HC Deb 26 March 1969 vol 780 cc1723-5

Lords Amendment: No. 4, in page 4, line 38, at end insert new Clause "B": B.—(1) In consequence of the amalgamation of the Jockey Club and the National Hunt Committee, section 24 of the Act of 1963 (constitution and membership of Levy Board) shall be amended in accordance with this section. (2) In section 24(2), for paragraphs (b) and (c) (which provide for two members of the Board to be appointed by the Jockey Club and one by the National Hunt Committee) there shall be substituted the following:— '(b) three members shall be appointed by the Jockey Club (incorporating the National Hunt Committee)'. (3) In section 24(3) (duration and terms of membership and removal of members) for the words 'subsection (2)(b) or (c)' there shall be substituted the words 'subsection (2)(b)'. (4) In section 24(4) (temporary substitute members)—

  1. (a) for the words 'the National Hunt Committee' there shall be substituted the words '(incorporating the National Hunt Committee)'; and
  2. (b) for the words ' subsection (2)(b), (c), (d) or (e)' there shall be substituted the words 'subsection (2)(b), (d) or (e)'.

(5) Any person who at the passing of this Act is, or acts as, a member of the Levy Board by virtue of appointment under section 24(2) or (4) of the Act of 1963 by the Jockey Club or the National Hunt Committee shall be deemed to have been appointed by the Jockey Club (incorporating the National Hunt Committee).".

Mr. Elystan Morgan

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

I wonder, Mr. Deputy Speaker, whether you think it would be for the convenience of the House if with that Amendment we took Lords Amendment No. 5 to the Title, in line 5, at end insert and to amend section 24 of the said Act of 1963 with respect to the appointment and removal of members of the last mentioned Board.".

Mr. Deputy Speaker

So be it.

Mr. Morgan

These two Amendments are necessary because of the amalgamation which took effect from 1st January of this year of the Jockey Club and the National Hunt Committee, as the Jockey Club (incorporating the National Hunt Committee).

The Amendments make the necessary alterations to Section 24 of the 1963 Act which lays down the composition of the Levy Board, which includes two members of the Jockey Club, and one member of the National Hunt Committee. The Amendments retain the status quo in that as before, the Board will continue to comprise, in addition to the chairman, two independent members appointed by the Home Secretary, three members representing horseracing, and two members representing the contributors to the Levy, that is, the Chairman of the Bookmakers' Committee and the Chairman of the Totalisator Board.

The right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire congratulated me on winning an argument on the previous Amendment. I hope that we can go one better here and say that it is not necessary to argue at all.

8.30 p.m.

Mr. Timothy Kitson (Richmond, Yorks.)

Why is it necessary to make this Amendment now? Why was not it thought of in Committee? If the amalgamation was on 1st January, surely this could have been done before. The Government must have slipped up here.

Mr. Morgan

With leave of the House. The reason was that we were well aware of it, but so many grave and weighty matters were discussed in Committee that we did not want to over-burden those proceedings.

Sir D. Renton

I now have to congratulate the Under-Secretary on making an open confession. It was obviously important, from the moment of amalgamation—which I understand from my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Yorks. (Mr. Kitson) had effect from 1st January this year—that something on the lines of this Amendment should have been inserted in the Bill. Otherwise, of course, a most embarrassing situation might have arisen. There might have been a serious gap in the law. The hon. Gentleman cannot even claim that this Amendment is a happy afterthought by the Government. It was left to the initiative and, indeed, the wisdom of Lord Goodman to avoid what might have been an embarrassing situation. This only goes to show not only the value but the imperative necessity of a revising Chamber. In this case, the other place, as at present constituted, has displayed its value, with the help of Lord Goodman. My advice to my hon. Friends is to accept the Amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

Remaining Lords Amendment agreed to.