Orders of the Day — Sunday Entertainments Bill

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th April 1968.

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As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

11.10 a.m.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

I have posted, as is my wont, the list of selected Amendments. With new Clause 1—"Local Authority Option"—we shall take new Clause No. 2 entitled, "Certificates for land used for staging spectacles on Sundays", No land shall be used at any time on Sunday for enabling members of the public to watch thereon or therefrom any spectacle to which section 2 of this Act applies of those members or any of them make payment for the privilege of doing so (whether the payment is for the benefit of the occupier or another) unless there is in force in respect of such land a certificate by the justices of the petty sessional division in which the land is situated that it is reasonable to permit the spectacle at that time having regard to any likelihood that it will cause nuisance or annoyance to any member of the public. If the occupier of any land permits it to be used in contravention of this subsection he shall be guilty of an offence. The Lord Chancellor may by statutory instrument make regulations prescribing the procedure to be employed in respect of applications for such a certificate and providing for appeals against the grant or refusal of such a certificate, New Clause 9 entitled "Approval by local authorities", The Council of any county borough, borough, or district may make regulations prohibiting the presentation on a Sunday within its boundaries of any spectacle to which section 2 of this Act applies, or any class of such spectacle, or permitting the presentation of such spectacle or class of spectacle only subject to such conditions as it may consider proper. If the occupier of any land permits it to be used in contravention of such regulations he shall be guilty of an offence. Any person aggrieved by such prohibition or conditions may appeal to the Court of Quarter Sessions having jurisdiction in the area to which the prohibition or condition applies, Amendment No. 17, to Clause 5, in page 3, line 8, leave out 'in Wales and Monmouthshire', Amendment No. 19, in page 3, line 10, at end insert: 'except in a county or county borough in which it is determined in accordance with the provisions of this section that this subsection shall not take effect or shall cease to have effect in relation to sections 2 or 3 of this Act', Amendment No. 20, in page 3, line 22, at end insert: 'and if the local government electors for a county or county borough in which subsection (1) of this section does not take effect or ceases to have effect determine by a majority on a poll so held that that subsection shall have effect it shall have effect in that county or county borough', Amendment No. 21, in page 3, line 31, after first 'section', insert: 'including any poll held outside Wales and Monmouthshire', and Amendment No. 22, page 3, line 38, at end insert: (6) Except in the case of Wales and Monmouthshire expenses to be paid by the council of a county or county borough in respect of a poll under this section shall be left out of account in computing the expenditure of the council of the county or of the county borough (as the case may be) for the purpose of rate support grants under the Local Government Act 1966.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

My Amendment No. 30, in page 4, line 41, Clause 9, after 'to', insert 'Wales and Monmouthshire'—relates to Wales. Is there any reason why it is not to be called?

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

I repeat what I said earlier. One of the functions of the Chair is to select Amendments. That is a function which the House has given Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Mr William Van Straubenzee Mr William Van Straubenzee , Wokingham

On a point of order. Would you indicate, Mr. Speaker, whether you will permit separate Divisions on the new Clauses and Amendments which we are to consider together? You will, I am sure, appreciate that they raise different issues upon which hon. Members might be grateful for the opportunity to express a separate view.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

I have not considered separate Divisions. Obviously, I will not give a carte blanche undertaking. If representations are made to me, I will consider them.

Photo of Mr Tudor Watkins Mr Tudor Watkins , Breconshire and Radnorshire

On the question of representations being made to you, Mr. Speaker, may I say that those of us who have certain interests in the Bill would like to divide on some of the new Clauses and Amendments later.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

The hon. Gentleman has not understood what I said. I am willing to listen to representations about whether a Division should take place on a particular new Clause or Amendment. I am not willing to assure the House that I will accept Divisions, in the words of the hon. Gentleman, on some of the new Clauses and Amendments. This undertaking would be too vague.

Photo of Mr Tudor Watkins Mr Tudor Watkins , Breconshire and Radnorshire

With all due respect, representations on Government business are usually made by the two Front Benches. How are representations to be made by private Members on Private Members' Bills?

Photo of Mr Charles Doughty Mr Charles Doughty , East Surrey

I understand that you will deal with any applications when they are made, Mr. Speaker, but may I point out to you at this stage that I am against new Clause 1, entitled "Local authority option", and in favour of new Clause 2, entitled "Certificates for land used for staging spectacles on Sundays". If there is one Division on the whole lot, I shall find myself in some difficulty. The reasons for that I shall explain if I catch your eye, Mr. Speaker. I am against local authority option and in favour of the restrictions set out in new Clause 2. One Division would place me in a position of some embarrassment.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

I am sympathetic to and apprised of the point which has been made. All that I am saying is that I am not willing to say that I am prepared to accept Divisions on an unspecified number of Amendments. I am willing to receive representations at the Chair.