Clause 7. — (Discretion of licensing authority as to grant of licences.)

Orders of the Day — BETTING AND LOTTERIES BILL [Lords]. – in the House of Commons on 12th November 1934.

Alert me about debates like this

3.1 a.m.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

Before the right hon. Gentleman rises I beg to move, "That further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."

I venture now at three o'clock, when more than three hours have passed since the matter was put to you, Mr. Speaker, to submit again a Motion for adjournment. I venture, very respectfully, to suggest to you that if the Government would make some suggestion as to how they wish to proceed we might make progress. The Home Secretary told us that all he was thinking about were mere drafting Amendments. There is one on the Order Paper, but there are two other heavy Amendments in the name of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr Logan). It is quite true that the Amendment which we are now about to consider may not take very long, but the other two are heavy Amendments, and I do suggest to the Home Secretary that we shall certainly have to go on all through to-morrow night. That is inevitable. Then we shall have the Third Reading coming on in the early morning hours of Wednesday. If the Home Secretary really is going to try to get these Amendments to-night, it will keep us here until morning, for we have some heavy work in front of us.

Would it not he possible to take now the Amendment which the Home Secretary says is purely drafting, and, having disposed of that, come back to-morrow, for many opinions have to be reconsidered and our energies re-created. The right hon. Gentleman would then have been able to discuss these matters with the Prime Minister—if he is available—or with the Lord President of the Council.

I do put it to the Government that they are not going to get anything out of this by taking these Amendments at about six o'clock in the morning. On the other hand, I have not the slightest doubt that if the right hon. Gentleman said he would stop at the end of Clause 7 the House would endeavour to facilitate him in winding-up his business as quickly as possible. We are certainly not resisting all these points out of any feeling of faction at all. We are really trying to show the Government that they are getting in very great embarrassment in the country. That is why we are looking at all these points with such meticulous care. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will meet us.

3.5 a.m.

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

In view of the nature of the Debate we have had on such trifling matters as the calendar year and the rest, when obviously time was taken, not upon the substance of Amendments, but in order to delay the proceedings—

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

On a point of Order. The hon. Gentleman has no right to say that. I submit it has frequently been ruled unparliamentary to suggest that action has been taken to delay the proceedings. The hon. Member has no right whatever to say it and it is really intolerable at this late hour of the night.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

Was the right hon. Gentleman appealing to me?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

Yes. I am complaining of the charge of deliberate dilatory conduct.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

I have heard these charges often made before.

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

I am perfectly content for hon. Members who have not been present in the Debate to read to-morrow the speech which the right hon. Gentleman made upon that Amendment. I only hope the House will have regard to those who have not spoken in the discussion, but who have been here to assist in carrying the business through, and that they will have regard to the figures recently revealed in the Division lobby. We shall be quite content if the Home Secretary will adhere to his original intention of going on to Clause 22 so that to-morrow there may be a reasonable opportunity to discuss the Bill on Third Reading.

3.7 a.m.

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

I hope the House will agree that the next two Government Amendments are not ones which will detain us at any great length. That will take us to Clause 16. I am not sure which Amendments the Chair proposes to call. There may be one other; but as these two Amendments deal with the same subject that will bring us to Clause 16 which was the point I had hoped the House would reach.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

What about the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan)?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

I cannot say anything about that.

3.8 a.m.

Photo of Mr John McGovern Mr John McGovern , Glasgow Shettleston

I desire also to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to re-consider his decision to go ahead. I want him to realise that many of us were not on the Committee and that the only opportunity we have to study this Measure and to understand what the Clauses mean is by full and open discussion in this House. I have sat here since four o'clock listening to almost every speech because I have desired to understand the Bill clearly. To suggest that there has been obstruction when there has been a desire only to express one's point of view and to understand the difficulties is certainly not playing cricket in my estimation. In appealing to the Home Secretary, and in replying to the statements made from the Liberal benches, I may say that I sat continuously in this House when the question of tariffs was before us and for hours I heard speeches made that I could only consider obstructive speeches of the very worst description. To say that on this Measure, on which we have only had a restricted opportunity of expressing our views, we have obstructed, is entirely wrong.

When the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Isaac Foot) says that he has waited here without speaking in order to assist the Government to get the Measure through, I would remind him that I have heard of people hurrying their opponents to their doom, and, in my opinion, Liberal members are assisting the Govern- ment to go to their doom by a Measure of this description. It is a most disgraceful thing that after fourteen weeks of recess the Government should come back to this House and make us sit up night after night in order to rush through legislation that is unnecessary and certanly not the will or desire of the country. I would appeal to them to give reconsideration to the point and not to drive the Bill through the House. I would appeal to them not to let the five or six Government whips stand outside the Lobby and look scornfully on the persons voting against the Government. It is a most disgraceful thing. I would appeal to the Home Secretary to adjourn now and to give fuller time for the examination of this very important Bill. He must realize that members are not in a fit state to examine every detail of the Bill. I dissociate myself from the Bill, and I hope that the Home Secretary will reconsider the matter.

3.13 a.m.

Photo of Mr David Logan Mr David Logan , Liverpool Scotland

I am anxious to facilitate business, but I have given many anxious days to a consideration of the Amendments that I have tabled, and I am anxious to see that justice is done to them. I submit that at this hour of the morning that justice cannot be done. I think that Members who have been sitting here since three o'clock yesterday afternoon cannot properly consider these Amendments, and it is an insult to the House to expect them to do so. Why is the Lord President of the Council not present? If he had been, I feel that counsel could have been taken in regard to some of these Amendments and that different decisions would have been taken. I have had for a long time nothing but "No" for an answer from the Home Secretary, which I put down to the fact that there is no responsible Minister here except the Minister in charge of the Bill. I feel too that the Prime Minister ought to be here, for, with all due respect to the Minister in charge, he ought to be able to turn to the Prime Minister for assistance. I feel that these important Amendments ought to receive due consideration from the House, and I hope that the Minister will give some justice to the claims that we are putting forward.

3.15 a.m.

Sir NAIRNE STEWART SANDEMAN:

I hope the Minister will not 'accede to the request. I hope he will not stop at Clause 22, but will go on and finish the Bill. We ought to begin to wake up at this hour of the night, and really every body now is fully alive to the importance of the Amendment and the principle put forward by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan). I think that

Division No. 406.]AYES.[3.16 a.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.Graves, MarjorieProcter. Major Henry Adam
Aske, Sir Robert WilliamGreene, William P. C.Pybus, Sir John
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)Grimston, R. V.Radford, E. A.
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Barclay Harvey, C. M.Gunston, Captain D. W.Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve CampbellHannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRamsbotham, Herwald
Bernays, RobertHaslam, Sir John (Bolton)Ramsden, Sir Eugene
Blindell JamesHope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Bossom, A. C.Horsbrugh, FlorenceReid, William Allan (Derby)
Boulton, W. W.Howard, Tom ForrestRickards, George William
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N.)Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Briscoe, Capt. Richard GeorgeInskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.Runge, Norah Cecil
Burnett, John GeorgeJamieson, DouglasRussell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Butt, Sir AlfredKer, J. CampbellRussell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)Lamb, Sir Joseph QuintonRutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Caporn, Arthur CecilLeighton, Major B. E. P.Salt, Edward W.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Lindsay, Noel KerSandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Cooper, A. DuffLloyd, GeoffreySanderson, Sir Frank Barnard
Copeland, IdaLoftus, Pierce C.Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Courtauld, Major John SewellLunn, WilliamSmith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Critchley, Brig.-General A. C.Mabane, WilliamSmith, Tom (Normanton)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)Somervell, Sir Donald
Daggar, GeorgeMacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)Soper, Richard
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)McGovern, JohnSouthby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)McKie, John HamiltonSpens, William Patrick
Denville, AlfredMcLean, Major Sir AlanStanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Drewe, CedricMagnay, ThomasStones, James
Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C.Makins, Brigadier-General ErnestStorey, Samuel
Duggan, Hubert JohnMargesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.Strauss, Edward A.
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Edwards, CharlesMayhew, Lieut.-Colonel JohnThomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C.Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Entwistle, Cyril FullardMolson, A. Hugh ElsdaleTufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)Morrison, William ShepherdWard, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Everard, W. LindsayMuirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Foot, Dingle (Dundee)Munro, PatrickWarrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.White, Henry Graham
Fox, Sir GiffordNunn, WilliamWilliams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Fremantle, Sir FrancisO'Donovan, Dr. William JamesWilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
Fuller, Captain A. G.Orr Ewing, I. L.Womersley, Sir Walter
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPeake, Osbert
Goff, Sir ParkPearson, William G.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Goodman, Colonel Albert W.Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.Sir George Penny and Lieut.-
Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward.
NOES.
Bailey, Eric Alfred GeorgeJoel, Dudley J. BarnatoRenwick, Major Gustav A.
Bracken, BrendanJones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)Tate, Mavis Constance
Broadbent, Colonel JohnLennox-Boyd, A. T.Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n,S.)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerLevy, ThomasTodd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)Logan, David GilbertWilliams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Fleming, Edward LascellesMcGovern, JohnWise, Alfred R.
Hanley, Dennis A.Petherick, M.
Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)Raikes Henry V. A. M.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Sir William Davison and Mr. Pike.

Question put accordingly, "That further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."

Division No. 407.]AYES.[3.24 a.m.
Bailey, Eric Alfred GeorgeChurchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerHanley, Dennis A.
Bracken, BrendanEvans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Alton)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)Fleming, Edward LascellesJoel, Dudley J. Barnato
Broadbent, Colonel JohnFuller, Captain A. G.Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)

as the Debate has gone on so long we might finish it off.

Sir J. GILMOUR rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: Ayes, 130; Noes, 25.

The House divided: Ayes, 27; Noes, 126.

Lennox-Boyd, A. T.Petherick, M.Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Levy, ThomasRaikes, Henry V. A. M.Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Logan, David GilbertRenwick, Major Gustav A.Wise, Alfred R.
McGovern, JohnRutherford, John (Edmonton)
Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Tate, Mavis ConstanceTELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n,S.)Sir William Davison and Mr. Pike.
NOES.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.Greene, William P. C.Radford, E. A.
Asks, Sir Robert WilliamGrimston, R. V.Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.Gunston, Captain D. W.Ramsbotham, Herwald
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRamsden, Sir Eugene
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve CampbellHaslam, Sir John (Bolton)Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Bernays, RobertHope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Blindell, JamesHorsbrugh, FlorenceRickards, George William
Bossom, A. C.Howard, Tom ForrestRosbotham, Sir Thomas
Boulton, W. W.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.Runge, Norah Cecil
Briscoe, Capt. Richard GeorgeJames, Wing-Com. A. W. H.Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Jamieson, DouglasRussell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Burnett, John GeorgeKer, J. CampbellRutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)Lamb, Sir Joseph QuintonSalt, Edward W.
Caporn, Arthur CecilLeighton, Major B. E. P.Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Lindsay, Noel KerSanderson, Sir Frank Barnard
Cooper, A. DuffLloyd, GeoffreyShaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Copeland, IdaLoftus, Pierce C.Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Courtauld, Major John SewellMabane, WilliamSmith, Tom (Normanton)
Critchley, Brig.-General A. C.MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)Somervell, Sir Donald
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)Soper, Richard
Daggar, GeorgeMcKie, John HamiltonSouthby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)McLean, Major Sir AlanSpens, William Patrick
Denville, AlfredMagnay, ThomasStanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Drewe, CedricMaking, Brigadier-General ErnestStones, James
Drummond Wolff, H. M. C.Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.Storey, Samuel
Duggan, Hubert JohnMason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)Strauss, Edward A.
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel JohnSugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Edwards, CharlesMolson, A. Hugh ElsdaleThomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C.Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Entwistle, Cyril FullardMorrison, William ShepherdTufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)Munro, PatrickWard, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Everard, W. LindsayNunn, WilliamWard, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Foot, Dingle (Dundee)O'Donovan, Dr. William JamesWarrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)Orr Ewing, I. L.White, Henry Graham
Fox, Sir GiffordPeaks, OsbertWilliams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Fremantle, Sir FrancisPearson, William G.Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
Gilmour, Lt. Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPenny, Sir GeorgeWomersley, Sir Walter
Goff, Sir ParkPowell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.
Goodman, Colonel Albert W.Procter, Major Henry AdamTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Graves, MarjoriePybus, Sir JohnLieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
and Major George Davies.

3.33 a.m.

Captain CROOKSHANK:

I beg to move, in page 7, line 25, after "Act," to insert: or under the First Schedule to this Act. My right hon. Friend said just now that these were largely drafting Amendments. The right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) has said that he and I must share the blame, because this is consequential on Clause 6, which went through in the Committee stage. It was partly my fault not to have seen that it was inserted there. The right hon. Gentleman was not present when we discussed it, so he may share the blame too. In Clause 7 we are dealing with cases in which licences are refused and where an applicant has been convicted of any of the offences under the Act or with falsifying or other dishonesty. By error we omitted the offences under Schedule 1, such as refusal to give full information regarding the working of the totalisators. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would agree that a person who has done these things is not suitable to be given a licence to carry on either dog racing or a totalisator. It is only a drafting Amendment, but I may tell the House that the next Amendment in my right hon. Friend's name uses the same words for the same reason in the Clause dealing with the revocation of licences.

3.35 a.m.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I must admit that I stand rebuked by my hon. and gallant Friend. I think the remarks he has made about the slurring over of this point in the Committee stage—and he has frankly taken his share of the blame—are fully justified in so far as they cast some aspersion on me. I was not in my place in the Committee stage. Indeed, I must confess that at that time I was not at all informed about the enormities which this Bill contains; otherwise I should have been in my place. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has referred to my absence, and I can only express to the House in terms of unaffected sincerity my extreme regret. In the meantime, the hon. and gallant Gentleman has made this reproach on the private Member, and when it has been done in such a way as not to be offensive at all and when the Minister associates himself with the offence and in no way casts an invidious comparison as to the relative apportionment of the blame to be borne between us, I can assure him that, while I accept his reproof, I bear no malice and feel but little sting. What a lesson this should be to us all. Indeed, I am grateful to him. The hour is late, and at this time of the morning the human body flags and we are overcome by the strain and stress of the day, but it is at this very moment that a stern reminder of our duty is called for. Though the flesh may be weak, a double effort of the spirit may enable us to discharge the tasks which we have to perform.

This I say by way of preliminary to addressing myself, under the exhortations of my hon. and gallant Friend, to the very serious and complicated proposals which he makes in this Amendment. He proposes in this Amendment to make a penalty applicable not only to offences under the Clause, but to offences under the First Schedule, and to throw, therefore, incontinently into the area of discussion a whole series of minor delinquencies, all of which may be made the motive power and the fulcrum upon which the decision as to licences will turn. That is not a small matter. We have been talking of these great dog race tracks and how the Government are going to make a memorial by giving a Magna Charta to the totes. Some of them have cost an enormous sum of money to erect. The shareholders' money is invested in them, and not only the money of the proprietors and the general public is affected. The employés of these tracks are very numerous. We have been told that there are 30,000 employés in the dog racing industry. Yet the refusal of a licence would automatically injure or ruin the whole of these powerful interests—capital and labour alike. Such a thing as the refusal of a licence when it comes up for periodical renewal would have the effect possibly of destroying the finances of a powerful company, it might be not only for a period of years, but they might never open again. Then the whole of the employés, who perhaps had moved into the district and had bought a house and sent their children to school in the area, would have all their educational and cultural careers interrupted suddenly and violently.

Let us see what are the kinds of offences which are concerned in this Amendment. It is all very well to say that these are only drafting Amendments and to try to get us to believe that it is not a serious matter. It is all very well of the right hon. Gentleman to show us by his silence that he is an honest man, for all the members of the Government excel in honesty, but a more candid course would be to make sure that we are not left to trip over and avoid dealing properly with points of this kind. Let me indicate some of the kinds of thing which this First Schedule deals with, and which might conceivably lead to conviction for an offence. If a man has been convicted under the First Schedule, then his licence may be revoked, and that enterprise, with all the consequential reactions which I have ventured to indicate, may be swept at a stroke from life into history. May I just ask my hon. and gallant Friend to look at the Schedule, the First Schedule, the provisions regulating the establishment of totalisators on race courses? Take paragraph 3, line 15. It reads as follows: The operator shall before receiving any bets in connection with any race, past in a conspicuous position on the track a notice showing the minimum stake (hereinafter referred to as the 'betting unit') which will be accepted at the totalisator from persons betting on that race, and shall distribute or cause to be distributed the whole of the moneys staked on any race or races by means of the totalisator among the persons winning bets made by means of the totalisator on that race or those races, after deducting or causing to be deducted such percentage, not exceeding six per cent. as he may have specified in the said notice. That is a very complicated procedure that this man has to carry out. He has to place the notice in a conspicuous place. Suppose he puts it in a position which is not deemed to be conspicuous, and a court may decide that it was not conspicuous—and even justice may err. It is a thorough justification for a magistrate bringing down ruin, bankruptcy, squalor, and poverty on a man for an error. I read out what he had to do and how careful he had to be, and here is a point. Observe the next words in Clause 7, Sub-section (1, b): Convicted of any offence under this Part of this Act or of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty. These may just be ordinary, simple eases of negligence under which a conviction is obtained under this Bill.

Captain CROOKSHANK:

The right lion. Gentleman is dealing with the regulations of this Bill in the Schedule; but it has nothing to do with the Amendment. The only offences covered by the Amendment are those under Section 7.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I am much obliged to my hon. and gallant Friend for that information, which I observed he obtained from under the Gallery [interruption]. Surely we are not going to be so delicate or pussyfooted as all that. I am glad he has got the information, but I am sorry he did not have it before. Now that we know where we are, let me address myself to Section 7 of the Schedule. It says: The accountant and his technical adviser and their respective servants authorised in that behalf in writing may, at all reasonable times, enter the premises in which the totalisator is set up, and examine any part of the mechanism and test and watch the working thereof. Now may I ask, in regard to this important passage, what is the offence that is being aimed at? As far as I can make out, this Section is merely permissive. Is the offence which you have in view the fact that they did not exercise their option to ask for information or, if they did ask for it, that obstruction was put in their way? Now I will turn to the next point. The Under-Secretary of State, when he is asked if it refers to the persons who fail to exercise their option or to persons who refuse to facilitate him in his duty, he gives no answer at all. It is not as if he is a Minister who is not glad to give information. When he has it, he is glad to give information. [Interruption.] When I have finished some of my hon. Friends behind me will be able in the course of this debate to clear it up.

Captain CROOKSHANK:

The right hon. Gentleman has been reading from the middle of the Section. If he had read the whole of it before he started his speech, he would have had the answer.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I do not want to mislead the House by making an imperfect quotation and I will certainly read it all: Every person who—(a) obstructs the accountant or his technical adviser or any duly authorised servant of either of them in the exercise of any of the powers conferred upon him by this paragraph. As I see it, that is an important extension of the penal Clauses and hon. Members have found it out only during the rigour of debate. Here it reads that if a person "obstructs the accountant or his technical adviser." If that is so plain, why did not the hon. and gallant Gentleman state it? I suppose he has not read it, or has forgotten it altogether. Paragraph (b) reads: neglects or refuses to give to any such person as aforesaid any such information, or to produce to him any such document, as may have been called for by him in pursuance of this paragraph; or And paragraph (c) reads: knowingly gives to any such person as aforesaid any information which is false or misleading. If a man knowingly gives information which is false and misleading, he partakes of that general fraud or dishonesty. I hope I am not wearying the House.

Viscountess ASTOR:

We are spellbound.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I am glad to know that the noble lady has returned rested and refreshed. I shall not attempt to dilate upon paragraph (c), because it is quite clear that that is covered by the terms of the paragraph which refers to offences involving fraud or dishonesty. It seems to me that the first two paragraphs, (a) and (b), only amplify what is brought out in the paragraph I have just read. He gets them both ways. They are beset with difficulties and legal pitfalls. Should these persons fall into error in the discharge of their complicated duties, the error will be held to be an offence, even although it does not involve any moral turpitude, even although they leave the court with no stain upon their characters, no effect on their position in the world, on their social relations, or in their homes. All that is provided for by the words about fraud and dishonesty. Yet the fault, which is admitted to be one of error, to be one arising from the inevitable and in some way irremovable frailties and shortcomings of human nature, may be letting down these men's employers and their hapless fellow workers—indeed, ruin will be at once sudden and final.

3.55 a.m.

Photo of Mr John McGovern Mr John McGovern , Glasgow Shettleston

After the speech of the right hon. Member the House must realise there is a very serious application of this Clause. The revelations of the right hon. Gentleman have left me in a very disturbed frame of mind as to the consequences entailed by it. There is the question of the obstructed accountant or his technical adviser. I would like to know how the man is to be obstructed. Does it mean physical obstruction or preventing him getting information of any kind? And then there is the question of who is the duly authorised servant. How are employés to know who are duly authorised servants? Will they have a uniform which will distinguish them as duly authorised servants of the State or of the accountant? Will there be any badge? There may be a person who comes to the dog track and demands information. The employé must know whether he is a, responsible person. I see no provision in the Bill for allowing the employé or servant to know the accountant or the technical adviser.

Then there is the point about obstructing or refusing to give any such information. What information will be desired in connection with the Clause? The employé is also to produce to him "any such documents". What documents will the accountant or his adviser desire to see? The document may not be available at the time. There is another matter. Who is to determine that the information is false and misleading The employé may not have the proper information, and may not intend to give false information, but the fact that he has given such information, which he believed to be correct, would be sufficient to have the company, the manager, and the proprietor haled before the court. They would be guilty of offences and liable to a fine not exceeding £50. This is a very penal Clause to the people involved. The employé may be asked a simple question and may believe he is giving the proper information, not knowing that the person is an accountant. It might be found that the information was incorrect, with the result that the proprietor might be brought before the court. I think that this Bill is a serious way of dealing with the affairs of this country. The language is extremely loose. It has not the definiteness one might expect from responsible Ministers of the Crown. There will be two offences and two fines. The more we see of this Bill the more we realise the serious implications which the Schedule implies. I have never yet heard a lucid speech from the right hon. Gentleman or his assistant explaining what was really intended by this Clause and its penalties.

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

The hon. Gentleman had better resume that argument on the Third Reading.

Photo of Mr John McGovern Mr John McGovern , Glasgow Shettleston

I accept your advice, Sir, but at this time of the morning I am not quite my usual self, and that is all the more reason why the House should consider this matter. Cannot the right hon. Gentleman give us a better explanation of the language contained in these Clauses that are going to have these awful consequences? I suggest, even at this late hour, that this should be done. Hon. Members are tired after a long and exhausting sitting, and it is a bad strain on their nerves, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman not to treat the House with contempt, but to give it the proper information to which it is entitled in regard to these penalties. I am sure that if the House is satisfied that they are reasonable, the House will treat them fairly.

4.2 a.m.

Photo of Mr Henry Raikes Mr Henry Raikes , Essex South Eastern

I am horrified at the dangers to which perfectly innocent applicants may be exposed in consequence of the Schedule. They are very real dangers. The accountant, his technical advisers, and authorised servants may enter premises in which a tote is set up and may find there a perfectly innocent operator of the tote. It may be that some of the authorised servants will turn up in strange circumstances and may even be intoxicated. Supposing they are and that the intoxicated authorised servants or the accountant or his technical advisers set hands on the plant belonging to the operator, and supposing they are obstructed by the terrified owner, what happens? Under the Schedule he becomes guilty of obstruction and is liable to a penalty. If he refuses to give to the accountant or his authorised servants any information, or if he produces no documents, he is done for. Human nature is fallible, and it might be that a perfectly innocent man might happen to forget where the documents were. He might have left them with his Nile, or they might have disappeared temporarily. Then if he gives wrong information, he can be brought up because he has neglected to give the proper information to the accountant, his Advisers or authorised servants. There, under (b), he can be deprived of his job.

Finally, we come to paragraph (c), and here again there is a danger. On the face of it, it looks perfectly simple, but anyone who knowingly gives to the accountant or his representatives false or misleading information can have his job taken away. These persons might arrive on the premises and on the unfortunate owner in a state of intoxication or madness, because madness comes strangely upon persons. What would

Division No. 408.]AYES.[4.7 a.m.
Aske, Sir Robert WilliamFoot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)Fox, Sir GiffordMason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.Fremantle, Sir FrancisMayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Fuller, Captain A. G.Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve CampbellGilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnMorris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Bernays, RobertGoff, Sir ParkMorrison, William Shepherd
Blindell, JamesGoodman, Colonel Albert W.Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.
Bossom, A. C.Graves, MarjorieMunro, Patrick
Boulton, W. W.Greene, William P. C.Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
Briscoe, Capt. Richard GeorgeGrimston, R. V.Nunn, William
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.O'Donovan, Dr. William James
Burnett, John GeorgeGunston, Captain D. W.Orr Ewing, I. L.
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryPearson, William G.
Caporn, Arthur CecilHaslam, Sir John (Bolton)Penny, Sir George
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.
Cooper, A. DuffHope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)Procter, Major Henry Adam
Copeland, IdaHorsbrugh, FlorencePybus, Sir John
Courtauld, Major John SewellHoward, Tom ForrestRadford, E. A.
Critchley, Brig.-General A. C.Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Dagger, GeorgeJamieson, DouglasRamsbotham, Herwald
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)Ker, CampbellRamsden, Sir Eugene
Davies, Maj, Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)Lamb, sir Joseph QuintonReid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Denville, AlfredLeighton, Major B. E. P.Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Drewe, CedricLindsay, Noel KerRickards, George William
Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C.Lloyd, GeoffreyRosbotham, Sir Thomas
Duggan, Hubert JohnLoftus, Pierce C.Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Duncan, James A.L.(Kensington, N.)Mebane, WilliamRunge, Norah Cecil
Edwards, CharlesMacAndrew, Lt.-Col C. G. (Partick)Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C.MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Entwistle, Cyril FullardMcKie, John HamiltonRutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)McLean, Major Sir AlanSalt, Edward W.
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)Magnay, ThomasSandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Everard, W. LindsayMakin, Brigadier-General ErnestSanderson, Sir Frank Barnard

happen? He might feel that it was necessary to get these persons away before they became really dangerous, and he might deliberately give false information. He might suggest that the documents they required would be found in their own homes. So he sends them back to their homes at the earliest possible moment. Again this unfortunate man can be had up because he has knowingly given to persons information which is false or misleading, although it had been given for the purpose of saving his own skin and saving these persons from follies which they would regret if they were in their more sober and saner moments. There is a fine of £50 on the unfortunate man, who will also lose his job, in spite of the common sense which has led him to safeguard his plant or documents and to send the lunatics who have come to see him home to bed. Therefore, I am grieved and pained that the Government should have taken up this attitude.

Sir J. GILMOUR rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: Ayes, 126; Noes, 23.

Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)Strauss, Edward A.Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)Sugden, Sir Wilfrid HartWarrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Smith, Tom (Normanton)Tate, Mavis ConstanceWhite, Henry Graham
Somervell, Sir DonaldThomas, James P. L. (Hereford)Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Soper, RichardThomson, Sir Frederick CharlesWilson, Lt Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.Womersley, Sir Walter
Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Stones, JamesWard, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Storey, SamuelWard, Irene Mary Bewick (wallsend)Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Captain Austin Hudson.
NOES.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.Hanley, Dennis A.Renwick, Major Gustav A.
Bailey, Eric Alfred GeorgeJoel, Dudley J. BarnatoRutherford, John (Edmonton)
Bracken, BrendanJones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.
Broadbent, Colonel JohnLevy, ThomasWise, Alfred R.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerLogan, David Gilbert
Davison, Sir William HenryMcGovern, JohnTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)Petherick, M.Mr. Raikes and Mr. Lennox Boyd.
Fleming, Edward LascellesPike, Cecil F.

Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

Division No. 409.]AYES.[4.15 a.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.Greene, William P. C.Pybus, Sir John
Aske, Sir Robert WilliamGrimston, R. V.Radford, E. A.
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.Gunston, Captain D. W.Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRamsbotham, Herwald
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve CampbellHaslam, Sir John (Bolton)Ramsden, Sir Eugene
Bernays, RobertHope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Blindell, JamesHorsbrugh, FlorenceReid, William Allan (Derby)
Bossom, A. C.Howard, Tom ForrestRickards, George William
Boulton, W. W.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Briscoe, Capt. Richard GeorgeInskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.Ross Taylor, Waiter (Woodbridge)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.Runge, Norah Cecil
Burnett, John GeorgeJamieson, DouglasRussell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)Ker, J. CampbellRussell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Caporn, Arthur CecilLamb, Sir Joseph QuintonRutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)Salt, Edward W.
Cooper, A. DuffLeighton, Major B. E. P.Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Copeland, IdaLindsay, Noel KerSanderson, Sir Frank Barnard
Courtauld, Major John SewellLloyd, GeoffreyShaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Critchley, Brig.-General A.Loftus, Pierce C.Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)Mabane, WilliamSmith, Tom (Normanton)
Daggar, GeorgeMacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)Somervell, Sir Donald
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)Soper, Richard
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)McKie, John HamiltonSouthby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Denville, AlfredMcLean, Major Sir AlanStanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Drewe, CedricMagnay, ThomasStones, James
Drummond Wolff, H. M. C.Makins, Brigadier-General ErnestStorey, Samuel
Duggan, Hubert JohnMargesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.Strauss, Edward A.
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Edwards, CharlesMayhew, Lieut.-Colonel JohnThomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C.Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Entwistle, Cyril FullardMolson, A. Hugh ElsdaleWallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Ward. Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)Morrison, William ShepherdWard, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Everard, W. LindsayMuirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Foot, Dingle (Dundee)Munro, PatrickWarrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.White, Henry Graham
Fox, Sir GiffordO'Donovan, Dr. William JamesWilliams. Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Fremantle, Sir FrancisOrr Ewing, I. L.Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
Fuller, Captain A. G.Pearson, William G.Womersley, Sir Walter
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPenny, Sir George
Goff, Sir ParkPetherick, M.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Goodman, Colonel Albert W.Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.Sir Frederick Thomson and
Graves, MarjorieProcter, Major Henry AdamCaptain Sir George Bowyer.
NOES.
Bailey, Eric Alfred GeorgeHanley, Dennis A.Renwick, Major Gustav A.
Bracken, BrendanHope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)Joel, Dudley J. BarnatoTate, Mavis Constance
Broadbent, Colonel JohnJones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerLevy, ThomasWilliams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Davison, Sir William HenryLogan, David GilbertWise, Alfred R.
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)McGovern, John
Fleming, Edward LascellesPike, Cecil F.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Raikes and Mr. Lennox-Boyd.

The House divided: Ayes, 128; Noes, 22.