HC Deb 03 July 1985 vol 82 cc463-4
Mr. Douglas Hogg

I beg to move amendment No. 38, in page 7, line 39, leave out subsection (6).

The Chairman

With this it will be convenient to discuss also amendment No. 39, in page 7, line 43, leave out 'and' and insert 'or'.

Mr. Hogg

The amendment seeks to exclude sporting events from the Bill. I have already put forward the arguments in favour. I know my hon. Friend's response. I am not seeking a further response.

Mr. Chope

I want to speak briefly to amendment No. 39. The notes on clauses say that clause 9 exempts amateur events from the Bill's provisions. Would that it did. That is the purpose of my amendment. Unfortunately, my reading of the Bill is that because there is an "and" rather than an "or", amateur events will not be excluded if there are no paying customers. The worst problems in football arise because of professionalism, not the sort of professionalism that is associated with the professions of medicine and the law, but professionalism in the context of the professional foul. It is appropriate that the Bill should be restricted to professional games played for money by people who are being remunerated, and that where games are played for charity purposes or by amateurs these provisions should not apply.

Mr. Giles Shaw

I am advised that in order to disapply the controls in the Bill from such events both the conditions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of clause 9(6) have to be met. The amendment to leave out "and" and insert "or" would weaken this, since only one of the conditions would then need to be met. This would considerably widen the scope of the exception, and that would not be desirable. If there is to be an exception it should be a narrow one, limited to an event in which all competitors are taking part otherwise than for reward and to which all spectators are admitted free of charge. That is why the clause has been drafted in this way, and I hope that on reflection my hon. Friend will accept it.

Mr. Chope

Will my hon. Friend confirm that although the notes on clauses say that clause 9 exempts amateur events from the Bill's provisions, it does not do so?

Mr. Giles Shaw

It does, if both those conditions are fulfilled.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 9 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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