure he will be as well aware as I am of a request I made to the Home Secretary at that time and the answer I received. The House might like to hear the exact words and what occurred, for they do affect what we are discussing now. On 24th October, 1952, I put this request. I said: My first request is that it seems to be advisable that the Home Secretary should make the decision quite clear to all the licensing authorities. When exempted exhibitions are being given in licensed premises they should be given to understand clearly the position as now outlined by the Home Secretary. They should then make the position clear to all the holders of the licences. This would be the way to prevent confusion arising. A few minutes later the Home Secretary answered: I am most grateful for all that hon. Members have said and I rise simply to say that I shall comply with the two points which were made by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) and see that administrative steps are taken to make the position clear to all licensing authorities and request them to make the position clear to licence holders."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th October, 1952; Vol. 505, c. 1459–62.] I know the Joint Under-Secretary remembers that, and I know he will agree that nothing could have been more specific than those words. If, therefore, he has been wondering why we pray tonight to annul the Regulations, I must deploy my arguments whereby we shall show that in our opinion those promises have not been kept, that there is serious danger of confusion arising, and that administrative action that was promised us appears not to have been taken.

The 1952 Act did, of course, extend the scope of the Regulations and of the licensing system, but specifically exempted certain categories of exhibitions of moving pictures from compliance with the safety and children's Regulations which were to be made, with one exception, and that was that safety Regulations have to be complied with when such exhibitions are given in premises which are licensed for cinematograph exhibition. I am sorry that this is a technical matter, but it was around these technical matters that we were discussing.

The Regulations fall into four classes, and this will be one of the burdens of our argument. The four are—and I must watch the Joint Under-Secretary to see if he nods agreement with me—first, free exhibitions whether or not the public are admitted, which are exempted from the need to have a licence unless they are on the premises I have described; secondly, private showings whether or not payment is made; thirdly, exhibitions where the public do pay for entrance but the exhibition is organised by a nonprofit making body; fourthly, children's exhibitions given as part of the activities of an educational or religious institution. Now, we discussed those four, and I am sure the Joint Under-Secretary will agree that it is those four we must have in mind as organisations which we described as the exempted categories.

We declare that the Regulations which have been made—the Regulations we pray against, made by the Secretary of State under the 1952 Act—cannot in law or in fact apply to exempted exhibitions of those four categories. I think the Joint Under-Secretary will agree I am right so far; they cannot and must not, or they would themselves be breaking the law. None the less, when we look at the Regulations as now published, they do on the face of them purport and suggest to the public and to persons who are concerned that they in fact apply to all cinematograph exhibitions, not excluding those which are exempted by the provisions of the Act and in the above four categories which I have just mentioned.

In the case of the children's Regulations, Statutory Instrument No. 1131, Regulations 1 and 2 say No child … shall be admitted to a cinematograph exhibition", and the Explanatory Note says: These Regulations make provision for the welfare of children at cinematograph exhibitions. Regulations 1 and 2 apply to all cinematograph exhibitions". No reference at all is made in these Regulations to the exempted exhibitions, or to the fact that these Regulations do not apply to the exempted exhibitions. I therefore suggest the Regulations are misleading and cannot have any effect otherwise than to suggest to the public and to persons concerned with organising exhibitions that they must comply with the Regulations whether or not a particular exhibition falls within the exempted category.

It may be the Joint Under-Secretary will point out that there is an accompanying circular which has been sent out. At the bottom of page 2 of the circular there is a note which says: No restriction is placed upon the admission of children to exempted exhibitions, whether given in a licensed cinema or otherwise. He may draw our attention to that and feel that perhaps part of the grievance I am now outlining is covered by that. The hon. Gentleman must know that there is no mention in the Memorandum about the circular and that it is not to go to interested persons—that is to say, to those who are to receive a licence. No instructions are given for the Regulations to be exhibited anywhere. That being so, it cannot be said that the promise that information shall go from those who issue the licence to those who will receive and hold the licence has been kept.

My next point concerns Statutory Instrument No. 1129, which refers to safety. This one refers to exempted exhibitions, whereas the other Statutory Instrument contained no reference to them. In this case, however, the reference in Regulation 1, Part I, is couched in these terms: Subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of section seven of the Cinematograph Act, 1909, and of section five of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (which relate to exemptions in favour of certain exhibitions to which the public are not admitted or are admitted without payment) …". I stress again that only two categories are mentioned: those to which the public are not admitted, and those to which the public are admitted without payment. This type of wording makes no reference whatever to the other two types of exempted categories—the third and the fourth—to which I have referred. The third is exhibitions where the public pay for entrance but the exhibition is organised by a non-profit-making body and the fourth is children's exhibitions given as part of the activities of an educational or religious institution.

There is an Explanatory Note to these Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations and this, again, indicates that the Regulations would appear to apply to all cinematograph exhibitions to which the Regulations apply. This incorporates, by reference back, the phraseology which I have just quoted and which is imperfect, because it refers to only two types of exhibitions instead of to the four. As in the case of the Cinematograph (Children) Regulations, it is, therefore, quite incorrect to suggest that the Regulations apply to exempted exhibitions save where they are given in licensed premises.

I point out to the Under-Secretary that in Regulation 48 of the Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations there is provision that copies thereof shall be exhibited in premises used in connection with the giving of cinematograph exhibitions … My view is that this necessarily includes exempted exhibitions. So that it is clear that the person to whom such Regulations are exhibited will form the impression that they do apply to exempted exhibitions, and that, I suggest, is quite contrary to law and to fact.

I am sure the Under-Secretary agrees that it would be contrary to law and to fact, and I am pointing out that by the way the Regulations are drafted, that type of impression will tend to be given and this confusion will arise, for no one is required to exhibit the Cinematograph Acts or parts thereof which refer to exempted exhibitions. Therefore, the impression cannot but be created that the Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations are of universal application. That is the impression—that they are of universal application.

What we are asking, therefore, falls into two parts. We think it is the duty of the Secretary of State in making and drafting the Regulations to secure publicity for them and to make clear the law in relation to their application. In particular, we suggest he must make clear that they do not apply and cannot apply to exempted exhibitions. Secondly, we suggest that the terminology of the Explanatory Note printed with the Regulations is misleading and that the Regulations should, therefore, be withdrawn to be redrafted. We say they will mislead the public into believing that they have a wider effect than they have in fact and in law. We say, therefore, that the Secretary of State must make it clear that there are the categories which I have stressed, and which we discussed so fully in 1952 when what was then the Bill was before us. It should be made clear that to these exempted exhibitions these Regulations are not intended to apply, and have no effect in relation to them. The circular itself will he dealt with, I know, by hon. Friends of mine, and all that I shall say about that, therefore, is that it is faulty and is apt to be misleading.

10.42 p.m.

Mr. Joseph Reeves (Greenwich)

I am sure hon. Members will have listened with great interest to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross). I am afraid that the matter had to be explained in a highly technical way because the Regulations deal with a very technical subject. The Regulations should be crystal clear, however, to those who will be concerned with them. The nature of the various shows which can be exempted should be made crystal clear.

Many of us have a lively recollection of the debates we had here when the 1952 Act was under discussion. I myself spoke in them on a number of occasions, and my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central also spoke. We felt that the Bill as originally drafted precluded many organisations from promoting film shows of an educational and religious character which had been freely put on previously. They were showing films on a totally different medium. They were safety films, and they were used almost universally for that specialised type of exhibition.

We feel now that the Regulations must not have the appearance of a wider application than they have. When the 1952 Bill was presented the Secretary of State sought to modernise conditions governing the exhibition of films in the commercial cinema. That was a very proper thing, because with the passing of time the previous legislation was becoming out of date.

The aims of that Bill, which later became an Act, can be broadly defined. They were to improve the safety Regulations; they were to give fresh instructions to the licensing authorities who were responsible for permission for films to be shown in cinemas, and they related to what was then the burning question of the admission of children to film exhibitions.

The House and the Committee considered the Regulations. Many Amendments were submitted and the Home Secretary soon realised that film work was being undertaken by voluntary bodies which was altogether different from films shown in the commercial cinemas and that the Regulations had no point at all in relation to those exhibitions. Time and again the Minister accepted Amendments or undertook to redraft Opposition Amendments in suitable language to meet the exact legal requirements. The Home Secretary recognised without any equivocation the special nature of this medium.

If we are not careful, organisations which promote educational films will be at a great disadvantage. The sub-standard film should not be subject to these safety Regulations unless they are being shown in a cinema or unless the normal safety precautions in the licensed hall are not up to the proper requirements. We agree that the public must be protected and that it is important that there should be Regulations governing the showing of even non-inflammable films. We have never objected to that, but we submit that, provided normal conditions prevail, the "non-flam" safety film should not be subject to these Regulations. It appears from what my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central has said that they may be included in categories governed by the Regulations. If they are, the whole purpose of the Amendments to which I have referred, and which were then approved, will be frustrated.

I am sure that the Joint Under-Secretary of State to the Home Department will see the force of this argument. We ask him to withdraw the Regulations so that it may be crystal clear that the exempted shows are known not only to the normal licence holders but to the many other licence holders which the Act involves, since licensed halls now occupy almost the same position as cinemas. The owners of licensed halls have obligations even when non-inflammable films are being shown. It is important that this new category of licence holders should know the rules which govern the exhibition of safety films. If we were given that assurance by the Joint Under-Secretary, our point would be met.

10.50 p.m.

Mr. T. O'Brien (Nottingham, West)

My hon. Friends have placed me and other people in a dilemma. There is such a thing as courtesy and good taste. I am not here representing the film industry but my constituency of Nottingham, West. I think that hon. Members should have acquainted me with their intentions. I hope that point will be taken. We lire in a free democracy and we have a trade union movement which, from time to time, certain hon. Members on both sides of the House have been prepared to consult when bigger issues were at stake. But they seem to ignore it when it suits their convenience to do so.

I have followed the arguments of my hon. Friends, and I appreciate the points that they have made—

Mr. Reeves

I wish to point out to my hon. Friend that we have been in touch with the appropriate trade union and that in the first place it was the trade union which called our attention to the implications of the Regulations.

Mr. O'Brien

That is a remarkable statement, because the appropriate trade union is my own. There is no other union involved, and I know of no representations which have been made to my organisation, either directly or indirectly. There is no trade union involved other than mine, and that is accepted by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress and by the other unions. So I do not know what my hon. Friend is talking about.

I am not in controversy with my hon. Friend on the points that they have raised, but I have said what I have said. I do not know of representations made to my executive or to the appropriate committee dealing with these matters.

Dr. Stross

I should be most unhappy if I felt that my hon. Friend thought there was any umbrage. We are dealing with non-commercial organisation. In 1952 we did not have the advantage of his presence during the Second Reading debate, or during the Committee stage, which was most interesting, or during the Third Reading debate. We are a little surprised to find him taking some interest in this matter.

Mr. O'Brien

I am dealing with this Prayer, and that sort of interjection does not help at all.

I said that I am in complete agreement with my hon. Friends on the points they have established, and I repeat that. But they have placed me in a dilemma. I am surprised at the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) trying to distinguish between commercial and noncommercial film exhibitions. I would remind him that my organisation represents all employees in the film industry, whether on a commercial or a non-commercial basis. I would recommend him to study the facts.

My dilemma is in regard to Regulation 3 of Statutory Instrument No. 1131. If they succeed in convincing the House that their Prayer should be carried and the Regulation annulled, my hon. Friends will be doing a grave injustice to cinematograph film staffs all over the country over a matter about which we have for many years tried to get the Home Office to agree. Almost since the 1909 Act came into operation we have been making representations, directly and through the T.U.C., that there should be a definition of the number of attendants staffing the various tiers and lower floors of film and motion picture houses. Into this Regulation there has been inserted, at long last, a definite number. If the House should accept the Prayer, and annul these Regulations, all that would go by the board.

Dr. Stross

Not at all.

Mr. O'Brien

It would all go by the board. My hon. Friends' point could have been achieved in some other way.

It is my duty to bring this to the notice of the House. We do not wish to alter the present conditions and go back to the old days of no Regulations at all to govern the employment of people in cinemas, whether the cinemas be for the exhibition of films for children or for adults.

Finally, if the case made out by my hon. Friends is correct, there is a certain breach of faith in view of what was said in the debate on the 1952 Bill. Rather than throw the whole thing into the melting pot, I would earnestly recommend the Joint Under-Secretary and the Home Office to restore the position in line with the assurance then given, and meet the specific points of view expressed by my two hon. Friends.

I have tried quite sincerely and genuinely to deal with paragraph 3. I hope that whatever rebuke—if it is called a rebuke—there may be to my hon. Friends, it will not be passed to the Home Secretary.

10.58 p.m.

Mr. Glenvil Hall (Colne Valley)

It had been my intention to speak after the Joint Under-Secretary, but after hearing my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. O'Brien) it occurs to me that, in spite of the very excellent speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross), some hon. Members may not be quite certain just what we wish to see happen to these Statutory Instruments. Let me assure my hon. Friend that the last thing we wish is to see them annulled.

The House will remember that when the Bill went through Parliament in 1952 it was almost entirely a non-party Measure. Members on all sides were anxious, after the lapse of about forty-three years, to see some legislation of this kind put on the Statute Book. In addition, hon. Members, I think without exception, were anxious that something should be done to protect children, who now go to the cinema in very large numbers. We have no objection whatever to these Regulations, and we want, as I have already said, to see them approved. However, as everyone knows, this is the only way open to us to ventilate what we regard as very serious omissions in the Regulations.

I remember very well the debates in 1952. The then Home Secretary was very anxious to meet the objections which were raised, particularly by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central. At that time we wanted to tighten up the Bill to make certain that censorship would not be imposed and that non-public organisations should be as free as was possible under the law to carry on as they had done previously.

The then Home Secretary was kind enough to say that administrative action would be taken to make the position clear to licence holders. The core of the discussion tonight is whether that promise has been fully implemented. It is our view that the undertaking given by the Home Secretary at that time has not been implemented.

Of course, to begin with, one has to decide what the then Home Secretary meant by "administrative action." I confess that I assumed beyond any question that he would actually put into the Regulations the safeguards he promised would be made clear to licence holders. All the Home Office has, in fact, done is to implement only part of the promise made to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central in the Circular, No. 150, which has been issued to local authorities. There is nothing in the circular to indicate that it is essential that local authorities should convey to licence holders just what the law is, without any ambiguity. In fact, as my hon. Friend has said, in certain particulars the circular is incorrect.

As Members of all parties supported the Measure in 1952, I should like to feel that the Home Office would be willing, even at this eleventh hour, to take back these Statutory Instruments and make the law clear beyond all question to everybody who is interested; because even if the circular were all that it should be, it will get no further than the local authorities. It will go into a file, and I imagine that it will not be seen again after the town clerk and those associated with him have looked through it.

What will continue to be used and exhibited by the licence holders are the Regulations themselves. We feel, therefore, that the promise given by the then Home Secretary should definitely be carried out in the Regulations. I ask the Joint Under-Secretary whether it is not possible for him even now to reconsider the matter. We put forward our view in no party spirit. We are not captious over this matter. We really feel that there is something here which ought to be reconsidered.

I am positive that the Joint Under-Secretary himself is anxious that justice should be done, and that the promise given three years ago should be implemented to the full. I have already put these points to the hon. Gentleman privately, and I hope that since then he has looked at the matters I raised with him and will be able to assure hon. Members in all parts of the House that he really will carry out the promise which was given.

My hon. Friend has, with great clarity and lucidity, put the points which we have in mind. They are simple and easy to understand, and I am sure the hon. Gentleman is clearly seized of them. I sit down, therefore, in the belief that, in the light of what has been said in the debate, and in view of the representations made to him privately, the hon. Gentle- man will assure us that he will take the Statutory Instruments back and ensure that the promise given in all good faith by the then Home Secretary, and accepted by the House in equal good faith, shall at last be implemented.

11.5 p.m.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth)

I should say at the outset that there is certainly no difference between any of us in any part of the House as to what we want to do under these Regulations, and I should begin my reply by explaining the statutory powers under which these two sets of Regulations have been made.

Cinematograph Regulations have been made since the passing of the Cinematograph Act, 1909, but such powers as have been taken have dealt only with safety matters for the reason that that was the only authority given under the 1909 Act. Then, in 1952, the new Act gave power to the Home Secretary to deal with health and the welfare of children, and these two sets of Regulations which we are now discussing are made under both Acts, one of which relates to safety and the other to health and welfare of children.

I believe, and indeed the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. O'Brien) reinforced that belief, that the new Regulations will be widely acceptable. There have been consultations with the licensing authorities and with the cinematograph industry, and I have no reason to suppose that, except for the matters referred to this evening, there is any objection to them.

The Motions which we are considering tonight are prompted, not so much by anything in the Regulations, but by what is alleged to have been left out; but there is, I think, a considerable amount of misunderstanding on that score and I will try to clear that up. The 1952 Act provided for what are the "exempted exhibitions," to which various hon. Members have referred. Shortly, those are exhibitions to which the public are not admitted, or at which no charge is made or where the exhibition is run by a non-profit-making organisation. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross), while the 1952 Act was passing through this House, raised three points during the Committee stage of the Bill, as it then was, in October, 1952.

The position, as then explained, is, briefly, that there is no need for an organisation which wishes to give an "exempted exhibition" in a licensed cinema either to obtain a special licence or to follow any requirements other than those of safety; secondly, that the Act puts no restriction on the admission of children to an "exempted exhibition" in a licensed cinema; and, thirdly, that the position should be made clear to licence holders. The then Home Secretary, now my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor, in replying to the debate, and in the words quoted by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central, said: I am most grateful for all the hon. Members have said and I rise simply to say that I shall comply with the two points which were made by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) and see that administrative steps are taken to make the position clear to all licensing authorities and request them to make the position clear to licence holders."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th October, 1952; Vol. 505, c. 1462.] It is important that I should reiterate the exact words because they have some importance in this connection.

Some hon. Members seem to have understood that the Home Secretary meant that it was his intention to deal with these points by Regulation. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Glenvil Hall) said that he so believed, but that is not what the then Home Secretary said. He could not, in fact, have meant anything of the kind, as I shall try to show to the House. Administrative steps do not normally mean something like "by means of a Statutory Instrument." I am sorry that there has been a misunderstanding, but I think the House will appreciate that administrative steps have normally another meaning. I will refer to this later.

I want to explain why it is inappropriate, and indeed impracticable, to deal with this matter by means of regulations and Statutory Instruments. Section 5 (1) of the 1952 Act expressly and explicitly lays down the matters which the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central wishes to have made clear to the licensing authorities. It affords these exhibitions a number of exemptions. It is obviously undesirable, to say the least of it, to seek to re-enact in regulations what is already laid down in a Statute. The Regulations would either be mere repetition or, if they differed from the Statute, might be ultra vires, there being no power to alter the Statute.

Dr. Stross

Would the Under-Secretary explain how the owner of a hall in which exempted exhibitions will be given, or holders of licences generally, can understand the Section? They will not possess or have access to the document or be able easily to find it, and when they do get it may not understand it when they have read it.

Mr. Julius Silverman (Birmingham, Aston)

The hon. Gentleman says that it is not desirable to deal with all the exemptions by regulation; if that had been done there might have been some point in what he said. He will find that Part 1 (1) of Statutory Instrument No. 1129 purports to deal with two exemption classes only, those to which the public are not admitted or are admitted without payment. That might be extremely confusing to magistrates, licence holders and licensing authorities. The other two exemptions are removed by the Regulations.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

I think the hon. Member is referring to the words in brackets which set out shortly the effect of the Statute. Any one who wants to apply the Statute precisely would be well advised to look at the Act. The purpose of the regulations under the Act is to set out the total requirements and precise machinery for giving effect to the Act. These Regulations that we are considering are concerned with matters of detail and machinery and with giving effect to the main proposals of the Act. Therefore they cannot be used to do what hon. Members have suggested.

In the case of the second set of Regulations, relating to children, there is not a reference to Section 5 of the Act. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central made a considerable point of that. He suggested that it might be misleading. That does not apply to the first of these sets of Regulations, where there is clear reference to Section 5. We are now discussing the first Regulations, the safety Regulations. I must ask the House to reject the Motion in respect of these Regulations; but if the hon. Member sees fit to withdraw his Prayer on that, and then to move the next Motion, which relates to the Cinematograph (Children) Regulations, I would be willing to agree to the House accepting that with a view to their being withdrawn for the purpose of putting in a reference to show that the Regulations are subject to the exemption to which the hon. Member has referred.

What the then Home Secretary had in mind when he gave the undertaking was that the position would be explained fully and clearly to local authorities in a circular. That is the normal meaning of "administrative steps." I would refer the House to the Home Office Circular, No. 150/55, and particularly to paragraph 5 (b, iii) of it. It will not take long to read it to the House, when it will be seen that it gives full effect to what the then Home Secretary said. It reads, If an exempted exhibition is given with either type of film in premises which are already licensed (for example, in a cinema licensed for ordinary commercial exhibitions) then the position is slightly different and the extent of the exemption is as follows:—

  1. (a) no fresh licence need be taken out for the exhibition;
  2. (b) only those Regulations of the Secretary of State relating to safety apply;
  3. (c) conditions which the licencing authority may have attached to the licence already in force in respect of the premises have to be complied with. … but only those which relate to safety."
I think that clearly gives effect to my noble Friend's undertaking. That is followed by a note which states, No restriction is placed upon admission of children to exempted exhibitions whether given in a licensed cinema or elsewhere.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

The hon. Gentleman is beginning to touch the core of our complaint. In our view, paragraph 5 (a, iii) is definitely misleading, and certainly the note is incorrect. Paragraph 5 (a, iii) makes no reference to the fact that exhibitions for which a charge is made are included in the exempted exhibitions. Nothing is said there about the fact that film shows for which a charge is made are included among the exemptions.

The note is even worse, because it says, If an exhibition is given by an exempted organisation in premises which have been used for the giving of exempted exhibitions on more than three out of the previous seven days, that exhibition does not qualify for any kind of exemption. That is definitely not in accordance with the Section of the Act to which it refers. I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central, pointed out that if exhibitions are being given by a religious or other organisation, and no charge is made, the seven days do not run.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

The right hon. Gentleman has made a long intervention. If I may say so, it is a novel point. I do not for a moment think he is correct, but quite obviously it is impossible to follow an argument of that kind without notice. I did supply the right hon. Gentleman with a copy of these Regulations, and it is the first time he has raised that point. All I can say at this stage is that I will certainly look into that matter. This is not, of course, the subject matter of the Motion with which we are dealing.

Mr. Hall

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but this really is important.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

I have not much time.

Mr. Speaker

I would remind hon. Members on both sides of the House that time is passing.

Mr. Hall

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but if the hon. Gentleman will only make inquiries under the gallery and ask his officials to look again at Section 5 (3) and the proviso thereto, he will find that what I am saying is quite correct. The words there refer only to exempted exhibitions by "virtue of this subsection."

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

The right hon. Government has raised this exceedingly technical point without notice. All I can say to him is that I will certainly look at it. I do not think myself that there is any substance in the point, but it is not relevant in this connection. It is paragraph 5 (b, iii) which carried out the undertaking that was given by the then Home Secretary. The then Home Secretary also promised to request licensing authorities to make the position clear to licence holders. Careful consideration has been given to the best way of carrying out that undertaking. Obviously a statutory instrument is not an appropriate method of conveying a request of any kind, and a mere request in a circular might not be completely effective. A far more effective way appeared to be to make the circular available to the public. Accordingly, it has been printed; it is on sale at the Stationery Office, and its publication has been made known through the cinema Trade Press. I think that that was the most effective way which could have been devised of carrying out that undertaking.

I hope that the House will reject this Motion, or, better still, that the hon. Gentleman will ask leave to withdraw it,

and if he then moves the next Motion, I would advise the House to accept that.

Dr. Stross

I very much regret that I cannot accede to the request of the Joint Under-Secretary.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 92, Noes 135.

Division No. 69.] AYES [11.23 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W. Holman, P. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Pargiter, G. A.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Howell, Denis (All Saints) Parker, J.
Awbery, S. S. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Parkin, B. T.
Blackburn, F. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Peart, T. F.
Blenkinsop, A. Hunter, A. E. Plummer, Sir Leslie
Blyton, W. R. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Popplewell, E.
Bowden, H. w. (Leicester, S. W.) Irving, S. (Dartford) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Bowles, F. G. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Boyd, T. C. Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn&St.Pncs, S.) Reeves, J.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Rhodes, H.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Johnson, James (Rugby) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Burke, W. A. Kenyon, C. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Champion, A. J. Lawson, G. M. Steele, T.
Coldrick, W. Ledger, R. J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Lee, Frederick (Newton) Stones, W. (Consort)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Cronin, J. D. Lipton, L.-Col. M. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Cullen, Mrs. A. MacColl, J. E. Swingler, S. T.
de Freitas, Geoffrey McInnes, J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Delargy, H. J. McKay, John (Wallsend) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Forman, J. C. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mann, Mrs. Jean Wilkins, W. A.
Hale, Leslie Mason, Roy Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mitchison, G. R. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Hannan, W. Moody, A. S.
Hayman, F. H. Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Herbison, Miss M. Oram, A. E. Mr. Arthur Allen and
Hobson, C. R. Padley, W. E. Mr. Short.
Agnew, Comdr. p. G. D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Errington, Sir Eric Irvine, Bryant Goodman (Rye)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Farey-Jones, F. W. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Arbuthnot, John Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Armstrong, C. W. Fletcher-Cooke, C. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Atkins, H. E. Freeth, D. K. Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Balniel, Lord Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Kerby, Capt. H. B.
Barlow, Sir John Garner-Evans, E. H. Kerr, H. W.
Barter, John George, J. C. (Pollok) Kershaw, J. A.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Kirk, P. M.
Bidgood, J. C. Godber, J. B. Langden, G. W.
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Lambton, Viscount
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Green, A. Leavey, J. A.
Bishop, F. P. Gurden, Harold Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Body, R. F. Harris, Reader (Heston) Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Hay, John Longden, Gilbert
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Chichester-Clark, R. Heath, Edward
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount McLaughlin, Mrs. P.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Hirst, Geoffrey McLean, Neil (Inverness)
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Holland-Martin, c. J. Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Hope, Lord John Maddan, Martin
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Crouch, R. F. Howard, John (Test) Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)
Cunningham, Knox Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
Currie, G. B. H. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Marples, A. E.
Dance, J. C. G. Hughes, Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Mathew, R.
Davidson, Viscountess Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Maude, Angus
Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Rawlinson, P. A. G. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Morrison, John (Salisbury) Redmayne, M. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Nabarro, G. D. N. Rees-Davies, W. R. Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon, P.
Nairn, D. L. S. Remnant, Hon. P. Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Neave, Airey Roberts, Peter (Heeley) Turner, H. F. L.
Nicholls, Harmar Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Oakshott, H. D. Roper, Sir Harold Wall, Major Patrick
O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Page, R. G. Shepherd, William Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.) Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Pitt, Mist E. M. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Pott, H. P. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Wood, Hon. R.
Powell, J. Enoch Summers, G. S. (Aylesbury)
Profumo, J. D. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Raikes, Sir Victor Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Mr. Studholme and
Ramsden, J. E. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.) Lt.-Commander Richard Thompson.

Question put and agreed to.

Mr. Speaker

As the time is after half- past eleven, the second Motion cannot now be moved.