Oral Answers to Questions — Street Collection Permits

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd March 1945.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe 12:00 am, 22nd March 1945

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the league against cruel sports has been unable to obtain the permission of the Commissioner of Police to take part in the annual street collection for animal welfare societies which takes place this year on 16th May; what is the reason for this refusal; and whether he will have the decision reconsidered.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

There must be a limit on the number of societies who are allowed to hold street collections, and the responsibility for deciding which applications shall be granted is placed on the Commissioner of Police, assisted by an Advisory Committee which is composed of seven representatives of local government authorities and three other persons representing the Charity Organisation Society, the London Council of Social Service and the London Mendicity Society. It would be impossible for the Commissioner to carry out this difficult task of selecting the societies to which permits should be granted if he were required in every case to make public his reasons for giving preference to certain applications over other applications; and all I can say is that in this particular case I can find no reason for thinking that the discretion vested in the Commissioner has not been properly exercised.

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

In view of the statement that ten societies are taking part, some of them quite small compared with the society I have mentioned, will not the Home Secretary look into the matter again?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I do not think there would be a reasonable case to justify my looking into the matter. This function is delegated to the Commissioner and he has the assistance of an advisory committee. It would not be wise for me to intervene.

Photo of Mr Maurice Petherick Mr Maurice Petherick , Penryn and Falmouth

In spite of what the Minister has said, can he assure the House that he does not regard street collections as coming into the category of cruel sports?

Photo of Mr Daniel Frankel Mr Daniel Frankel , Stepney Mile End

Would the Home Secretary make further efforts to see that more of these societies give a reasonable return for the charities which they are supposed to be helping?