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Sunday observance

Part of Petitions – in the House of Commons at 12:27 pm on 17th February 1989.

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Photo of Alan Meale Alan Meale , Mansfield 12:27 pm, 17th February 1989

As an independent observer, I can only say that any trade union would have to consider seriously a proposal such as that which the hon. Gentleman makes, mainly because of the wages and conditions that obtain in the betting industry. I have always found trade unions to be extremely amiable. Of course, they always try to make the best arguments for the people they represent, but they are always open to negotiation and discussion, for that is their function. I suspect that unions would be interested in the hon. Gentleman's proposition, but it is not enough to offer such a deal. A trade union would have to say to the industry—mainly Ladbrokes, "It is all right giving us the option to recruit members, but what about the pay and conditions of your employees?" Such a deal would need to have a dual purpose.

With new technology, the betting industry can beam into its betting shops live coverage of racing from different countries of the world, and some of those services are in the charge of major betting organisations. If the Bill is passed, bookmakers will have an opportunity to approach the Government at some time in the future and say,"We need to extend or amend the law slightly, so that the public can go to betting shops more often, or on a greater number of Sundays".