HC Deb 14 April 1967 vol 744 cc1594-6

Considered in Committee; reported, without Amendment.

Mr. Speaker

I see that the promoter of the Bill is not here. The Third Reading can be moved by a Member acting on his behalf.

3.2 p.m.

Mr. Terence Higgins (Worthing)

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Dick Taverne)

In the absence of the promoter of the Bill I want to say that the Government warmly welcome it, as the Government spokesman made clear in another place. We are grateful to the hon. Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Miscampbell) for having introduced the Bill. It is an extremely valuable Measure, dealing with a subject which is regarded by many as extremely disturbing. These sleazy private clubs will now be covered by legislation.

This legislation has already been thoroughly tested and tried, because the Bill takes bits and pieces from other established Acts and makes them applicable to the kind of situation with which we are dealing. Under the circumstances, I hope that the House will welcome the Bill.

3.3 p.m.

Mr. Marcus Kimball (Gainsborough)

I should like to follow the Under-Secretary of State in giving the Bill a blessing and wishing it a speedy passage to the Statute Book. I am surprised that, as a Lincolnshire Member the Minister did not mention the excellent memorandum prepared in support of the Bill by the Lincolnshire Federation of Women's Institutes and the special blessing and the amount of enthusiasm that there has been for the Bill in a county which one would not have thought was afflicted by this problem. In some of our smaller market towns, however, these small coffee bars and similar places of entertainment often spring up. This problem exists in areas which are quite a distance from the big cities.

This is a remarkable example of the way in which a Private Member's Bill, emanating from another place, can go speedily on to the Statute Book. On behalf of my constituents I wish it well, and I congratulate the Government on giving it such an easy passage through the House.

3.4 p.m.

Mr. R. Gresham Cooke (Twickenham)

I should like to say a few words arising from the Under-Secretary's remark that the Bill is a combination of a number of other Measures. I believe that I was the mover of the first Private Member's Bill which led to this one. When I was Chairman of the Private Bill Committee of the Manchester Corporation, I was struck by the horrible nature of what went on in the clubs that were opening up for teen-agers in Manchester. These clubs were insanitary, with no safety or fire precautions, and under no control. Drugs were said to pass in them.

Manchester Corporation took powers to control these clubs. As a result, I and other hon. Members who were on the Committee, in July, 1965, promoted a Bill called the Entertainment Clubs Bill, which, because of the General Election and other things, did not reach the Statute Book. Then the Lord Chief Justice promoted a similar Bill and I take it that this is the result. I am pleased to see that it is nearing its final stages.

On the evidence supplied by the Manchester Corporation, that as a result of the passing of its Bill the clubs have been brought under control, cleaned up and made decent, safe and fireproof, with greatly improved lavatories, I hope that this Bill will have a similar effect for other corporations which adopt it.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed, without Amendments.