Cinemas, Bridgend (Sunday Opening).

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons on 19th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Edward Williams Mr Edward Williams , Ogmore

asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered the circumstances in connection with the opening of cinemas on Sundays at Bridgend; and whether he is satisfied that no abuse of the statutory procedure took place in this case?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Before I made this Order, I was informed by the Bridgend Urban District Council that they had approached the local military authorities about the desirability of Sunday opening and had told the Area Commander that the council could not move in the matter unless he gave a certificate that, having regard to the large number of members of His Majesty's Forces quartered in the area, it was in his view expedient that cinemas should open on Sunday. There is nothing in the Regulation to debar a local authority from informing the military authorities of their views as to the desirability of Sunday cinemas and it is to the credit of a local authority that they should interest themselves in the welfare of troops stationed in their area. The Area Commander gave his certificate, and as I was satisfied that the Bridgend Council had complied with the statutory requirements in submitting the Order, it was my duty to lay it before Parliament. It was approved without discussion by this House on Thursday last.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not an extraordinary procedure for the local authority to take, to request the military authority to request the local authority to ask for this Order?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

No, Sir, not in the least. If the local authority thinks in the interests of the troops and of the community that the opening of cinemas on Sundays should be considered, it is perfectly proper and legitimate that it should suggest to the military authorities that they should put in a request, because without the request of the military authorities the local authority cannot possibly consider the matter.