§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Earl Beauchamp.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ VISCOUNT MIDLETON, who had a series of Amendments standing in his name, said the state of the law was in some confusion, as local performances were authorised by various different authorities although under almost identical circumstances. There were three sets of provisions by which such performances were allowed, and they differed in each case. He had no desire to introduce 414 further confusion but it was an anomaly that in the case of a large borough, which was not absolutely a county borough but was a long distance from a county town, it should be in the power of the county council to force people to travel that distance in order to obtain a licence for their exhibition. He would suggest that such boroughs should be allowed to grant licences in their own area. It had been suggested that there might be a difficulty from the fact that the magistrates were the authority for granting music and dancing licences, and to meet the difficulty the Government proposed to introduce voluntary delegation that did not exist in the present authorities. In order to meet the case he would propose to let the Bill stand in its present shape, and, instead of moving the printed Amendments, to add at the end of Clause 6 the following words, "In the exercise of the powers of delegation as provided in the preceding section, the provisions of this Act shall apply in the case of a borough council and an urban district council as if that council were a county council."
At the end of Clause 6, to insert the words 'In the exercise of the powers of delegation as provided in the preceding section, the provisions of this Act shall apply in the case of a borough council and an urban district council as if that council wore a county council.'"—(Viscount Midleton.)
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP said the Government were unable to accept the Amendment even in its amended form. The purport of the Bill as it stood was perfectly clear. Cinematograph exhibitions owing to their inflammable character required special regulations and had to be carefully watched. The places in which these exhibitions were generally held were in some cases under the jurisdiction of visiting justices, and in others under a district council. It was difficult in the Bill to deal with the different localities, and for that reason the Government had deemed it better to give the power of licensing the exhibitions to the county council, or allow them to delegate it to bodies having similar powers. It must be agreed on all hands that it was better to entrust this power to the county councils with their wide experience than to small local bodies.
§ On Question, Amendment negatived.
In page 3, line 24, after the word 'and,' to insert the words 'subject to such regulations.'"—(Earl Beauchamp.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ VISCOUNT MIDLETON entered a protest on behalf of the authorities of Glasgow that the Act should not interfere with any local regulations.
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (LORD PENTLAND) said there was a serious objection to making any exception in a Bill of this character. He would not like to express 416 a final opinion; but he was advised that it would be open to Glasgow or any other municipality which had special local powers either to use those local powers or to work under this Statute. The Government could not import special local powers into a Statute of this kind.
§ Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.