Orders of the Day — Betting Levy Bill

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20 December 1960.

Alert me about debates like this

As amended, again considered.

Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 19, leave out "seven" and insert "eight".—[Mr. Peart.]

Question again proposed, That "seven" stand part of the Bill.

6.15 p.m.

Photo of Captain Hon. Richard Stanley Captain Hon. Richard Stanley , North Fylde

I support the Government in refusing the Amendment. I do so not because I do not understand the case—I understand it very much—which the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Peart) put forward. I have great sympathy in many ways with the hon. Member's case, and I hope that the veterinary people get together and have a good committee who put their case properly before the Board.

I spoke against the vets on Second Reading and they have come out against me. The British Veterinary Association describes my statements as utter nonsense. Most of them might be. One of the interesting things which that Association said, however, was that it could X-ray a horse's leg. I am afraid it cannot. One cannot X-ray a horse's quarters. These people should learn what they are able to do. The right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) talks about how good the classic horses were. That depends upon the breeders and not the vets. They cannot even tell when an animal is going to have twins. They cannot X-ray. Therefore, before the vets say that they must be represented they must get some of their statements right.

Photo of Captain Hon. Richard Stanley Captain Hon. Richard Stanley , North Fylde

If is all very well for the hon. Member for Workington to shake his head, but why say that they can X-ray the legs of horses when they cannot?

My hon. and learned Friend the Under-Secretary must not have any people represented on the Board who will be beneficiaries. The breeders have far more right than vets to be on the Board. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) knows an enormous amount about the veterinary science and has studied it for many years, but if he came into the racing world he would understand that the vets are practically the greatest beneficiaries of all. They do not make the horses. When something goes wrong, they are called in. The breeding side is done by the breeders, not by the vets, who are called in for entirely technical purposes. If my hon. Friend knew about racing as a whole, he would know these things.

I am delighted that my hon. and learned Friend has resisted the Amendment. If, however, the British Veterinary Association, or whatever the body is, cannot do it itself but wants to put forward its views, I am certain that my hon. and learned Friend will help and will hear its views so that the vets can get their proper share of the money which is to be divided.

Photo of Mr John Morrison Mr John Morrison , Salisbury

Briefly, I have an interest to declare. I have the same interest as my hon. Friend the Member for North Fylde (Mr. Stanley) as a breeder and owner of thoroughbreds and also as a member of the Jockey Club. Also, I have an interest in the breeding of horses of other kinds, including ponies, not thoroughbreds.

I support my hon. and learned Friend the Under-Secretary in the way he has spoken of the Amendment. I fully appreciate the needs of veterinary work, but when my hon. and learned Friend says that the veterinary side will be able to apply for financial assistance, sending a copy of its application to the Home Secretary so that he may know what is happening, I should like to ask for the same thing to apply to the breed societies, non-thoroughbred, who depend greatly on a little help and who are the nurseries of many good jockeys and help in the horse world generally.

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

I am astonished at some of the things which have been said, both in this debate and in the previous one. I remember introducing a Private Member's Bill which contained precisely the provisions of Clause I almost word for word. Where was the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) when that Bill was debated? [An HON. MEMBER: "At Newmarket."] Not at all. I will come presently to where I think be was. Other hon. Members who have found an interest in veterinary science were not available in the service of the House for the Second Reading of that Private Member's Bill and so it was counted out.

I do not want to make too much of it, but I am astonished at some of the exchanges we have had with the hon. Member for Gillingham. Perhaps he will forgive me if I pursue them. I am interested in his new-found interest in veterinary science. I think I have tracked it to its source and that one of his female relatives at one time or another must have been interested in budgerigars or something of the kind. It is this passion for these feathered friends that has brought him to the point he is at tonight.

He does not see the simple point made by the Under-Secretary of State, that the principle of this Bill is that of a small and compact board. Very substantial interests, just as important—or who think they are important—have taken a back place because they believe that representations can be made in another way. However strong the case may be—and it is strong—for the Royal College, once the principle is breached the Race Course Association will have to be admitted.

Then there will be great difficulty because, although the Association covers the courses, how does one equate the interests represented by Ascot or Epsom with Bangor or Market Drayton? It is not merely a question of size. I gave an example during the Committee stage of the course at Wolverhampton, which sees its duty in terms not only of racing but in terms of the community. I want to put right a slip which I made. I talked of the Wolverhampton course as being leased from the local authority by the Wolverhampton Racecourse Company. In fact, the company owns the racecourse and leases it to the local authority.

There is a strong case for representation for various bodies, and before one would know where one was, the 73 racecourses would be represented. Then there are the breeders. This is a model for consultation which may be followed in the future. There are the jockeys and the 20,000 employees of this industry, all of them interested in their welfare. The Government have decided for a small board, and I support them.

At the moment the money for veterinary research is channelled through the Equine Research Association. There is a case here for whatever sum is available to be spent to the best advantage, and there is a strong case also for those who hold that this Bill could have been amended in another way and that there should have been a limit placed—perhaps another place will take that view—in order to confine the expenditure to horses and like breeds. But the position is wisely left as it is.

My hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Peart) should go back to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, of which he is such a distinguished member, and tell it of this improved consultative machinery which goes either direct to the Jockey Club or through various ways to the Ministry of Agriculture. The College should give the machinery a run. Not only will it in this way get as much money as it can usefully spend, but a new chapter in the relationship of the veterinary service to racing will have been forged.

The hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. McAdden) spoke very succinctly and ably. He said he was moved to intervene because he thought that the board was not balanced. Perhaps he would use his influence to try to get the board off to a good start, with the principle, not of all hands being put into the pot, but of co-operation between the interests for which he speaks—The Jockey Club and the National Committee—so that the board can work in the interests of racing.

Before I wish him a happy Christmas, I say to him that when he states that the money is coming from the bookmakers he should know better. Not a copper is coming from them; it comes from the punters.

Photo of Sir Stephen McAdden Sir Stephen McAdden , Southend East

What about the Betting Control Board?

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

It will report, of course, but I as its representative have never made the mistake of deluding myself or my colleagues. The hon. Member has made a slip. He does not believe a word of it.

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

Of course, the money does not come from the bookmakers. It comes from the punters. [Interruption.]

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. We seem to be getting a long way from the Amendment.

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

I want to plead for co-coperation. It will be fatal if the Royal College thinks after this debate that it is being denied the opportunity of making effective representations and is not getting a fair share of the new money that will be available. It would be very unwise if the House upset the basic principle on which this Bill is placed.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

My hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) admits that I have a strong case. Perhaps when we have another debate he may concede my case.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Of course, my hon. Friend has made up his mind, but at least he admits that I have a strong case. But when he talks of people not understanding a simple point, let him understand one. The Royal College will not be disappointed if this Bill goes through as it is in the sense that it will not now be a beneficiary. I have tried to argue over and over again that the College is not a beneficiary. It is in precisely the same position under this Clause in its concern for veterinary science as the Jockey Club is in its concern for racing.

I wish that he could get that simple point into his head. If I cannot convince him, he will continually oppose what I have said. I am sorry that the Under-Secretary of State will not accept our point of view. He said that it would be a large Board if the Amendment were accepted. It is nonsense to say that the balance of the Board would be upset by the addition of one member. He was answered on that point by the hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. McAdden).

Then the hon. and learned Gentleman described administrative arrangements, but these arrangements exist already. The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the veterinary profession. The chief veterinary officer plays an important part in advising the Minister about the profession.

The Minister of Agriculture, being responsible for the profession, will, I hope, advise the Secretary of State who will be responsible for any scheme. There is a Governmental responsibility here. We are asking that the Levy Board should be made more effective by having added to it a representative of the Royal College.

The College would be able to give advice through such a member. He would also be able to discuss not just the preparation of a scheme but also the day-to-day ordinary administrative workings of the Board. He would be able to give impartial advice about where resources should be used to meet the obligations for veterinary science and education.

6.30 p.m.

They are in no sense beneficiaries. They are merely seeing that the money is farmed out to the right people and organisations who will further veterinary education and science. I am rather surprised that the hon. Member for North Fylde (Mr. Stanley), who is really an expert on racing, should reveal so little knowledge about veterinary science. I am amazed at his speech—

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I do not want to delay the House too long. I should like to debate the matter with the hon. Member but I have promised to be brief. He has made his point but I was surprised at what he said. There is a connection between horse breeding and veterinary science. I am not speaking about veterinary practice as such but about the research that goes on in some of our leading establishments. Many of those establishments are the best in the world and they have given a lead in these matters, particularly in the Commonwealth. I hope that the hon. Member for North Fylde, with his interest in and great knowledge of racing, will go into the problems of veterinary science and will appreciate that even the breeders benefit from veterinary research.

Photo of Captain Hon. Richard Stanley Captain Hon. Richard Stanley , North Fylde

The hon. Member did not give way to me earlier. I am obliged to him for giving way now. He cannot get away with it by saying that I thought that breeders do not receive any benefit from veterinary science. Of course they do. All I say is, and the whole object of my point of order is—

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. I am at present a little puzzled about the point of order.

Photo of Captain Hon. Richard Stanley Captain Hon. Richard Stanley , North Fylde

I was accused by the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Peart), who did not then give way, and I was saying—

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

I am sorry, but these accusations occur quite often and I am afraid that they do not become points of order.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I did not give way at the time to the hon. Member for North Fylde. I hope that I was not being discourteous. I was thinking of the time of the House. We ought to come to a decision and I hope that the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) will not go into the Lobby against us. The Government reply was quite unsatisfactory. I am sorry that we must press the Amendment, but I feel that we should come to a decision now and I hope that the Under-Secretary will not delay us.

Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire

One thing that I can agree upon is that we ought to come to a decision at once, but I owe it to the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) to say why we have no Government Amendments on the Order Paper on this point when he feels that we ought to have tabled them. The answer is that no Amendment is needed to enable representations to be made either to the Levy Board or to the Secretary of State, nor is any Amendment needed to enable the representations which have been received by the Levy Board to be passed on to the Secretary of State or for the people who are concerned to be informed of the result. All that can be done without writing it into the Statute, and it will be done. The only other point is to assure my hon.

Friend the Member for Salisbury (Mr. J. Morrison) that anybody will be able to make recommendations.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

An unsatisfactory reply.

Question put, That "seven" stand part of the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 194, Noes 110.

Division No. 30.]AYES[6.34 p.m.
Agnew, Sir PeterGrimond, J.Page, John (Harrow, West)
Aitken, W. T.Grimston, Sir RobertPannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Allason, JamesGurden, HaroldPearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Ashton, Sir HubertHamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Peel, John
Atkins, HumphreyHarris, Reader (Heston)Percival, Ian
Balniel, LordHarrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Barber, AnthonyHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Pitman, I. J.
Barlow, Sir JohnHarvie Anderson, MissPitt, Miss Edith
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)Hastings, S.Pott, Percivall
Beamish, Col. TuftonHay, JohnPowell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
Bell, Ronald (S. Bucks.)Henderson, John (Cathcart)Price, David (Eastleigh)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)Henderson-Stewart, Sir JamesPrior, J. M. L.
Berkeley, HumphryHendry, ForbesPrior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth)Hiley, JosephQuennell, Miss J.
Biggs-Davison, JohnHill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)Rawlinson, Peter
Bingham, R. M.Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Bishop, F. P.Hinchingbrooke, ViscountRees, Hugh
Black, Sir CyrilHirst, GeoffreyRees-Davies, W. R.
Bossom, CliveHobson, JohnRenton, David
Bourne-Arton, A.Hocking, Philip N.Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Box, DonaldHolland, PhilipRoberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. JohnHolt, ArthurRobson Brown, Sir William
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Hopkins, AlanRoots, William
Bryan, PaulHornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. PatriciaRussell, Ronald
Bullard, DenysHoward, John (Southampton, Test)Scott-Hopkins, James
Bullus, Wing Commander EricHughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral JohnShaw, M.
Butler, Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden)Hughes-Young, MichaelShepherd, William
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Hulbert, Sir NormanSkeet, T. H. H.
Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Hurd, Sir AnthonySoames, Rt. Hon. Christopher
Cary, Sir RobertHutchison, Michael ClarkSpeir, Rupert
Channon, H. P. G.Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Stanley, Hon. Richard
Chichester-Clark, R.Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Stodart, J. A.
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Johnson Smith, GeoffreyStoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Cleaver, LeonardKerans, Cdr. J. S.Storey, Sir Samuel
Cooper, A. E.Kerr, Sir HamiltonTapsell, Peter
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Kershaw, AnthonyTaylor, E. (Bolton, E.)
Corfield, F. V.Kirk, PeterTeeling, William
Costain, A. P.Lambton, ViscountTemple, John M.
Critchley, JulianLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Linstead, Sir HughThomas, Lesile (Canterbury)
Currie, G. B. H.Litchfield, Capt. JohnThornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Dalkeith, Earl ofLloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'n C'dfield)Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Dance, JamesLongbottom, CharlesTurner, Colin
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryLoveys, Walter H.Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Digby, Simon WingfieldLow, Rt. Hon. Sir TobyVane, W. M. F.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughVickers, Miss Joan
Drayson, G. B.MacArthur, IanVosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
du Cann, EdwardMcLaren, MartinWade, Donald
Elliot, Capt. W. (Carshalton)McLaughlin, Mrs. PatriciaWall, Patrick
Emery, PeterMcMaster, Stanley R.Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Farey-Jones, F. W.Maddan, MartinWells, John (Maidstone)
Finlay, GraemeMarkham, Major Sir FrankWhitelaw, William
Fisher, NigelMarten, NeilWigg, George
Fraser, Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)Mathew, Robert (Honiton)Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gammans, LadyMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Gardner, EdwardMaydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Woodhouse, C. M.
Gibson-Watt, DavidMills, StrattonWoodnutt, Mark
Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)More, Jasper (Ludlow)Woollam, John
Goodhart, PhilipMorrison, JohnWorsley, Marcus
Goodhew, VictorMott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesYates, William (The Wrekin)
Gower, RaymondNeave, Airey
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)Nicholson, Sir GodfreyTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Green, AlanOrr-Ewing, C. IanMr. Sharples and Mr. Noble.
Gresham Cooke, R.Osborn, John (Hallam)
NOES
Abse, LeoHamilton, William (West Fife)Owen, Will
Bacon, Miss AliceHannan, WilliamPaget, R. T.
Blackburn, F.Hart, Mrs. JudithParker, John (Dagenham)
Boardman, H.Hayman, F. H.Pavitt, Laurence
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S. W.)Healey, DenisPeart, Frederick
Bowles, FrankHill, J. (Midlothian)Prentice, R. E.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Hilton, A. V.Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Brockway, A. FennerHolman, PercyProctor, W. T.
Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Houghton, DouglasPursey, Cmdr. Harry
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Howell, Charles A.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Callaghan, JamesHunter, A. E.Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Castle, Mrs. BarbaraHynd, John (Attercliffe)Ross, William
Collick, PercyJay, Rt. Hon. DouglasSilverman, Julius (Aston)
Crosland, AnthonyJones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Crossman, R. H. S.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Skeffington, Arthur
Cullen, Mrs. AliceKing, Dr. HoraceSlater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Davies, Harold (Leek)Lawson, GeorgeSmall, William
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Ledger, RonSnow, Julian
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Lipton, MarcusSorensen, R. W.
Deer, GeorgeMabon, Dr. J. DicksonSoskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Delargy, HughMacColl, JamesStewart, Michael (Fulham)
Diamond, JohnMclnnes, JamesStonehouse, John
Dodds, NormanMackie, JohnStones, William
Ede, Rt. Hon. ChuterMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Manuel, A. C.Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Edwards, Walter (Stepney)Mason, RoyThomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda. W.)
Evans, AlbertMellish, R. J.Tomney, Frank
Fletcher, EricMendelson, J. J.Warbey, William
Forman, J. C.Millan, BruceWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Milne, Edward J.Willey, Frederick
Galpern, Sir MyerMitchison, G. R.Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Ginsburg, DavidMonslow, WalterWinterbottom, R. E.
Gooch, E. G.Morris, JohnZilliacus, K.
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Moyle, Arthur
Gourlay, HarryNeal, HaroldTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)Mr. Redhead and Dr. Broughton.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

I beg to move, in page 2, line 11, to leave out "and" and to insert "(3)".

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Perhaps it would be convenient to discuss at the same time the Amendment in page 2, line 12.

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

Yes.

These Amendments give effect to the point raised in Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, West (Mr. Wingfield Digby) relating to the appointment of members to the Levy Board. Under the Bill those members can be removed at leisure following the precedent of the Racecourse Betting Control Board. The second Amendment makes it possible to determine the term of office in the instrument for appointing members to the Board for a specified number of years, and it meets the point raised by my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Simon Digby Mr Simon Digby , West Dorset

May I say "Thank you" to my right hon. Friend for meeting the point I raised in Committee?

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 2, line 12, leave out "(b) or (c) of this" and insert: of subsection (2) of this section shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of the instrument under which he was appointed, and any person appointed to be a member of the Board under paragraph (b) or (c) of that".—[Mr. Vosper.]

Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire

I beg to move, in page 2, line 14, at the end to insert: (3) The Jockey Club, the National Hunt Committee, the Bookmakers' Committee and the Totalisator Board respectively may from time to time appoint a person to act in the place of such a member of the Levy Board as is mentioned in paragraph (b), (c), (d) or (e), as the case may be, of subsection (2) of this section at any meeting of the Levy Board at which that member is unable to be present, and while so acting any such person shall be deemed for the purposes of any act or proceeding of the Levy Board to be a member of that Board. The Amendment gives expression to the views advanced in Committee, and under it it will be possible for deputies to attend meetings of the Levy Board in place of the Jockey Club and National Hunt Committee representatives and also the chairmen of the Bookmakers' Committee and of the Totalisator Board. But under the Amendment these deputies must be appointed in advance. They cannot be appointed casually for different occasions. By doing it in this way, we shall ensure continuity of discussion at meetings of the Levy Board.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

I beg to move, in page 2, line 39, after "Member" to insert: appointed by the Secretary of State". The Amendment gives effect to the point raised in Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Bebington (Sir H. Oakshott) relating to members of the Levy Board being Members of this House. The Amendment disqualifies the chairman and the two independent members appointed by my right hon. Friend, but permits those appointed by other bodies to be Members of this House. I think that on the whole that meets the views expressed in Committee.

Photo of Mr Hendrie Oakshott Mr Hendrie Oakshott , Bebington

I rise to say that this completely meets my point, and I warmly thank my right hon. Friend for introducing the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Patrick Gordon Walker Mr Patrick Gordon Walker , Smethwick

Does this connect with the later Amendment—that they are not to be paid—or does it mean that Members of Parliament will be able to be paid out of funds which Parliament has made it possible to raise in the first place? If that is so, it is rather a dangerous principle.

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

By leave of the House; the members concerned are those appointed by the Jockey Club, the National Hunt Committee, the Bookmakers' Committee and the Totalisator Board. They cannot be paid out of public funds. They can receive expenses, but they cannot be paid.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 3.—(BOOKMAKERS' LEVY SCHEMES.)

6.45 p.m.

Photo of Sir Stephen McAdden Sir Stephen McAdden , Southend East

I beg to move, in page 4, line 9 at the end to insert: (d) for the maximum amount payable by way of levy by a bookmaker who falls into the lowest category to be fifty pounds. I think that my hon. and learned Friend, who I understand will reply, will acquit me of a desire at any stage of the Bill to obstruct its progress by speaking at great length and indulging in long reminiscences of my past career.

I suggest that the maximum amount payable by way of levy by bookmakers in the lowest category should be £50. It is necessary to clear up some misapprehensions which have been spread abroad—I do not think deliberately—by, among others, the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) who likes to colour the picture of bookmakers by referring to them as wealthy people who own Bentleys and drive around the country in great luxury. If that were so, that could apply to members of the Jockey Club who are not all that impoverished that they cannot get around without the assistance of the bookmakers to carry on the business of owning race horses.

I am attempting to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, although we undoubedly have some very wealhy bookmakers—the Copes and the Hills and people of that description—the vast majority of bookmakers in this county are very modest people who, if they lost £1,000, would find themselves in serious trouble. They are small bookmakers. The House is about to give Parliamentary sanction to the imposition on every bookmaker of a poll tax of £100 to enable him to carry on business. In addition, the Bill is making him liable to a levy of an unspecified amount which may run into several million of pounds, for all we know, unless there is Parliamentary control.

I am drawing the attention of the House to the fact that the small bookmaker, the one in the lowest category, constitutes about 90 per cent. of the bookmakers in this country. He should at least know where he stands when it comes to the question, as it will in April, of applying for a licence to carry on trading as a bookmaker. He knows that he has to pay £100. Surely he ought to be cognisant of what his liability will be under the Bill. I suggest that the lowest category of bookmaker should not be called on to pay a sum in excess of £50 in addition to the £100 which he will have to pay for permission to carry on his business.

This is a reasonable Amendment and I hope that it will command the general support of hon. Members. I do not mind how much we sting the chaps who are making packets of money, but it galls me to think that the House of Commons should irresponsibly pass legislation of this description placing such a heavy load on people for carrying on their business when we are unwilling to disclose to them the amount which they should be expected to pay if they happen to fall into the lowest category. If I had more time, I could dilate on this subject, but I have attempted to be brief and I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will appreciate my brevity and will be equally brief and will say that he accepts the Amendment.

Photo of Mr James McInnes Mr James McInnes , Glasgow Central

I think that we can leave the Bentleys alone and get down to the merits of the Amendment. I support the Amendment because I am concerned with the interests of the small bookmaker, who, as the hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. McAdden) said, make up about 90 per cent. of the bookmakers of this country. I also support the Amendment because we are still not certain how the levy scheme will operate. We do not know how much money it will yield.

All sorts of figures have been mentioned. The Peppiatt Committee mentioned the figure of £1¼ million and said that the Jockey Club had made an estimate of £3 million, and the hon. Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. E. Johnson) mentioned the figure of £16 million. I think that £16 million is unrealistic, and the Peppiatt Committee thought that the figure of £3 million, suggested by the Jockey Club, was unrealistic.

We do not even know who the beneficiaries are to be, or what sums they are likely to receive. We do not know what type of system will be operated for obtaining the necessary capital. The Bill provides for categorising bookmakers, with which I agree, but we do not know how many categories of bookmakers there are to be, nor for how much the bookmakers in each category will be responsible.

It must be remembered that initially the small bookmaker will have to find the sum of £100 for his betting permit, which is precisely the figure which the large bookmaker has to provide. The Amendment has the merit of giving at least some indication to the Bookmakers' Committee and the Levy Board of what we consider should be the maximum amount payable by the small bookmakers in the lowest category for which the Bill provides. I am satisfied that the Bookmakers' Committee and the Levy Board will welcome that indication, and I hope that the Amendment will receive the Government's approval.

Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire

One naturally sympathises with the purpose of the Amendment, but our fear is that if it were added to the Bill, it might defeat its own object. The Peppiatt Committee suggested that the lowest category should be one which involved the payment of £50, but its Report went on to suggest that that category might be sub-divided to give relief to bookmakers making very small profits. We feel that this is a matter which is best left to be decided by the Bookmakers' Committee and the Levy Board in the light of their knowledge of the industry and their experience in operating the scheme and in the light of the total number of bookmakers and the proportion to be found in the lowest categories. We say that the Bill should be flexible and that this decision should be left to the discretion of those on whom the responsibility is placed.

The practical difficulty to which I am obliged to invite the attention of the House is that the limit proposed might well operate to the disadvantage of the small bookmaker, because the minimum figure could easily become the target figure by always having a category calculated to yield £50. Without knowing exactly what the categories are to be, it would be unrealistic to suggest that the lowest category of all should have a maximum of £50. It would be possible to draw the limits of the lowest category so low that hardly any bookmaker fell into it. For those reasons, in practice it would be best not to lay down a particular figure, which might well defeat the purpose of my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. McAdden).

Photo of Mr David Griffiths Mr David Griffiths , Rother Valley

I regret the Under-Secretary's reply. Is it fair for a bookmaker in the "silver ring" or next door to the free course to be subjected to a fine which can be imposed and administered by a board which may be quite unsympathetic? I do not see the difficulties about accepting the Amendment. If we were discussing trade union negotiations, bargaining for wages and conditions and so on, then it could be argued that the minimum often becomes the maximum, but that is not an argument which can be advanced in this case.

The small bookmakers are entitled to be safeguarded. It is true, as my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) said earlier, that it is the punter who pays. It is the consumer who pays in all types of business, but every business is a venture and bookmaking is a business. I implore the hon. and learned Gentleman to reconsider his decision. Many people do not appreciate the position of the smaller bookmakers and it must be remembered that those in the big rings are only a minority. Most bookmakers are to be found in the silver rings and so on. I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will reconsider his attitude with a

view to making the Amendment in another place.

Photo of Mr Eric Johnson Mr Eric Johnson , Manchester, Blackley

I am very glad that my hon. and learned Friend has rejected the Amendment. It is a mistake to try to lay down figures before we know anything about the categories. The Bookmakers' Committee is to draw up the scheme and I am sure that it will look after the best interests of not only the smaller but all bookmakers. No one wants to see the smaller bookmaker hardly used. However, this is a dangerous Amendment because it could lead to many abuses and we might find a vast number of bookmakers in the smallest categories. We might even find two categories, low and very low. I think that it is better for the Bookmakers' Committee to be left to draw up the scheme and for the figures to be considered afterwards.

Question put, That those words be there inserted in the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 110, Noes 183.

Division No. 31.]AYES[7.0 p.m
Abse, LeoHart, Mrs. JudithPaget, R. T.
Bacon, Miss AliceHayman, F. H.Parker, John (Dagenham)
Blackburn, F.Healey, DenisPavitt, Laurence
Boardman, H.Hill, J. (Midlothian)Peart, Frederick
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S. W.)Hilton, A. V.Prentice, R. E.
Bowles, FrankHolman, PercyPrice, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Houghton, DouglasProctor, W. T.
Brockway, A. FennerHughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hunter, A. E.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Jay, Rt. Hon. DouglasRogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Ross, William
Callaghan, JamesKey, Rt. Hon. C. W.Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Castle, Mrs. BarbaraKing, Dr. HoraceSilverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Collick, PercyLawson, GeorgeSkeffington, Arthur
Crosland, AnthonyLedger, RonSlater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Crossman, R. H. S.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Small, William
Cullen, Mrs. AliceLewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)Snow, Julian
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Lipton, MarcusSorensen, R. W.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Mabon, Dr. J. DicksonSoskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Deer, GeorgeMcAdden, StephenStewart, Michael (Fulham)
Delargy, HughMclnnes, JamesStonehouse, John
Diamond, JohnMackie, JohnStones, William
Dodds, NormanMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
Ede, Rt. Hon. ChuterManuel, A. C.Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Mason, RoyThomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Evans, AlbertMellish, R. J.Tomney, Frank
Fletcher, EricMendelson, J. J.Warbey, William
Forman, J. C.Millan, BruceWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Milne, Edward J.Willey, Frederick
Galpern, Sir MyerMitchison, G. R.Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Ginsburg, DavidMonslow, WalterWinterbottom, R. E.
Gooch, E. G.Morris, JohnWyatt, Woodrow
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Moyle, ArthurZilliacus, K.
Gourlay, HarryNeal, Harold
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hamilton, William (West Fife)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)Mr. Howell and Mr. Redhead.
Hannan, WilliamOwen, Will
NOES
Agnew, Sir PeterAlport, Rt. Hon. C. J. M.Balniel, Lord
Aitken, W. T.Ashton, Sir HubertBarlow, Sir John
Allason, JamesAtkins, HumphreyBaxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)
Beamish, Col. TuftonHamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Page, John (Harrow, West)
Bell, Ronald (S. Bucks.)Harris, Reader (Heston)Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Berkeley, HumphryHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Peel, John
Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth)Hastings, S.Percival, Ian
Biggs-Davison, JohnHay, JohnPickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Bingham, R. M.Henderson, John (Cathcart)Pitman, I. J.
Bishop, F. P.Henderson-Stewart, Sir JamesPitt, Miss Edith
Black, Sir CyrilHendry, ForbesPott, Percivall
Bossom, CliveHiley, JosephPowell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
Bourne-Arton, A.Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)Price, David (Eastleigh)
Box, DonaldHill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Prior, J. M. L.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. JohnHinchingbrooke, ViscountPrior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Hirst, GeoffreyQuennell, Miss J.
Bryan, PaulHobson, JohnRawlinson, Peter
Bullard, DenysHocking, Philip N.Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Bullus, Wing Commander EricHolland, PhilipRees, Hugh
Butler, Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden)Holt, ArthurRenton, David
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Hopkins, AlanRidley, Hon. Nicholas
Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. PatriciaRoberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Cary, Sir RobertHoward, John (Southampton, Test)Robson Brown, Sir William
Channon, H. P. G.Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral JohnRoots, William
Chichester-Clark, R.Hughes-Young, MichaelRussell, Ronald
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Hulbert, Sir NormanScott-Hopkins, James
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Hurd, Sir AnthonyShaw, M.
Cleaver, LeonardHutchison, Michael ClarkShepherd, William
Cooper, A. E.Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Skeet, T. H. H.
Cooper-Key, Sir NeillJohnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Stanley, Hon. Richard
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Corfield, F. V.Johnson Smith, GeoffreyStodart, J. A.
Costain, A. P.Kerans, Cdr. J. S.Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Critchley, JulianKershaw, AnthonyStorey, Sir Samuel
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Kirk, PeterTapsell, Peter
Currie, G. B. H.Lambton, ViscountTaylor, E. (Bolton, E.)
Dalkeith, Earl ofLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Temple, John M.
Dance, JamesLinstead, Sir HughThatcher, Mrs. Margaret
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryLitchfield, Capt. JohnThomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Digby, Simon WingfieldLongbottom, CharlesThornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.Loveys, Walter H.Turner, Colin
Drayson, G. B.Low, Rt. Hon. Sir TobyTurton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
du Cann, EdwardLucas-Tooth, Sir HughVane, W. M. F.
Elliot, Capt. W. (Carshalton)MacArthur, IanVickers, Miss Joan
Farey-Jones, F. W.McLaren, MartinVosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Finlay, GraemeMcMaster, Stanley R.Wade, Donald
Fisher, NigelMaddan, MartinWall, Patrick
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Markham, Major Sir FrankWard, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Gammans, LadyMarten, NeilWells, John (Maidstone)
Gardner, EdwardMathew, Robert (Honiton)Whitelaw, William
Gibson-Watt, DavidMatthews, Gordon (Meriden)Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Goodhart, PhilipMaydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Goodhew, VictorMills, StrattonWoodhouse, C. M.
Gower, RaymondMore, Jasper (Ludlow)Woodnutt, Mark
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)Morrison, JohnWoollam, John
Green, AlanMott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesWorsley, Marcus
Gresham Cooke, R.Neave, AireyYates, William (The Wrekin)
Grimond, J.Nicholson, Sir Godfrey
Grimston, Sir RobertOrr-Ewing, C. IanTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gurden, HaroldOsborn, John (Hallam)Mr. Sharples and Mr. Noble.

It being after Seven o'clock, and leave having been given to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing OrderMNo. 9 (Adjournment on definite matter of urgent public importance). further Proceeding stood postponed.