§ 3.33 p.m.
§ The Chairman
The first seven Amendments in the name of the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher), from lines 16 to 20, are out of order.
§ Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)
As it would be convenient to the Committee, would you be good enough, Sir Charles, to explain why these Amendments are out of order?
§ The Chairman
The reason is that the hon. Member should have put down consequential Amendments to preserve the amateur entertainments, which he has not done. For that reason they are out of order.
§ Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner (Barkston Ash)
I beg to move, in page 1, line 20, at the end, to insert:(2) Entertainment duty shall not be charged in respect of admission to a cinematograph film exhibition given in premises the seating capacity of which does not exceed! two hundred and fifty persons:Provided that such premises are used for the giving of cinematograph film exhibitions for which but for the provisions of this subsection entertainment duty would have been chargeable, not more often than one day in any one week.As the Committee knows, there is a comparatively small number of operators known as mobile film exhibitors. These individuals, or sometimes firms, are equipped for the most part with 16 mm. projectors and are willing to give shows in almost any village hall and even in village schools. Thereby they hope to make a living, but in doing so they bring relaxation and entertainment to small communities which for the most part are denied this form of amusement.
Although this Amendment has been tabled after consultation with the Mobile Cinema Association, I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not lose sight of the fact that its acceptance would cost him practically nothing. On the other hand, it would contribute towards counteracting the drift away from 1906 rural areas to the large towns—a movement which, we have often been told, is, to a large extent, caused by the lack of entertainment provided in the countryside.
At the same time, mobile operators have a case on their own account. They are not having an easy time and I rather think that a tax concession on their behalf is overdue. It will be recalled that relief from Entertainments Duty has already been granted in the case of cinemas situated in parishes where the population is fewer than 2,000, or in the case of cinemas in areas where the density of population is fewer than 640 to the square mile. In addition to those two qualifications, exemption from tax is only granted at present in the case of halls with a seating capacity of fewer than 400.
It may be asked why those concessions do not meet the case of the mobile operators. The answer is that those qualifications for exemption, although of course most acceptable, bring a number of anomalies as, for instance, where a small village is included in the boundaries of a much larger parish or perhaps is in the same parish as a quite sizeable town. In cases of that sort the nearest cinema may be four or five miles or more away.
It may be suggested that the proper way in which to deal with the problem is to re-define, still on a territorial plus population basis, the qualifications for exemption from Entertainments Duty. In reply to that suggestion, if it is made, all I can say is that the whole ingenuity of the Treasury has been brought to bear on this possibility—and brought to bear, I think, with sympathy—but it has not led to the framing of a formula which would not bring as many anomalies and contradictions as it would eradicate.
With all these considerations in mind, I have found it easier to propose, and I hope the Chancellor will find it easier to accept, the Amendment which grants exemption for Entertainments Duty to film shows given in halls in which film shows are not given more than once a week. I do not think shows given in halls not more frequently than once a week would seriously compete with the established static 35 mm. cinemas. I think the one day a week qualification is very definite and I do not think the 1907 acceptance of the Amendment would bring administrative difficulties. The concession would help a deserving little industry which is fairly hard hit at the moment and would also help to provide amenities in the countryside.
§ Viscountess Davidson (Hemel Hemp stead)
I wish to support the Amendment. It is now many years since the late Sir Stafford Cripps, realising the importance of small mobile cinemas to those living in the outlying villages, decided to remove the Entertainments Duty under certain conditions. This decision was received with gratitude and acclamation, until it was discovered that, in spite of what the then Chancellor had done, there were still many villages which, for different reasons, did not benefit, and where the duty still had to be paid.
Certain alterations were made in the next Finance Act and again, those of us with villages in our constituencies that were affected, hoped that they would benefit. But, to our great disappointment, for administrative reasons they did not. There are still villages where the population is small enough, and where the seating capacity of the hall complies with the regulations, but because they come into certain categories—I do not wish to weary the Committee with the technical reasons—Entertainments Duty has still to be paid.
I have one village in my constituency which cannot be exempted and unless the Chancellor can do something now to exclude all these cinemas in certain outlying villages the promoters will be unable to continue to face the financial loss confronting them, which is due entirely to the need to pay Entertainments Duty. Many other hon. Members can quote similar cases relating to villages in their constituencies. I have received letters from different parts of the country confirming this.
I have bombarded the Financial Secretary—I can use no other word— and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this subject, as I have bombarded previous Chancellors and Financial Secretaries. I have always maintained that it should not be beyond the wit of Treasury officials to find some means of helping all these villages. I need not say how thankful I shall be if the Chancellor is 1908 able to accept this Amendment, so that it will be unnecessary for me to make any further representations to him or to the Financial Secretary on behalf of some very hardly treated and well deserving people.
§ Sir Herbert Williams (Croydon, East)
I do not think that this Amendment would cost very much. If it did I should not support it, because I do not think that there should be any decrease in taxation unless one brings about a decrease in expenditure. It is rather important that we should establish the fact that there is some connection between taxation and expenditure—something which seems to be ignored both in this Committee and outside.
There is in my constituency a village— if one may so term it—with 17,000 inhabitants. It lies on the outskirts of my constituency. If two people living there wish to go to visit the cinema, because of the incompetence of the nationalised London Transport, it costs them Is. 6d. each, or a total of 3s. to get to the cinema and home again. I do not know why hon. Members opposite smile at my description of the nationalised London Transport. It is the most incompetent transport body in this country. Fares are raised on successive occasions—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order."] I am not out of order. I am talking about the cost of going to a film show if one happens to live in a certain part of my constituency.
If this concession were granted many more entertainments would take place which do not take place now, and I doubt, therefore, whether the Chancellor would lose much revenue at all. There are small halls and schools with a seating capacity of fewer than 250 and if they were permitted to have one show a week it would be a great comfort to the people living in the area. My constituency is not a good example because theoretically it is an urban area, but there is a mile of agricultural land between the main body of my constituents and the village to which I am referring. I also have one or two farmers in my constituency.
The people who live on the other side of the agricultural belt in my constituency are hardly treated and, therefore, I hope that the Chancellor will consider making this concession. As I say, it will cost but little, and give great comfort to 1909 a number of people in my constituency the majority of whom, I regret to say, do not apparently vote for me as is indicated by the result of the recent municipal elections. They are so disgruntled by the high cost of transport which has resulted from a Socialist transport administration that they vote Labour, not realising where the trouble comes from.
§ 3.45 p.m.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)
I sympathise with the object of this Amendment. I think the word "bombard" used by the noble Lady the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson) is very appropriate to describe that firmness and determination with which she wrote to my right hon. Friend and to myself, and also lo right hon. Gentlemen opposite when they were in office.
As the hon. Lady knows, to some extent the purposes which this Amendment is designed to cover are already covered by the rural areas exemption which has been referred to both by the noble Lady and by the hon. and gallant Baronet the Member for Barkston Ash (Sir L. Ropner). It is also the fact that there are certain villages—in particular, one or two in the constituency of the noble Lady whose names are almost written on my heart—where the provisions required to establish exemption under the rural areas exemption are not met. That is where the difficulty arises which it is sought to meet by this Amendment.
A study of the rural areas exemption indicates the enormous practical difficulties which would face one in making exceptions of this kind. There is always the difficulty that such exceptions tend to create new anomalies. This Amendment in its present terms is, to some extent, an example of the difficulty of trying to provide exceptions in this very complicated sphere. I put it to the hon. and gallant Baronet and to the noble Lady that it could be argued that it would be anomalous to do as this Amendment proposes and to charge nothing by way of Entertainment Duty to a man who runs six shows in six different halls during a week, but to tax in full another man who runs two shows in the course of a week, perhaps in one of those selfsame halls. I cannot help feeling that 1910 under those circumstances the man running the two shows would feel that he was being victimised.
Another complication is that, as the Amendment stands, if two shows are run in the same hall on the same day of the week exemption is secured, but if they are run on two different days it is not. That is an illustration of how, with the best will in the world, difficulties arise. Another difficulty of this kind of arrangement is that while the cinema promoter is benefited it does not necessarily follow in all circumstances that the people who wish to come to these entertainments are also benefited. This proposal would give a strong incentive to a promoter to run one show and not two in a village during a week.
These difficulties must be faced, but I concede at once—indeed, I have never said otherwise—that there is here a real problem. We have sought in some degree to alleviate it by bearing in mind that these small cinemas are mainly concerned with the rate of duty on the cheaper seats. As hon. Gentlemen will know, in his 1952 Budget my right hon. Friend exempted seats up to 8d. and reduced the duty on the 9d. and 10d. seats by ½d. The Clause-to which this Amendment is put down exempts the 9d. seats, and reduces the Is. seats duty by ½d. to l½d. As a matter of interest, the rate on the Is. seats will actually be lower than it has ever been since the Entertainments Duty was introduced as long ago as 1916.
We have sought to help with the problem, and I think that in some degree we have succeeded, by the emphasis on the rate of duty on the cheaper seats. That clearly gives a greater proportionate advantage to the small cinema of which the once-a-week, under-250-seats affair is an example, although by no means a complete or comprehensive example. We can certainly watch the matter from this point of view.
I would not argue to the Committee— I doubt whether any hon. Member who has studied the question would be persuaded by me if I did—that the rural areas exemption in its present form is so perfect that it is impossible to contemplate improvements to it. The difficulty, as I have frankly said to the Committee, is that when one begins to consider alterations to it, one almost always bumps up against the creation of worse anomalies.
1911 We are always prepared to consider practical suggestions for the adjustment of the rural areas exemption, provided that, on examination, the alterations do not create worse anomalies than the ones they cure. It seems to me that the right method of tackling the problem is by that means and also by reducing the duty on the cheaper seats, as we have done in two Budgets in three years, and, indeed, by exempting some of those at the bottom of the scale.
I do not want to argue that there is no problem here—there is a very real one —but I differ from my hon. Friends on the solution which they propose for it. It seems to me that to select arbitrarily the once-a-week and under-250-seat affair would create just the sort of anomalies to which I refer and to which hon. Members could, I have no doubt, add other examples. Although I welcome the intentions of the Amendment, it would not produce a suitable, workmanlike solution to the problem about which hon. Members on both sides of the Committee are sincerely concerned.
§ Mr. Harold Wilson (Huyton)
I found the speech of the Financial Secretary very disappointing after the pleas which we have had from the hon. and gallant Member for Barkston Ash (Sir L. Ropner) and the noble Lady the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson).
The Financial Secretary admits that there is a serious anomaly and problem and that mobile cinemas are doing a very valuable job in country districts and some other areas which are normally regarded as urban or semi-urban, but have transport difficulties. He said that he was prepared to look at any scheme which solves the problem provided that it does not create new anomalies.
That is not good enough. One can hardly expect those who are concerned about the provision of the service—most will foe one-man businesses—or any national federation which exists on their behalf, to be capable of working out a scheme which avoids all the anomalies which the right hon. Gentleman has in mind. Surely the Department which is the best able to judge the new anomalies which might be created and best able to advise on the matter is the Treasury itself.
However, the right hon. Gentleman gives us the impression that he is willing 1912 to look at any proposals which come along. It is the usual position of the Treasury—waiting for something to turn down. I imagine that he is fairly confident that any proposals which come along are bound to create new anomalies somewhere so that the Treasury will always be able to say, "We cannot possibly accept the proposal." As the noble Lady, said, surely it is not beyond the wit of the experts in the Treasury, who know what the problems are and what anomalies might be created by a proposal, to find some way of getting round the problem.
I confess that I do not know what the answer is. One solution might be te exempt mobile cinemas generally. I do not know whether that would create any of the anomalies which the right hon. Gentleman has in mind. I do not think that the Amendment goes far enough, because it deals only with the one-show-a-week man, whereas it is desirable that in many villages there should be two shows a week.
I wish the right hon. Gentleman had given us some idea of what the Amendment would have cost. He ought to tell us what would be the cost of exempting mobile cinema performances altogether. If we had these figures—I feel that they would be extremely small—1 am sure that the Committee would be in a better position to come to a decision on the matter.
There can be no doubt that the mobile cinemas perform a very valuable local service. The hon. and gallant Baronet, representing as he does a predominantly rural constituency, referred to the value of mobile cinemas in village halls, schools and other buildings in small hamlets whose inhabitants have virtually no opportunity of going to cinemas in towns and cities.
I know the experience of my own constituency which is normally regarded as a fairly urban division very close to Liverpool. There is a newly created village there built as a temporary housing estate for war-time aircraft workers where it is absolutely essential to provide this sort of facility because the journey to Liverpool is too long and too expensive for the inhabitants. I will not follow the hon. Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) into the reasons for the cost of transport, but if he will look at the 1913 highly efficient Liverpool Corporation tramways he will find more to get excited about than he will in relation to transport in his division. Whatever the reasons may be, there is in my constituency only a few miles from one of the biggest cities in the country a small newly-created community which depends for its entertainment on mobile cinema facilities.
The Financial Secretary showed that he was well aware of the problem. He said that the names of some villages in the noble Lady's constituency were written on his heart. This is the first intimation that we have had in the House of Commons that the right hon. Gentleman has a heart. It is a very good start to the proceedings on the Finance Bill that the Financial Secretary should make such an unusual admission.
The Financial Secretary, having said that, felt that some contribution had been made towards the solution of the problem by the remission of Entertainments Duty on the cinema industry generally in the Budget of 1952 and in the Finance Bill. I hope he will not pursue that argument too far. I should be very much out of order if I were now to go into the general arguments about the proposed changes in Entertainments Duty in respect to cinemas generally, but I would warn the right hon. Gentleman that the Opposition will certainly wish to table Amendments to the Schedule relating to cinema taxation in order, particularly to deal with the problem of the lowest priced seats in cinemas.
The Chancellor has made a concession to the cinema industry generally, and he has spread it widely over all seat prices, but I am sure that he would be the first to admit that the biggest concession is in respect of the higher priced seats, so that the cinemas which will gain most will be the large-circuit cinemas in the big towns and cities, whereas the smaller cinemas with the lower-priced seats will gain less from the concession. That is why we shall want to debate that aspect of the Chancellor's proposals when we come to the Schedule. Certainly, that being the case, I do not think the right hon. Gentleman can claim that enough has been done for these mobile cinemas merely by reason of the changes proposed in the Schedule.
I therefore hope that, having disclosed that he has a heart, he will reconsider 1914 this matter and will bear in mind the arguments which have been deployed from his own side, and any more that may be deployed from this side of the Committee, so that, before we part from this Amendment, he will announce either that he will accept it—though it may be, as he said, that this is not the best way of doing it—or will introduce at a later stage an Amendment which will give effect to what the hon. Baronet has in mind and what I am sure the whole Committee want to see done.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Tradeston)
I do not happen to have in my division any mobile cinemas, but I do have many cinemas in which the seats are very low-priced indeed. My right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) has indicated that, perhaps at a later stage, the Chancellor will be hearing more of the argument about these cinemas, but, at the moment, I want to support the plea that we should abolish the duty on the mobile cinemas.
Like my right hon. Friend, I do not think it is advisable that any limitation should be introduced here, either as to the number of shows per week or the number of people attending them, because I think the situation of the places in which these mobile cinemas are used automatically limits the number of people who attend them.
The hon. Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) complained in a light-hearted fashion about the distance which many people have to travel if they want to go to one of the big cities to see a film, but I want to draw the attention of the supporters of this Amendment and the Chancellor to the fact that in Scotland there are people who are completely dependent on the mobile cinema. They cannot go to any city to see a film, because they are cut off by sea.
That is the case in part of the division represented in this House by the Chairman of Ways and Means—the Island of Arran—where it is quite impossible for people resident in the villages to go to any cinema on Clydeside. They are completely dependent on the mobile cinema that goes round the villages of Arran, and that is also true of a great many places in Scotland, which are just as completely dependent on the mobile cinema.
1915 In view of the fact that depopulation is still a very considerable problem in Scotland, and I am sure—if I can interrupt for a minute the important conversation which is going on on the Front Bench—that the Chancellor himself will be aware of it in other aspects, of this pressing problem in Scotland—because of that fact, and because we want people to stay in those areas, it is essential that we should provide them with as much as is possible of those amenities enjoyed by the towns.
§ Commander J. w Maitland (Horncastle)
Is it not a fact that, if the community is under 2,000, the travelling cinema would be exempt from taxation in any case?
§ Mr. Rankin
Yes, but the hon. and gallant Gentleman must remember that, in some of the communities of which I am thinking—for instance, in the Island of Arran—the community does not comprise 2,000 people but about 5,000, and that they have all the disabilities without any of the advantages. We have a problem to face here, and one way of bringing to these people more of the advantages of the cities, which attract them away today, is by means of the mobile cinema.
The Financial Secretary said that there are anomalies. I agree that it is almost impossible to devise a form of words that will not contain some anomaly, and so I would suggest this course to the right hon. Gentleman. He should accept in principle the plea which has been put from both sides of the Committee—I hope that both right hon. Gentlemen are listening to what I am saying—and that they will accept in principle this plea that the mobile cinema should be exempted from duty altogether.
The number of people involved is small. If he will accept in principle the idea of freeing these mobile cinemas from tax duty altogether, then, with all the competent assistance which they have at their disposal and with their own great personal abilities, they should be able to devise a form of words which will be satisfactory to them and to the Committee.
§ Mr. J. N. Browne (Glasgow, Govan)
If all the mobile cinemas are exempted from duty, then all the little cinemas in 1916 the hon. Member's constituency, which are having a hard enough time already, would have a great deal more competition to face from mobile cinemas in the streets.
§ Mr. Rankin
Surely the hon. Gentleman is not suggesting that a mobile cinema would have any place in either the Tradeston or Govan constituencies.
§ Mr. Browne
No doubt the hon. Gentleman has seen a certain type of shop in which the apparatus of a mobile cinema has been used; and there are many places which could be used as mobile cinemas.
§ Mr. Rankin
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman again, but I should like to tell him that I have only one hall in Tradeston, though I am trying to get another.
§ Mr. Browne
I wish the hon. Gentleman good luck, but the point on which I rose was to support the plea made by my hon. Friends.
Here we have an Amendment on a question on which an exemption has already been made from Entertainments Duty. I think that the Chancellor and the Financial Secretary are probably now feeling very sorry that any exemption was made from Entertainments Duty in the first place. I think the Committee should remember that we have here a taxation system in which we have already granted certain exceptions, and on which we are now entitled to plead for the rural areas that the exemption should be made just a little wider.
I would also support the plea made by the hon. Baronet the Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) and say that I believe that a form of words should be devised which would give effect to the solution of what I know to be a very urgent problem. I therefore support this proposal.
§ Mr. Anthony Crosland (Gloucestershire, South)
I find it very hard to agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) that we have had a good start to the Committee stage of the Finance Bill. It is true that we have had a revelation that the Financial Secretary has a heart, but apart from that I do not think that the debate has taken a very satisfactory turn. We have had a 1917 characteristically ill-mannered and inaccurate speech from the hon. Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams).
§ Mr. Crosland
That question is very easy to answer. The whole of the speech was ill-mannered and the whole of it was inaccurate.
§ Mr. Crosland
Yes. The entire section about London Passenger Transport was wholly inaccurate and misleading. To that inaccurate speech we had an answer of very arid accuracy from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. I hope that the tone of our debates this year will not be set either by that of the hon. Baronet or by the speech of the Financial Secretary. We want something more elevating than the speech of the hon. Baronet and something more simple than that of the Financial Secretary.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. R. A. Butler)
Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that our contributions should be sub-intellectual?
§ Mr. Crosland
I am merely concerned with the general moral tone of the debates. The level should come about halfway between those two speeches.
In my constituency is a town of about 2,000 inhabitants, and it has no permanent cinema owing to the fact that the cinema was bombed during the war. This problem affects a great number of rural areas. I am prepared to believe that the exact form of words of the Amendment might not be right, but I was not entirely satisfied with the major objections which the Financial Secretary put forward. His first objection was that if we gave concessions we should create anomalies. That is frequently true, but we must not be over-scared about that.
It is inevitable that detailed legislation should be full of minor anomalies, to which the Financial Secretary referred when he said that if the Amendment were accepted a cinema proprietor who gave six separate shows in six separate towns on one night would be exempt, whereas one who gave two shows in the 1918 same village on separate nights would not be exempt. He said, reasonably enough, that that would be a tiresome anomaly.
Life is full of tiresome anomalies. If a man has six separate children from six separate wives he does not get any family allowance, but if he has six separate children from one wife he gets five family allowances. That is an anomaly. I will not say that it causes widespread anxiety, but is a subject of irritation among a certain, harmless section of the community.
The only other point which the Financial Secretary made was that if the Amendment were accepted it might not benefit viewers, but would benefit only the proprietors of small cinemas in villages. That cannot be the true effect of the Amendment. Viewers in villages might have cinema performances which they otherwise would not have. The Amendment must benefit viewers as much as it benefits cinema proprietors.
I should like to take part in a discussion on London Passenger Transport and the relatively small increase in charges which it has secured compared to the increase in the prices of the products of private industry, but even so tolerant a Chairman as yourself, Sir Charles, might rule it out of order. Although we have had one or two exceptionally good contributions to the debate which have been both brief and rather human, I hope that the tone of our debates on this Bill will be at a higher average level.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
I would draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that the Amendment was only put down at the last moment. I have had a busy morning with our visitors from the Argentine and I did not see the Amendment until lunch time, when my attention was drawn to it because of the efficiency with which I am served.
The arguments against it have been put quite clearly by the Financial Secretary, and they are considerable. Representatives of the Mobile Cinema Association were seen by the Customs and Excise Department and we think we have in our possession the majority of their arguments. If the Committee wants this matter looked at, I think the difference between rural and non-rural areas is that 1919 which causes anxiety and needs examination, and I am willing to examine it, but in that case we must ask for rather more detail to 'be given us than has been given us by the Mobile Cinema Association.
I serve a rural area, and I know something about the difficulties. If my noble Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson) and her Friends want to submit any further details of how this plan could be worked I should be glad to look into them. It would be a more businesslike way of pursuing this debate this afternoon on what I think was rather inadequate notice— although I do not complain—than by coming to a conclusion on the matter now.
The Amendment has the weakness that it ignores die nature of the area and concentrates on the size of the hall. I would rather concentrate upon the distinction between rural and non-rural, thus following the policy introduced by my predecessor Sir Stafford Cripps. That would make more sense than following the line of the Amendment, which I do not think would work or, in its present form, would be administratively possible.
I have not the total sum involved. The real anxiety about the sum is that we think we should have to enlarge the figure mentioned by the Financial Secretary. If I had a little notice I could get out a reliable figure. A new principle is laid down in the Amendment based on the size of the hall and the frequency of the show. We are to have an Amendment of noble grandeur to succeed the one we are now discussing and it is in the name of another predecessor of mine. It would be in the interests of the Committee if we made progress. If my noble Friend would send me detailed proposals about the differentiation between rural and non-rural areas, the matter can be properly looked at.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
I thank the Chancellor for his intervention. We all understand that he has had very little time, and not even enough time, to find out the cost of this proposal.
§ Mr. Butler
That is not quite right. When I heard of it earlier this morning 1920 I asked that we should try to get an assessment. The difficulty is to get an exact assessment as we were not sure how far the Amendment would go. It is difficult to get an accurate figure.
§ Mr. Wilson
Some guidance can possibly be obtained from the Mobile Cinema Association.
There are other points relevant to deciding our attitude to the Amendment. I have no desire to quarrel with my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland). I was not implying that the fact that the Financial Secretary had a heart was an encouraging beginning for the Finance Bill. We shall see how valuable is that concession. The real answer to the exchange of views between my hon. Friend the Member for Tradeston (Mr. Rankin) and the Member for Govan (Mr. J. N. Browne), apart from the fact that my hon. Friend does not seem to have a hall in his division, is that my hon. Friend is very much concerned about the position of the small cinemas in his division. That is why he will support my hon. Friends and myself in putting down at the appropriate time an Amendment to the Schedule which relates to the taxation of ordinary non-mobile cinemas.
The Chancellor, having told us of the very short time he has had to consider this Amendment, has offered to look at it again between now and Report. We all welcome that offer, but I hope that he will not look at it in quite the narrow way which he indicated. From this side it has been proposed that he should look at the whole question of exempting mobile cinemas as such. This distinction between the urban and the rural district goes back to Sir Stafford Cripps's proposals some years ago.
When we are talking about mobile cinemas the distinction between urban and rural districts becomes more and more shadowy almost every month. In my own division, which is rapidly developing in every sense, there are areas which are technically scheduled as rural but which are becoming very urban indeed, and there are urban areas which are highly rural and to which this kind of Amendment would be of great value.
I therefore hope that the Chancellor will look at this rather more broadly and will consider the question of general 1921 exemption from taxation of mobile cinemas. That will get over the whole problem of the one day a week and two day a week cinema and would help to reassure my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South.
This is not just a matter of waiting for the noble Lady the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson) or the mobile cinema proprietors to make a proposal which the Chancellor can then very easily turn down. Any proposals are bound to have some anomalies in them. The Chancellor can reassure the Committee by saying that between now and Report he will look at this and that, if he can see any way of getting over the problem—which the Financial Secretary admits exists—without creating anomalies, he will put down something on Report. If the Committee has that assurance I am sure we should be only too pleased to pass to the next Amendment.
§ Sir H. Williams
In view of the conciliatory remarks of the Chancellor, I imagine that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Barkston Ash (Sir L. Ropner) will, in a moment, ask leave to withdraw the Amendment. I think that the Chancellor is entitled to complain that the Amendment appeared only this morning. I discovered that it had gone in and attached my name to it at about 11 o'clock last night. I do not know the reason for the delay.
There is a problem to be solved, although the Amendment may not contain the best solution. It might not be a bad idea for the Chancellor to say to his advisers, "It may not be easy to find a solution, but if the solution is not available by tomorrow morning—there are a lot of lampposts in Whitehall."
Finally, though the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) said that I am ill-mannered and inaccurate I do not think that I am superior and conceited.
§ Sir L. Ropner
I join with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) in thanking the Chancellor of the Exchequer for his assurance with regard to further examination of the problem. I am a little disappointed that nothing can be done now but, having had that assurance, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.1922
§ The Chairman
The next Amendment selected is that put down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) in page 2, line 5. It may be for the convenience of the Committee if with that Amendment we take a number of others. I suggest that those should be that in page 2, line 5 which deals with football matches; that in line 5 relating to association football matches; that in line 5 referring to association foot ball, rugby football and boxing; that in line 5 in respect of tennis matches and the one immediately following it relating to boxing matches; that in line 5 stand ing in the name of the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) relating to athletic contests and that immediately following it relating to rugby league foot ball matches—
§ The Chairman
Perhaps the hon. Member will permit me to finish. With those can be taken the Amendment in the name of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde), which deals with the Highland Games. I think that all those nine can come under the wing of the right hon. Member for South Leeds (Mr. Gaitskell) and, in due course, can be divided on, if necessary.
§ Mr. Gerald Nabarro (Kidderminster)
On a point of order, Sir Charles. Before we proceed with this debate can you say whether, in due course, you propose to select the Amendment in page 2, line 5, which relates to horticultural shows and which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland)?
§ Mr. Goronwy Roberts (Caernarvon)
Further to that Sir Charles, may I ask your intention with regard to the Amendment in page 2, line 5, standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), which relates to Entertainments Duty in respect of an eisteddfod?
§ The Chairman
I did not deal with that Amendment as I thought that it could be better discussed on the Amendment in 1923 the name of the hon. Member for Aston (Mr. Wyatt) which deals with Entertainments Duty on a stage play or ballet. I did not intend to select the Welsh Amendment for a Division—nor the Scots one. I will be very fair about that.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke-on-Trent, South)
I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, at the end, to add:(3) As from the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, all entertainment which consists of games or other sports shall be excluded from the entertainments in respect of which entertainments duty is payable.We have discussed the principle underlying this Amendment for a number of years now and I hope we shall convince hon. Members of the necessity to accept the Amendment. Last year we produced statistical and financial evidence to prove our case. We thought that the Chancellor was then very sympathetic but when he replied we found that we had misjudged his willingness to take concrete steps to deal with the issues involved.
Since then the position has become much worse. It is well known that a number of the leading association football and rugby clubs are finding it difficult to manage and that public-spirited people are subsidising them to enable them to keep going. Last Saturday a number of us, including hon. Members, attended Maine Road, Manchester. We there had the pleasure of seeing a game of football played between the English and the Welsh schoolboys which did credit to all concerned. When one hears of the tremendous amount of voluntary work taking place behind the scenes in organising and running events of that kind one is convinced that those concerned deserve very much more encouragement than they have received from the Chancellor since the end of the war.
If Britain is to hold its own in the new economic situation of the world we have to encourage our people in this way. We have to get our young people fit and to keep them as fit as possible and to encourage the great amount of voluntary work in all sports in this country. One of the ways in which to do that would be to take off the Entertainments Duty completely.
1924 4.30 p.m.
If I remember correctly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted on Second Reading that it would cost approximately £3,500,000 to take off the duty. Of that, about £2 million came from racing. Benefiting from past experience, I shall not try to differentiate between one sport and another. The attitude of the Chancellor on the last occasion was that, for administrative reasons, it would not be possible to differentiate. I take a great interest in certain sports, but I look upon racing, in the main, as a rich man's sport and, naturally, that arouses prejudice in anyone like myself.
The case for taking off the duty is so overwhelming that it would be inappropriate to differentiate. I say this entirely on my own responsibility, but if I remember rightly, my right hon. Friends have assured us that, so concerned are we, that when we are returned to power the duty will be taken off. It is our desire to encourage the large amount of voluntary work which takes place. We want to encourage the young people in the new situation to which I have referred. It is well known that other countries give encouragement.
Some of us have tried to get the State to help in certain ways to encourage young people, but it is always said, "No, traditionally in Britain this has been left to voluntary institutions." We accept that but we say that there is an overwhelming case for encouraging sports by taking off the duty. Those are the motives which lie behind the Amendment. I hope the Chancellor will bear in mind that he has almost committed himself to an investigation. During the debate on a previous Finance Bill the Chancellor committed himself to the extent that he agreed that a thorough investigation should be made to consider whether he should take off the duty. Since then the position has much worsened and we say that there is an overwhelming argument for taking off the duty completely.
§ Mr. E. Fletcher
In supporting the Amendment I would recall for the benefit of the Chancellor and the Committee the recent changes made in Entertainments Duty. We on this side base our plea for what the Chancellor has already referred to as an Amendment of noble grandeur—an Amendment which I hope 1925 will have his sympathy—on the changes that have been made in the scope of Entertainments Duty in recent years.
It will be remembered that since 1935, until two years ago, there were two scales of duty. There was a higher scale which originally applied to cinemas, racing and sports and a lower scale which applied to theatres and other live entertainment. It was my right hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton) who, in 1946, extended the ambit of the lower scale of duty from theatres and entertainments of that kind to all games and sports. Then, about three years ago there was an agitation on the part of the speedway organisations for a reduction in the duty on speedway racing. It was as a result of that that two years ago, in 1952, the Chancellor introduced a third scale of duty, with the result that since 1952 there have been three different scales of duty.
The highest scale is applicable to cinemas. I do not think that anyone would dispute that it is logical and necessary that the highest scale of duty should apply to cinemas because they are in a special category. Having realised that, and, also, that it is the cinemas which provide the bulk of the duty which is paid, we are left with the curious position that there is an intermediate scale which is paid by games, sports and racing, and there is the lowest scale applicable to theatres, music halls and minor entertainments such as eisteddfods about which some of my hon. Friends will speak later. In order to reduce the duty on racing, the Chancellor, in 1952, actually increased the duty on games and sports.
In the Amendment we ask that all Entertainments Duty should be taken off all games and sports. In the Budget last year the Chancellor recognised that it was impossible to apply the second rate and even the lowest rate to one sport, namely, cricket. He had to introduce discrimination between one game and another. Part of our contention is that it is wrong in principle to discriminate for purposes of Entertainments Duty between one game and another. The argument was that cricket is a special case and that the amount of duty which is paid at cricket matches is not very much.
But this is all a matter of degree. The hardship which became acute among 1926 cricket clubs two or three years ago is not confined to cricket clubs. Football clubs and other athletic associations, boxing, swimming and tennis clubs—in fact, games throughout the country of one kind or another—have all during the last year or two suffered a loss of revenue through falling gates.
Therefore, we say that the Chancellor. having conceded that cricket is no longer a fit subject for taxation, should extend the principle, in fairness, to all games and sports. We do not claim that this exemption should extend to horse racing, speedway racing or greyhound racing. Our Amendment does not cover that form of entertainment. What we say, on principle, is that outdoor games should not be subject to this duty.
I think the Chancellor will admit that the amount of revenue produced by this tax is not very much. It cannot amount to more than £1 million or £2 million. He will, no doubt, be able to tell us the precise figure. He has in this year's Budget made a trifling, an almost niggardly reduction in the applicable rates, but he has applied that not merely to games and sports but to all entertainments. I should have thought the time had come when the Government should consider whether games and sports are a fit subject for Entertainments Duty at all.
Entertainments Duty was originally introduced, as has already been reminded, in 1916, in wartime, as an emergency measure. In wartime, perhaps, there is something to be said for putting some burden on those who go to entertainments. It may be that in time of national stress, and particularly in war, there is a case for taxing entertainments of this kind, but I doubt very much whether on principle the Chancellor can honestly justify the imposition in peacetime of a tax which does not provide very much revenue, which discriminates between one game and another, and which is regarded as intolerable by the clubs themselves that provide these healthy, outdoor games and activities, and the masses of the population who find soccer matches, Rugby Union and Rugby League matches, and so on, among the most attractive of our national pastimes.
I hope the Chancellor will regard this Amendment, in his own words, as a noble theme on which to exercise his generosity. The Romans provided games 1927 and circuses for their citizens. I am not suggesting that we should do that, but it is difficult to justify going to the other extreme, and imposing burdens of taxation on national games and pastimes. The Government are doing some very extraordinary things. They are subsidising commercial television on the one hand and taxing healthy, outdoor sports and games on the other.
We all know that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as an individual, did his best to prevent the Cabinet from deciding to go ahead with commercial television. We on this side of the Committee would do anything we could to support him. However, the doctrine of Cabinet responsibility being what it is, he must bear part of the responsibility for that decision. Can he, however, in his conscience support the subsidising of commercial television in the interests of the advertising community and at the same time, the maintenance of this burdensome, discriminatory duty on games and sports?
That is what we ask the Chancellor. There is no great profit to be made by advertising out of football matches, and so forth. If there were I have no doubt there would be greater pressure from the other side of the Committee for the abolition of this duty. We, for our part, ask the Chancellor to approach this question on principle, and to recognise that there are no longer circumstances in which the needs of the revenue can justify this irritating tax. It is time, in the interests of the sport loving people of this country, who enjoy these athletic games of all kinds, that this tax should be removed.
I have stated the case broadly. A great many of my hon. Friends will stress the particular needs and claims of all the sports and games, Highland games and others, that are covered by this series of Amendments.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Gerald Nabarro (Kidderminster)
I am greatly in sympathy with the social and sporting purposes that underline the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith). There has been no mention, though, of how the loss in revenue is to be made good, and my sole reason for this short intervention—and it will be very short—[HON. MEMBERS: "Perhaps."] I realise that every one of the 1928 hon. Gentlemen opposite has a local football team whose interests he wishes to espouse in this debate, but the reason for my short intervention is simply to voice again a principle I raised last year in Committee on the Finance Bill. The truth of that principle will not in any way be vitiated by voicing it again.
It is a not a good thing to tax live sport, or the people who go to see it—
§ Mr. Nabarro
Live sport is a colloquialism, similar to the live theatre. There is not a dead theatre, so far as I know.
§ Mr. Nabarro
The tax is levied on those people who watch games and sports. I am much more interested in taxing, on what would be a more reasonable scale, the vast sums of money collected week by week by the football pools. At the present time the football pools betting duty amounts to 30 per cent, of the £70 million approximately invested in a full year. I calculate that the total yield to the revenue of the Entertainments Duty on sports and games of every description covered by this series of Amendments is about £3½ million.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I have put down a number of Questions on this matter, but, unfortunately, I have mistimed them. They are down for Thursday next, because I thought that the first day of the Committee on the Bill would be Thursday. So I have not the exact figures, but my right hon. Friend will, no doubt, correct me if I am wrong. The football pools betting duty this year raises approximately £21 million in the full year, representing a 30 per cent, yield on the total annual investment of approximately £70 million in the football pools. By increasing that tax from 30 per cent, to 35 per cent, we should raise for the revenue a sum that would enable us totally to abolish the Entertainments Duty on all the sports and games covered by this series of Amendments.
1929 The man who stands to win £25,000 in a football pool does not much mind if it is reduced, on account of the additional duty I propose, to, say, £24,000. He is not very greatly perturbed, but today we have the unhappy situation that literally hundreds of small football clubs and similar sporting enterprises, whether Third Division clubs or not, professional clubs in all parts of the county, find that their finances are gravely undermined by the incidence of the Entertainments Duty.
Moreover, year by year we spend long hours in this Chamber debating the Entertainments Duty on various types of sports and games. It is a waste of time. The Entertainments Duty, by amendment year by year, has now become unduly complicated and difficult to understand. I consider that the whole of it is a waste of time and a waste of effort, multiplied a thousandfold outside the Chamber. It could be saved simply by raising the betting duty on the football pools from 30 per cent, to 35 per cent, and freeing all sports and games from the Entertainments Duty.
§ Mr. John Dugdale (West Bromwich)
I should like to confine my remarks to the Amendment standing in my name and that of some of my hon. Friends, in page 2, line 5, at the end, to add:(3) As from the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, football matches shall be excluded from the entertainments in respect of which entertainments duty is payable.The hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) has said that many hon. Members on this side of the Committee are waiting to speak for their own football team. Owing to the unfortunate circumstances attending political warfare, he is confined to speaking about a town which I think has not got much of a football team. Had he been more fortunate on an earlier occasion, things things might have been different.
§ Mr. Nabarro
The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that the Kidderminster Harriers Football Club has the same aspirations in the sporting world as West Bromwich Albion had in the 1880s.
§ Mr. Dugdale
I heartily agree and I was going on to say that I did not speak on behalf of one club or a certain number of clubs who happened to be fortunate in their position today. I am speaking on behalf of all football clubs, 1930 particularly those lower down the scale who feel this duty more than football clubs like West Bromwich Albion who are a little bit better able to bear it.
Last year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave some relief to cricket. I would not complain about that at all. I would say "Good luck" to all cricketers on that relief, but why did he pick out cricket? I want to try to investigate why he did that and did not select football.
Does the Chancellor like cricket better? Looking at him from the advantage which we on this side of the Committee have, I would say that perhaps he has a cricketing rather than a football face, though I am not sure about that. On the other hand, I would say that his right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has a football face, though again, I am not sure. At any rate, in either case I do not think that that is the reason why he continues to tax football and exempt cricket. It may be that he likes cricket more than football.
§ Mr. Dugdale
I am glad to hear that, and I hope that that means he will have more sympathy with the Amendment to which I am addressing my remarks.
I was not very good at cricket and I remember that when I played it at school and was at the nets I bowled the ball not into my own net but into another net, so that I was told I need not play in the nets any more. I do not therefore argue that there should be a tax on cricket and no tax on football, and I do not think that this tax is due to the Chancellor's likes or dislikes one way or another.
Possibly it has something to do with the revenue. Last year, the right hon. Gentleman said:Whatever the result of any watching may be over the year I must confess that I need the revenue which comes in from the football duty."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th May 1953: Vol. 515, c. 2174.]I have no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman does need the revenue, but let me remind him that he also needs the revenue from Income Tax. Yet not very long ago he reduced Income Tax by an amount not of £1½ million or £2 million, but of £72 million. He did it like a lamb. He knocked it off as though it 1931 were nothing at all. Why cannot he adopt the same attitude about the tax on football as he took about Income Tax?
The other argument the right hon. Gentleman used was that cricket was of international importance. He said that it was very helpful in cementing relationship between the Commonwealth. [Laughter.]My hon. Friends may laugh at that. Possibly there are one or two countries where there are differences of opinion expressed from time to time about cricket matches, but I think the playing of these matches is good for Commonwealth relations.
The right hon. Gentleman, if I may again quote, said this:In this country cricket occupies a special place among sports, not only as forming part of the English tradition but as a common interest helping to bind together the various countries of the Commonwealth."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th April, 1953; Vol. 514, c. 55.]My right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) explained in last year's Budget debate that football has a much longer tradition in English history than cricket, but I shall not go into that in any detail. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] My hon. Friend says "No." Let us say that they have both a long tradition in English history.
I am not asking for better terms for football than for cricket, but, while cricket is of more use to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, I think the Chancellor will discover that the Foreign Secretary finds football more useful to him. Everybody will agree that the match which has just taken place in Belgrade has done a great deal to encourage good relations between England and Yugoslavia, particularly in view of the fact that a goal was scored by Yugoslavia in the last moment which, I am sure, did an infinite amount to cement English and Yugoslav relations.
It is really quite beside the point, therefore, to say that cricket and cricket alone cements international relations. Football, obviously, does as much as cricket in this direction. We hear that Moscow is inviting the Arsenal to play, and there is a rumour that it has invited West Bromwich Albion and has asked to be invited back to play on the Hawthorns ground. I do not know whether it is true, but in any case it can be said that 1932 football does cement international relations as much as cricket.
The other reason may be that in the right hon. Gentleman's mind cricket is an amateur sport whereas football is not. I think it is time we examined this question a little more closely to see whether we can discover what constitutes amateur sport and what constitutes professional sport, because a great deal of nonsense is talked about this subject nowadays. I think we are all agreed that people in cricket teams, in tennis teams and in any other kind of team who go abroad on behalf of this country to represent it are doing a very fine job. We are pleased that they should go.
But do not let us think that they go unpaid. Those people who go to Australia receive a sum of money which I think can be fairly stated to be considerably in excess of the sum of money received by hon. Members for a year's work. They receive it by way of expenses, and it is quite proper that they should, but do not let us delude ourselves that they are going out for love of the sport alone. They are getting something and something which is well worth while, although there is no reason why they should not get it.
There is a great deal of confusion about the whole question of amateur and professional sport, and no one would seem to be more confused, judging by recent events, than the Foreign Office, which seems to have experienced considerable difficulties on this matter. It would be well if the Chancellor cleared that up and told us something more about the position.
The professional football clubs do one thing that the amateur football clubs do not do. They pay their players; and I do not think it is wrong to pay those who play in their teams. They pay them a certain amount, which is a reasonable living wage but they do not them selves—
§ Mr. Dugdale
My hon. Friend says they are poorly paid, and, considering their short life as footballers, I agree that they do not get a very high wage.
I am referring to the "gates" which the clubs get, and I was 1933 saying that the footballers get a very poor wage compared with what the "gates" produce.
§ Mr. Dugdale
If the "gates" were reduced it would lessen the chances of the players getting a high wage.
The point I want to emphasise—and this is a point which I must admit I have mentioned before—is that we should get this matter in its true perspective. West Bromwich Albion distribute a total sum of £28 15s. in dividends to shareholders. Yet it is considered to be the top club in the country this year. If that is the distribution that it makes, it cannot be said that football is a very profitable and money-making game which should be heavily taxed.
As a result of this duty, many small clubs may have to go out of business altogether, which would be very serious. Think what it means to a small town to lose its football team. It is all very well for us in London. Here we have an infinite variety of amusements. We can go out and watch the pageantry and see all the life of London in its various manifestations, but in small towns there is not nearly as much to do and see. People can even come to this House and see the sort of things which go on here, tax free, and many people do from time to time. In the small towns people cannot do that, and to many of these people football is the highlight of their week throughout the winter.
I went to my constituency to see the Cup being brought back after it had been won at Wembley. There are about 90,000 people living in the town, but the number present there on that occasion was estimated at anything from 150,000 to 250,000 people, all of whom had come to see it. That sort of event gives tremendous excitement and interest to people, and it can happen to many small towns. It very nearly happened to Port Vale, and we in West Bromwich know how near it was.
If the right hon. Gentleman persists in imposing this duty, he may well drive out of business these small clubs, and many thousands of people may never get another chance of having that something extra in their lives that has been vouchsafed to the towns which have successful football teams. It is because 1934 this may be the fate of these small clubs that I am supporting this Amendment.
§ Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)
I had not intended to intervene in this debate, but I do so because of some remarks made by the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) and my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro). It seemed to me that the right hon. Gentleman and my hon. Friend definitely established a case for the re-examination of the position of sports which at present are subject to this duty. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the fact that cricket was exempted from this duty last year while other sports were still subject to the duty. I think the obvious reason for this is that cricket was bringing in a negligible revenue. We all recognised the desperate plight of the county cricket clubs, and those of us who are aware of the financial position of many county cricket clubs at the end of the last cricket season recognise that it would have been impossible for them to continue had this duty been retained on cricket.
§ Mr. Dry den Brook (Halifax)
The hon. Gentleman said that the amount of revenue from cricket was negligible. Last year something like £80,000 was obtained from cricket, whereas the amount obtained from Rugby League football was less than £50,000.
§ Mr. Gower
I am prepared to concede that point, but I imagine that the amount received from Association football would be much larger. In that connection, I think that the suggestions of my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster deserve serious consideration by the Chancellor. As he rightly pointed out, the basis of this matter is that this is live sport, and the pools and other forms of betting could not continue without these games which are provided by our football clubs. I believe that some of the pool promoters continue the system during the summer based on Australian football matches, but I do not imagine that the results which they achieve from these summer football pools are comparable with the results achieved during the British football season.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Is it not a fact that the point to which the hon. Gentleman 1935 refers would require legislation? Has it not been dealt with in the House and in Committee upstairs for weeks?
§ Mr. Gower
I do not quite follow the hon. Gentleman's point, but I do not think I am in disagreement with him, except that I agree with my hon. Friend that in proposing any step which would necessarily involve a substantial reduction in revenue it is incumbent upon us to suggest some alternative means of producing this revenue. My hon. Friend has suggested some such means. I think that the person who wins a prize in a football pool will feel far less inconvenience —and that is about all he will suffer—if his prize is proportionately reduced by some small percentage suggested by my hon. Friend, than do the football clubs who have to bear this considerable burden.
I think, too, that the right hon. Member for West Bromwich has clearly established another point, and that is that it is difficult indefinitely to sustain this differential approach to different sports. The Chancellor may well say that the benefit given to cricket was due entirely to the revenue position, but I believe that the reasons which prompted him to make that concession to cricket should with justice apply to some of the smaller professional football clubs. But in this case it would be most unfair to distinguish between small and large clubs, because it would mean that there would be no advantage in a small club trying to become a larger club.
That would have a wholly undesirable effect on the standard of sport in this country. We are not by any means victorious in all our contests with other countries in any of these sports, and such a distinction would depress our standards. Therefore, I hope that in replying to this debate, the Chancellor will deal with the point whether there should be this distinction between different games, and will also state his views on the point raised by my hon. Friend, whether the need for this duty could be removed by the simple expedient of a slight increase in the duty on football pool betting.
§ Mr. Pryde
I wish to add my enthusiastic support to this Amendment, and at the same time to express sympathy with Scottish Members opposite who will be unable to go into the Division Lobby in 1936 support of the Amendment, which was not called, relating to Highland games. Many hon. Members opposite represent Highland constituencies, and I know where their sympathies lie.
I should like to try to convince the Chancellor that Scottish games are not receiving the sympathetic treatment which many people feel they merit. Scottish Highland games are a very ancient ceremony. I want the Chancellor to turn his attention from London and the big cities to the wide open spaces, because in the big cities there are plenty of gymnasia available for our young people to train, and so on. But in the wide spaces, where the smell of the heather is in one's nostrils, people seldom meet, and if there is one thing which unites them it is their enthusiasm to make arrangements for the annual events—because the Scottish games is only an annual event. A bad day means a disaster to them. The Scottish games is the only method which we have in Scotland of developing our athletic talents.
The first-known charter for the Scottish games goes back to 1314, to the celebrations for the victory of Bannock-burn. Hon. Members will see that, just as in golf and football, also in running, we taught the English to sprint at Otter-burn and to do the long-distance work at Bannockburn.
It has been suggested that there is professionalism in the Scottish games. I want to point out to the Chancellor that the athletes who compete in the Scottish games are not professionals, but at the same time I want to draw his attention to the fact that the finest—and undefeated—tug-o'-war team in the world was the Scottish Amateur Athletic Club, which toured the world, and I put it to him that they did not tour the world on the wages which they drew. One of them, my uncle by marriage, George Kinnard, was a flour miller working in Edinburgh, where he was killed. It was impossible fox such men to tour the world on their wages.
What about the Gilbert Field Colliery, undefeated champions of the world? Did they do all their touring without any assistance? What about Queen's Park, one of the most famous amateur soccer teams which the game has ever known? 1937 Is it not common talk that the players found their expenses in the toes of their boots? It is high time we reviewed our ideas about professionalism.
§ Mr. James Carmichael (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
On a point of order. I think my hon. Friend has made a very serious statement about a famous club in Scotland, Queen's Park. I can say that at no time has any player playing for the Queen's Park Club been paid in cash or in kind. My hon. Friend made the statement that money was placed in the toes of their boots.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Major W. J. Anstruther-Gray)
This has nothing to do with order. The hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde) is responsible for what he says.
§ Mr. Pryde
The statement which I made, as will be seen from tomorrow's; HANSARD, was, "It is common talk…"
I want to draw the Chancellor's attention to the fact that our Scottish games are organised in such a fashion that the dates are varied to allow the competitors a choice. By this means we have been able to develop the finest athletic talent in the world. Is it not true to say that in field events we produced Donald Dinnie, who won over 1,100 prizes? [HON. MEMBERS: "Who was he?"] I do not wonder at English Members knowing nothing about these things. We had to teach them. Is it not perfectly true that we produced Alexander Anthony Cameron, possibly the strongest man in Scotland in his day? There was lion-hearted Alex Munro of Govan, too. Is it not perfectly true that in foot racing we produced such men as Willie McFarlane, Tommy Bailie of Mussel-burgh who did seven marks inside and was beaten by the wonder runner from my own constiuency, Riach of Ratho.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Would my hon. Friend be good enough to tell the Committee what happened at Hampden Park when the last international was played?
§ Mr. Pryde
If my hon. Friend will give me time to deliver my speech, I will come to that. Let me point out that Tommy Bailie was a world champion, but he was beaten by a wonder runner from my constituency, Riacfh of Radio, who won the Powderhall handicap twice, 1938 16 years apart. That will take some beating. These were working men, trained in the games. They also produced such runners as Bill Smith, of Glasgow Rangers, and he did not dally by the wayside when he was running. We had distance runners like Paul of the Shotts and Glen Armadale, and half-milers like Charles Thomas, Lasswade, Doctor White and Maitland of Edinburgh. Our runners were brought up the hard way and until quite recent years our Scottish games were able to wash their face—until the cold, clammy, clutching hand of the Treasury was laid upon them, chilling them to such an extent that many of these Games have now been abandoned.
I will tell the Committee how many of these games have gone out of action in recent years. It goes from Aberdeen to Annan, from Dunoon to Dunbar. The policy of the Treasury in imposing a tax will drive our Scottish athletics out of business altogether. They have gone out at Errol, Pethshire, at Strathmiglo in Fifeshire, Bowhill, Madderty, Lauder— after two bad years—at Newtongrange, Braemar—which has threatened this year to go out because of financial difficulties —Bridge of Earn, Rosyth, Winchburgh, Haddington, Kinglassie, Middleton, Gartmore of Aberfoyle, Armadale, Tranent, Lumphinans, Melrose, Rosewell, Ruslin, Auchen Dinny.
In the years before the war each of these places organised this annual event. Admission was free of tax. Then the Treasury came along and imposed the tax. These people did all the work voluntarily. The Secretary of the Scottish Games Association resides in my constituency—he is a lad who works at one of the local collieries and does all the work for these national games voluntarily. We find the work of all these people going for nothing.
The Secretary of the Scottish Board of Highland Dancing also resides in my constituency, and he informs me that 12 organisations from Commonwealth countries are behind him in forwarding a protest to the House about the Government's policy.
§ Mr. Pryde
I am afraid I did not follow that question. The Amendment which was not called dealt specifically with the Highland games, and I want to point out to the Chancellor that these games are run on the Borders as Border Games.
In my constituency agricultural shows receive a certificate of tax exemption because of their educational value. Will the Chancellor deny that Highland dancing has a cultural value? Is it fair that one organisation should be given a certificate of exemption while others are not? I want the Chancellor or the Financial Secretary to tell me which organisations last year running under the Highland games got an exemption. [An HON. MEMBER: "One did."] What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
In my constituency there are two great games organisations—one at West Calder which calls itself an amateur organisation, and one at Inner Leithen which, because it gives money prizes, is disqualified from getting freedom. Will the Chancellor explain why there is this differentiation between one organisation and another? There are certainly many differences in regard to the games programmes, but I think that we have demonstrated that there is no such difference between amateurism, so-called, and professionalism.
In the Scottish set-up there are games associations which are not in the Scottish Games Association. I want to know why they cannot be included in the free certificate.
§ Mr. Pryde
The hon. Gentleman says that I did not mention cricket. I hold the card of the county club of Peebles, and let me tell the hon. Member that the men who compose the cricket club of Peebles also run the local Rovers, and the local Rovers are more successful in gathering in the silver than the cricket club.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us why it is not possible to embody the cricket club in the Highland games and thereby secure an abatement of Entertainments Duty?
§ Mr. Pryde
I will send the hon. Member's question to the secretary of the Scottish Games Association. I think that we have shown the Chancellor that there is ground for re-consideration of the imposition of this tax on Scottish sport, because we cannot possibly go on making our contribution towards the British setup if we are not to get the tools to finish the job.
As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works told us this afternoon, when reference was made to £1¼ million being spent by the British Treasury in order to build two hot houses in the East, it is a question of "doing the right thing." There is going to be nothing for Scottish sport.
My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Mr. Ellis Smith) asked me a question with regard to the present set-up in football. Scottish football has deteriorated, and it has deteriorated because we are not getting the tools to finish the job. It is perfectly true to say that we send our young fellows at 17 or 18 to England in order that the English people may get the benefit of their skill. I am going to be magnanimous about this. The English have assisted us. They have sent men to our games—Nennor of Wavertree, Robertson of Cleator Moor, Isaacs of Sheffield and many others—and we in return have sent some to Byker and Morpeth. Nevertheless, there has always been a very firm friendship in spirit between the two sides, and I suggest to the Chancellor that if he wants to see Scottish football as I have seen it in the past it will never happen again under the present conditions. There are no more Bobby Walkers.
§ Mr. Pryde
He was an outside right, and when our team came down here I was fortunate enough to have a couple of tickets for Wembley. I did not get there because my eldest brother was landing at Southampton and he had been away for 50 years, so I gave them to two men. They said, "It is a terrible price to see a match when your team is going to get beaten." I said, "Why are they going to get beaten?" They said, "There is a half back going to play back." I said, "Sammy Cox." They said, "Yes." I said, "I will tell you one 1941 thing, if he does nothing else today he will at least hold Stanley Matthews," and he did. I hope that the Chancellor will give us some little encouragement in the way we have suggested.
§ Mr. Hugh Fraser (Stafford and Stone)
It would be very difficult to follow the hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde), who spoke as the very heart of Midlothian itself, but I think that all were impressed by his immense knowledge of sport. I do not want to indulge any more in pursuit of the Chancellor in what might be called the spongers' sporting tour, but there are two points with regard to Highland games which I should like to mention.
Many people say that the trouble with the Highland games today is that what prizes are left are falling to the professionals, or near professionals. I think that the reason that there are so few Scottish Highland games associations today is because of the weight of taxation. I think that if some of the taxation came off there would be more games, more prizes and more local people coming forward to take part in them. I entirely agree with the words of wisdom spoken by the hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles.
I should also like to say a few words about the smaller football clubs. In Staffordshire, the Stafford Rangers is a very notable club which we all enjoy watching, but to say that it draws enormous crowds and that the whole of Staffordshire goes to see them instead of to Wolverhampton or to Stoke would be untrue. We believe that it is important that each town should build up its own football club and encourage it. We saw Port Vale this year go right forward and become the champion club in the whole country. I believe that these clubs are not merely money-making institutions. They are not like the cinemas. They are not run by individuals for profit; indeed, many are run at a loss and subsist only on subscriptions given by the wealthier members of the community who support their own local clubs.
I think that these smaller clubs should be treated more as corporate living entities than as commercial propositions. I believe that the principle by which individuals are free of tax up to a certain level, should also be introduced for football clubs, and that up to a certain 1942 point these clubs should be free from paying Entertainments Duty. Some of the bigger clubs which are commercially successful and which can afford to pay vast sums for the transfer of players are perfectly able to meet the weight of taxation which the Chancellor finds it necessary to impose.
I make a most sincere plea, therefore, that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer should look at this matter. I am sure that people like Sir Stanley Rous and the experts on the administration and organisation of football clubs could put forward perfectly good schedules to prove that where the takings over a year or the attendances over a period are below a certain figure, a club is bound to run at a near loss.
The same principle that applies to human beings should apply to football clubs to help them sustain a sufficient economic stature and interest. Charges of admission up to a certain point should be free of tax. In this way a considerable amount could be done to encourage the smaller clubs. It is by drawing on the large number of players who undoubtedly come from those clubs that the standard of British football will be increased, to the general advantage of the country.
§ Mr. Carmichael
I shall not follow my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde) into racing, but I associate myself with him in regard to football. In that respect, I want also to be associated with my colleagues on this side of the Border.
It has already been said that there should be no discrimination in the taxation of Sport. I do not want to argue today the case against the exemption of cricket or tennis, but I do want to make this point. According to the Press, the Australian cricket team which toured this country last year went back with something like £130,000. I could quote five first-class football clubs in Scotland which did not take that amount of money in total during the entire year, and yet they had to pay heavy taxation running into many thousand pounds. Therefore, I say that football is entitled to have the same consideration from the Chancellor of the Exchequer as cricket, tennis or any other outdoor sport.
I am not arguing the case of horse racing or dog racing. My own view is 1943 that they are not in the same category as these other sports like cricket and football. I have been at race meetings and I am quite satisfied that nobody attends other than to gamble. They are not sport in the ordinary accepted sense which bring out the multitudes.
The national game of this country is football. Scotland can produce a sound case for the abolition of the tax. We have a population of some 4½ million, and apart from about four towns—Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen— most of the clubs in the other towns suffer losses. Their losses may be slightly less one year if they are successful in one of the national competitions, but usually the only clubs which can be sure of getting on the right side, and even then not to any large extent, are those in the four towns I have mentioned.
The people who run the football clubs in Scotland are not doing so to gain a profit. They are in the game because it is the great national sport and the only sport the people in Scotland can get to during the outdoor season. The amount of money that the Chancellor of the Exchequer gets from football is insignificant considering the amount he has to raise by various forms of taxation. If he requires to raise this money from football there is an anomaly in the method by which he raises it. People in the ordinary way of business pay their tax mainly on their profits. I want therefore to give one or two illustrations which are necessary to point out some of the anomalies.
Glasgow is probably the strongest football centre in Scotland, and probably also in Britain. Consider the case of Partick Thistle, a Glasgow club. In 1951–52 its receipts were a little over £33,000 and it paid tax of approximately £2,000. The following year, takings increased by £3,000 but there was an increase in tax of £4,465 over the previous year. In other words, with an increase in revenue of £3,000 the club paid an increase in tax of over £4,000. There is something seriously wrong here.
St. Johnstone is a Second Division club from the City of Perth. There are never any dividends in a club of this kind. In 1951–52 it had an income of £12,725 and paid tax of £931. In 1952–53 its receipts were £10,690—a loss of £2,000 on income —and it paid tax of £1,726. In other 1944 words, there was an increase of £795 in tax on a reduction of over £2,000 in returns. The club's loss during the year was £3,500.
Greenock is a very important shipbuilding centre, and football is its only outdoor sport. In 1951–52 its football club had an income of over £22,000 and paid tax of £1,627. The following year, because of its misfortune in the competitions, the club drew only a little over £13,000. The serious anomaly is that on the £13,000 it paid tax of £2,666. In other words, it paid £1,000 more in tax and yets its income had been reduced by £9,000. The club had a loss in 1952–53 of £10,500.
I could continue for a long time quoting the conditions of football clubs all over Scotland. One can examine the figures which have been supplied by the Scottish Football Association—and I have no doubt the English Football Association also supplied the Chancellor of the Exchequer with the figures for England—there are very sound reasons, apart from the figures I have already given, to justify a thorough examination of the situation.
Television is now a very important factor in relation to outdoor sports. The English Cup Final is televised all over Britain. At the time of the last Cup Final, a very important charity match was played in Glasgow between the two most famous Scottish teams—Celtic and Rangers—and if the Cup Final had not been televised on the same day that match would have had an attendance of anything from 70,000 to 80,000, which would have been a considerable asset to the charities in the Glasgow area. As a result of the televising of the Cup Final at Wembley, however, only 40,000 people attended the match in Glasgow.
One can well understand the feelings of the smaller Scottish clubs if television is extended. Football is a winter sport, and if the weather is not too good the prospects are that people will stay at home to watch a match on television rather than go to see their local team play. The directors of most football clubs are conscious of the danger of television, and many clubs are trying to build up a fund to erect structures to protect spectators from bad weather. If shelter is not provided for their spectators these clubs will go down.
1945 Football is one of the great sports of Britain, especially of Scotland. Scotland will never be a cricket-playing nation. It has not so many aristocrats as England has. It may be surprising to English people, but colliers, shipbuilding workers and such people do not play cricket in Scotland.
§ Mr. Carmichael
One of the most important factors is undoubtedly the climate. I do not want to discriminate against cricket or any other sport, but if the Chancellor can put forward an argument for wiping out the tax on cricket, the only argument he can possibly have in favour of taxing football is that it produces a great amount of Revenue. But it has been proved the amount of money derived from football is insignificant in comparison with the total amount he requires.
I ask him to have another look at the Amendment, and to see if he can accept it. On many occasions I have differed with him and I have never been able to get any real concession from him. If he makes a concession in this case, he will be giving it not to me but to many people in Scotland whose only happiness, apart from their ordinary toil, is watching football matches on Saturday afternoons.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Commander C. E. M. Donaldson (Roxburgh and Selkirk)
The hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde)—whom I am sorry to see leaving the Chamber; I hope it is not because I have risen—may be surprised to hear that I propose to walk with him in his argument about the Border games. I support his plea on their behalf. I have had correspondence with the Financial Secretary relating to two or three of the Border burghs, especially Galashiels, Jedburgh and Melrose, but all I have received in the way of an answer is that I should not expect the hon. Gentleman to anticipate his right hon. Friend's Budget. Afterwards, the answer is that the matter has been dealt with in the Budget, and we get absolutely nowhere.
I do not propose to repeat the argument which was put forward so well by the hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles, but I do emphasise that this is a matter of very serious concern to all the 1946 Border folk. I am looking at the question not from a political but from a sporting angle. These Border games are just as traditional and long in institution as the Highland games, and I hope that their case will receive some consideration by the Chancellor. There are traditions in the Border burghs which are found only in that part of Britain, and I do plead with the Chancellor to take this matter seriously into consideration.
§ Mr. Ian Mikardo (Reading, South)
Of the various Amendments which the Chairman has directed us to take together the one to which I wish to call special attention is that in page 2, line 5, at the end, to add:(3) As from the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, in the case of any entertainment consisting of association football, rugby league football and boxing, the amount of entertainments duty payable in respect of any fixture shall be reduced by one hundred pounds in every case where the total receipts for admission to the fixture do not exceed two thousand pounds.This Amendment is entirely different from the others which we are now discussing. All the others seek to relieve altogether from taxation some sport or group of sports, or some game or group of games, sometimes defined widely and sometimes more narrowly. This is the only Amendment which seeks to levy a discriminatory tax within the same sport, varying according to the size and profitability of the undertaking.
The Amendment is, so to speak, the fourth line of defence. The first line of defence is represented by the Amendment standing in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), which seeks to exempt all games and sports from taxation. I support that Amendment, and I profoundly hope that the one to which I am specially drawing attention will not need to be put because the Chancellor will accept the Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend. If, for some strange reason, he does not accept that Amendment, the second line of defence is represented by the Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale), which seeks to exempt all forms of football from taxation.
Other parallel Amendments seek to exempt athletics, boxing and various other sports. If those Amendments fail we fall back on the third line of defence, 1947 which is represented by the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Carmichael), which seeks to exempt Association football matches, and the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. T. Brown) and other hon. Members representing Lancashire and Yorkshire constituencies, which seeks to exempt the other non-amateur form of football, namely, Rugby League football. If that Amendment fails, we fall back on mine, which is the fourth line of defence.
My arguments are therefore designed to win the Chancellor's approval only if he finds he cannot altogether exempt sports, or some sports, from taxation. I put myself in the position of the Chancellor thinking about his Budget and, as he once told us, never lacking advice. The right hon. Gentleman and his advisers sometimes read newspapers and from them may learn that a football team has paid a transfer fee of £30,000 odd for a single player. They may well be tempted by reading this into the belief that this is big business, and that therefore no tax concessions should be made for it because it is a large, wealthy and prosperous institution. Or the right hon. Gentleman may read that a great club like the Arsenal Football Club has managed to repay in a comparatively short time a large loan for improving its premises. Then they may say that clearly these people are not hard up and therefore there is no need to relieve them of taxation.
That is why I have sought to devise a discriminatory Amendment which, if the right hon. Gentleman is thinking in that way. might tempt him to acceptance, because it is designed only to benefit the smaller clubs and to leave out of benefit those who are doing pretty well financially.
What this Amendment is about is Stafford Rangers, about whom we have heard already this afternoon from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. H. Fraser), every one of whose words was in fact an argument for this Amendment. If by some mischance the Chancellor does not accept our fourth line of defence, and we have to go into the Lobby about it, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will put his arm around my shoulder as we go in together.
1948 It may be asked why, in putting forward this discriminatory proposal—discriminatory as between large and small —I choose only the three sports of Association football, Rugby League football and boxing. These were not chosen because I think these sports are any better or worthier than any others. It is a rather sterile and profitless operation to try to draw a difference in moral standards between one sport and another, especially with regard to sports in which there is no element of gambling.
I chose the three sports on a quite different criterion, namely, that these are the three in which we get an occasional event, or a small number of events, with very large takings indeed. There is a great deal of money flowing into the coffers of the sport but, at the same time, there are a much larger number of events with very small amounts of money contributed on these occasions, and the large number of smaller events are nearly all run by promoters who find it hard to make ends meet and to keep their promotions going.
My hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian and Peebles, in his beautifully colourful speech which we all enjoyed, said that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. That may or may not be true. What I am arguing in respect of these sports is that what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gosling, and that we ought to attempt, if we can do it in some way which does not cause a lot of trouble, to discriminate in favour of the smaller clubs. If the Chancellor takes the view, as he well may, that he is prepared to give away a bit of money— most Chancellors, I am told, keep a bit up their sleeve to give away during the Committee stage—but not all the money required by total exemption, I put it to the right hon. Gentleman that this kind of formula is the way in which he can make a concession and, at the same time, give the greatest real value where it seems required.
§ Mr. Nabarro
The Amendment contains the words:for admission to the fixture do not exceed two thousand pounds.Can the hon. Member give the Committee any guidance as to the average admittance and whether that £2,000 represents about 30,000 people going into one fixture?
§ Mr. Mikardo
I am coming to the point later on and I will say how I chose the figures in this Amendment, but perhaps I can say to the hon. Gentleman in anticipation that I am by no means sure that these are the best figures, and that it may well be that the Chancellor, who has access to the records of many more clubs than I have had, may consider a different figure to be more appropriate, and I would not argue about that.
The hon. Member for Stafford and Stone, although he did not mention this Amendment, drew a parallel between it and the initial allowance given to the Income Tax payer. That parallel is absolutely valid. What my hon. Friends and I are here seeking to do is to get an initial allowance for the Association football club, the Rugby League football club and the boxing promoter. What is the best way to do it?
When we discussed these matters last year a number of hon. Gentlemen said that they thought the Third Division clubs ought to be relieved of tax. That is too much a bull-at-the-gate way of doing it and would lead unnecessarily to a number of anomalies. In the first place a very small number of Third Division clubs are fairly well off financially because they happen to be in large centres of population. In the second place there are one or two Second Division clubs which are not so well off. The most prosperous Third Division clubs are better off than the least prosperous Second Division clubs. Secondly, if we did it in that way we would leave out of account all the professional non-League clubs, those that play in the Southern League for example, in the Welsh League and in the equivalents of those leagues in the Midlands like Stafford Rangers, and in the North of England.
So one has to find a more precise and more just formula for the discrimination. It occurred to me and to my hon. Friends that the best formula was to say, "Drop the first £X of tax at any fixture where the takings do not exceed £Y." What X and Y are to be is a fair subject for argument, as I have suggested.
There are always two difficulties about drawing a line in the way that this Amendment seeks to do. One is the marginal case. By drawing a line one nearly always creates a situation in which the entrepreneur has an incentive to stop 1950 just short of the line and not over it, because he will make more money by staying under it than he would by going over it. In this case it does not matter, because at a football match the promoters do not know until pretty well everybody is in how much money has been taken. So there could not be any possibility of their rushing round to the gates, counting up the money as it came in, and shutting the gates just before the total reached £2,000. Therefore that problem does not arise.
The other problem that arises is that when we seek to discriminate in this way we often get difficulties of administration and collection. In order to see whether this suggestion will do that, I took the trouble to go around to a number of clubs to find out how it would work, beginning with the one in my own constituency. The Chancellor will correct me if I am wrong, but I make bold to say that there would be no difficulty at all in administering the tax in the form set down in this Amendment. In fact, it would need only one extra entry on every form of return. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor will be familiar with the Customs and Excise form E.D. 31 on which a football club makes its return of the numbers of tickets, and numbers of places sold in respect of any match, the rates of duty and so on. Column (h) shows the actual cash takings for admission at each price, and there is a total at the foot of all the cash taken. The next column shows the duty at each price with the total at the bottom, showing the total duty.
Some clubs use this form and others, by permission of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, use a form of their own, which in fact is nothing more than an enlarged copy of E.D. 31. It follows that if the Amendment were carried all that would result would be that where the total in column (h) of this form exceeded £2,000 the total amount in column (i) would be reduced by £100. Clearly, there is no very great administrative difficulty about that.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said earlier this afternoon that he sits for a rural constituency and is well aware of the problems of the countryside. One of the principal differences between the big and wealthy club and the small and 1951 not so wealthy club is that the small club draws a much larger percentage of its following from rural areas. The big clubs are mostly in big towns in the middle of large densely populated areas. One gets a club like the Arsenal in the middle of the enormously populated area of North London, and while it is true that some people come from a substantial distance to see the Arsenal it is pretty obvious when one goes to the ground that the overwhelming proportion of people there are Londoners.
The small clubs are situated in small towns for the most part and therefore are in places where they do not draw the overwhelming part of their clientele from the town itself. I quote Reading as an example not because it is different from or more worthy than a large number of other clubs in small towns but because I happen to know it. Reading is the only League club for a long way round. To the East there is nothing nearer than London, to the West Swindon, to the South Aldershot and to the North the League clubs in the Midlands.
The consequence is that people in a very large area of the countryside who want to watch professional football come to watch Reading. That means that their journey to the weekly football match represents a substantial expense on fares as well as the expense of admission to the match. The principal reason why the big clubs in the towns can charge more per place on the average, sometimes several times more, than the small clubs is that if one pays 3s. for admission under the west stand at the Arsenal that is probably only an addition to Is. worth of fare. It means paying 4s. altogether. The man who comes from Newbury, Mortimer or Slough to Reading to see a football match has already paid 2s. 6d. or more for his fare. Therefore, one cannot charge him more than Is. 6d. for admission. That is why the admission charges must be lower for the smaller clubs. The market will not stand more.
Somebody might ask, "Why not go to see amateur football?" I pay tribute to the fine football played by the amateur clubs and to the great work done by the Amateur Football Association, but to some extent, at any rate, we are here to give people what they want. It is clear that rather more than one million people 1952 want to watch professional football, and I do not see why we should deter them.
I come now to the figure of £100 which it is proposed to remit and to the £2,000 which is the limit below which the remission shall take place. As I said, I took all the steps that are open to a back bench private Member to find out something about the economies of the smaller football teams. I chose these figures believing them to be figures which will secure that the most deserving clubs, the less well-off Third Division clubs, the Stafford Rangers and Guildford Citys and the like, will benefit without the Chancellor losing a great deal of revenue which otherwise he would obtain and would want to obtain from the wealthier clubs.
If the Chancellor says later on that this is not a bad formula but that the true figures ought to be different, I shall know that he is saying that because he has much more information than I have and I shall not seriously dispute what he says. I hope that if he cannot accept the more general Amendments of my hon. Friends, which of course I shall support, as a last resort he will consider this method of benefiting the poorer and smaller football clubs.
§ Mr. R. J. Taylor (Morpeth)
This matter came before the House when we discussed the Finance Bill last year. I had a few observations to make on that occasion, and I want to say something on the subject today. I am very pleased that the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, South (Mr. Mikardo) proposes the operation of a remission after 31st July, because if the Chancellor accepts the Amendment that date will coincide with the holding of the Morpeth Olympic Games.
I feel rather strongly about this matter, although I shall not make a comparison between amateurs and professionals. Anything which carries a prize evidently makes a man a professional. We heard something about that the other day when Roger Bannister went to America. High pole jumpers, longdistance runners and the like take part in our sports in Scotland and the north of England, and although these men are termed professionals, they do not make a living by sport. They appear at weekends during the summer at flower shows 1953 and events like the Morpeth Olympic Games and compete for prizes, but during the week they work in the shipyards and the pits and on the land. They all follow the ordinary avocations of life, and the competitions are really a form of sport to them.
If I were Chancellor of the Exchequer, which I shall never be, I should readily make this tax concession. I do not know whether they are to be found in the south of England, but in the north and in Scotland we have hundreds of strong, robust, energetic youths who like to take part in these sports. They are training themselves, putting obligations on themselves and denying themselves so that they can be perfectly fit. That fitness is taken into the mine and reflected in better output. It is reflected in better output of steel and in better production in every way.
I think it a misnomer to call these men professional when they are not making a living out of sport. These games and sports are carried out in the countryside by a body of men for no profit at all. They give their time and energies to entertain hundreds of people. These men are carrying on a way of life which dates back from the days of the maypole, when we provided our own entertainment in the country, and are making nothing out of it financially. Since the Chancellor has vanished, I should like the Financial Secretary to recognise that these games are conducted in the open air and, with the vagaries of our weather, all that is needed to put these men in a difficult financial dilemma is two successive wet days.
In 1952 we increased the tax and these men found the position very difficult. There is a considerable number of football clubs in my division, and two of them are well known. These are the training grounds for the professional clubs. The clubs I have in mind are Blyth Spartan and Ashington. Unless they get a transfer or two, they are in a parlous financial plight. I think some consideration should be given to these football clubs which are struggling very strenuously to keep their heads above water, and which ultimately contribute to British prestige in the football world. At the moment we need such prestige, but if we continue as we are at present, 1954 we shall dry up the sources from which the young players come.
My hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) said that the Romans used to have circuses. They used to throw Christians to the lions. If the Romans had circuses when things were going badly for them, this is a most opportune time for the Government to have a circus in view of the municipal elections last week. The best way to have a circus would be to please the men who are running these sports and to make it possible for these clubs to continue. We have a cast-iron case here as the amount of money which would be needed would be of no great magnitude, but the gesture would meet with general satisfaction throughout the country.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Dryden Brook (Halifax)
The Amendment in which I am particularly interested is that in the name of the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. T. Brown), which deals with Rugby League football. I should point out that Rugby League football is confined particularly to Yorkshire and Lancashire and is essentially a working man's game. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, South (Mr. Mikardo) I agree that if the main Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) is agreed to my Amendment will go by the board. Therefore, much of what I say will deal with the general problem of sports and why, in my judgment, sports, particularly games in the open air, should not be taxed at all.
In approaching this problem, I ask what is the purpose of sports in general and, in particular, the kinds of sport we are discussing today? The only answer I can find to that question is that they have to do with the individual and collective aspects of the fitness of human beings. Football, and especially Rugby football, has to do with the collective fitness of individuals. There is no game of which I know—and I played cricket and both forms of football in my youth—which develops the team spirit to the same extent as does Rugby football.
These are characteristics which are at the basis of any country's greatness—the physical fitness of its people and the capacity of its people to think not only of themselves as individuals but of others and, in particular, of the team as a 1955 whole. I suggest to the Chancellor that those are characteristics of the British people which it is worth his while to foster even at the cost of some money.
Another aspect of sport which seems important is that we should judge a sport and the clubs engaged in it by the intentions and the capacity they have to encourage as wide and active participation in the sport as is possible, especially among the young people of the country who are of the sport loving age. Measured by any of those aspects the sport in which I am keenly interested, Rugby League football, will compare with any other sport.
Much has been said of the Chancellor's decision to exempt cricket from the tax last year. I have no intention of denying that cricket ought to be exempt, but, in exempting cricket last year, the Chancellor took a very illogical step. There is no reason in logic why he should not extend that exemption to other sports. Why did the Chancellor exempt cricket last year? It seems that he pin-pointed cricket as it occupies a special place among sports in this country. But, measuring it by any standard, I think football has at least as much right as cricket to be looked on as our national sport.
Measured by the number of people who play the game, or the number of people who watch it, football would compare with cricket very much on the right side. In many parts of the country I agree that Association football is pre-eminent, but in the textile towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire the game of which I speak holds first place.
Last year the Chancellor spoke of cricket as combining together the various parts of the Commonwealth. He would be a bold man who would say that the touring team which recently returned from the West Indies had proved to be a combining factor. That tour may well have an opposite effect. As one correspondent of a daily newspaper said, it is probably time to abandon the idea that cricket is a factor which combines nations or peoples.
If the Chancellor accepts the idea that cricket is a game which has the effect of combining together parts of the Commonwealth obviously the Rugby League game has an equal claim. Soon a Rugby 1956 League team will be arriving in Australia to play a series of games there and then go on to New Zealand. Not only are there games with other Commonwealth teams, but Rugby League football forms a close link with France. If we consider Association football also in this respect its effects are far greater than those achieved by cricket.
Another aspect which seemed to enter into the mind of the Chancellor last year is that of professionalism. Is it true that cricket is more a game for amateurs than football? Is it true that professionalism is not so rampant in cricket? County cricket today is essentially a professional game. For some people it is a full-time job and is regarded in the same way as we regard our job. Cricket has the same features as Rugby League football in its organisation.
County cricket is professional in its foundations. Town clubs in the area I know well consider it unfashionable to have a professional cricketer belonging to our own country. They bring professionals from all parts of the world. Within ten miles of where I live a club has this year brought a man from Australia to act as a professional cricketer. Almost every club in the league has a professional from the far ends of the earth. It cannot, therefore, be correct that there is less professionalism in cricket than in football.
Rugby league clubs are similar to cricket clubs in their organisation. There is in my town a Rugby League club which is a limited liability company and which, to my knowledge, has never paid any dividends in the ordinary sense. Most Rugby clubs are still organised on the old amateur basis. They are voluntary bodies coming together to further their objects and whatever may be their structure the purpose is the same, to foster the playing of the game of football which exists in that area.
In Halifax we have one professional club at the top in which there may be 30 or 40 professional players on a part-time basis. I think I should be right to say that every member pursues another occupation in addition to his professional football. But the committee of the club or the board of directors is a voluntary body elected by the members. Beneath that club there is a wider basis of amateur football. In Halifax, almost every school except the grammar school has a Rugby 1957 League team. The boys join youth movements which have Rugby League clubs which are run in close contact with the education authorities. That goes on until the youths are about 16. Beyond that age they join other amateur clubs, so there is a complete build-up from the time the boys are at school until they pass the football age.
The clubs do not distribute whatever profit they may make in the form of dividends. They plough back their profits into the game in the same way as we exhort industrialists to plough back their dividends into industry. Unlike industrial profits the profits ploughed back by these clubs benefit not only a particular club, but football as a whole in the area.
It is important to remember that the professional club forms the basis on which the whole football in the area depends. Rugby League football clubs occupy the same financial position as cricket clubs. A small number are probably successful, but so are some cricket clubs. I do not think there is any football club which is as well off financially as the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and perhaps the Lancashire Club is in an equally favourable position.
By taking the step last year of exempting cricket the Chancellor started on a path from which there is no turning back, because, logically, cricket and football are in the same position. Cricket is a good game for developing individual initiative and fitness, and football is equally as good. Football is just as clean a game from the professional point of view as is cricket. For the reasons I have given I feel that the Chancellor would be wise to give sympathetic reconsideration to the whole position of sport in relation to Entertainments Duty and particularly the games of Rugby and Association football, and athletics, which fundamentally benefit the people of this country.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mrs. E. M. Braddock (Liverpool, Exchange)
The Amendment to which I want to refer is in page 2, line 5, at the end, to add:(3) As from the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, boxing matches shall be excluded from the entertainments in respect of which entertainments duty is payable.I would remind the Committee that in the debate last year I drew attention to 1958 the very serious effect which the Entertainments Duty was having upon boxing promotions and said that if the duty were continued it was bound to have an even more serious effect upon them. That has happened.
There are some people, like my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill), who do not like boxing and, indeed, positively object to it, but there are large sections of the public which like boxing. It is a very old sport and, in view of the many alterations which the British Boxing Board of Control has introduced into promotions and the care of boxers, I think the sport worthy of the support which it receives from the British public, who like it. I like boxing and whenever I have the opportunity, when there is no three-line Whip in the House and there is a boxing promotion in London, I like to see a boxing match very much indeed.
We all have our points of view and are entitled to them. One of the characteristics of this country is that people who disagree with one another, in politics, sport or entertainment, have an opportunity to follow the line which they like. So far there has been no restriction placed upon sports which might put some of them out of existence altogether.
Another factor to be taken into account is that in every school in the country where there is a boxing ring and some tuition in boxing, it has always been found that it is the one sport in which more boys wish to take part than can be accommodated. The sports promoters and teachers of boxing in the schools have discovered in some of the schools a lack of a boxing ring and of the trainers in the sport who the boys would like to see.
The application of this duty is making it almost impossible for the sport to be continued at all. Last year I said that the continuation of the duty would mean that more and more of the promotions would either cease or would turn over to charity, where no duty is payable at all. I was quite correct, because the figures stated officially, at the latest date available, show that in October, 1951, at the old rate of duty, there were 69 promotions, whereas in October, 1952— the first month of the new rate of duty —that dropped to 53, and in October, 1953—the second year of the new rate— 1959 it dropped to 38. That is a very serious reduction in the number of promotions in the country.
I will leave the financial question to some of my colleagues, but I think attention should also be drawn to the very serious decrease in the total number of promotions and to the fact that, if the duty continues, more promoters will be unable to continue their boxing promotions. They have already stated to the British Boxing Board of Control that because of the difficult financial position and the incidence of the duty, many of them will be reluctantly compelled to cease promotions altogether unless something is done to help them in this year's Finance Bill.
Of course, in other parts of the world, where professional boxers are very prominent, promotions can take place without having to pay duty at all, and we find that some of the best contests and promotions are being taken out of the country altogether, thus depriving those who like boxing and who wish to follow it of the opportunity of seeing the sport.. The best of these contests, even with British professional boxers, are being held in other parts of the world, where the promotions can take place without having to meet taxation. I am told that one prominent promoter has taken two of his big contests out of the country and is looking for a way of taking these promotions out of the country permanently. I think that is very unfortunate.
Professional boxers take part in the sport not because they have to but because they believe it is a good English sport. They like to take part in it. In these days many of them also do a good job of work in industry. They do not make their living solely by boxing but take part in the normal and general life and production in the country.
I would draw attention to the very serious decrease in the number of boxing promotions since the duty was introduced. The commercial promotions—those upon which duty is paid—numbered 648 in the year ended September, 1952. In the year ended September, 1953, the number dropped to 360, while, on the other hand, the charitable or duty-free promotions, which in the year ending September, 1951, were 60, had increased, in the year ending September, 1953, to 89. That 1960 means that these people are changing to charity promotions. Boxing is going on, but no duty is coming to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
In view of the representations which have been made from both sides of the Committee and from the British Boxing Board of Control, I hope the Chancellor will give very serious consideration to my Amendment and will withdraw the duty from boxing promotions altogether.
§ Dr. Edith Summerskill (Fulham, West)
I rise to oppose the Amendment to which my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) has referred, and which seeks to exclude boxing from the payment of Entertainments Duty.
You will recall, Mr. Hoy, that last year a similar Amendment was moved, and that I opposed it. It was late at night, and my speech was accompanied by jeers, cheers and interjections of all kinds. I must confess that it is very pleasant this afternoon to rise in this peaceful and, I hope, slightly sympathetic atmosphere.
I wish to present a rational case. From what my hon. Friend said, I think it is clear that public opinion is changing, and I believe that even since last year, a volume of public opinion has been created in this country of such a degree that there are many people who will read my speech tomorrow with much greater sympathy than that with which they read my speech last year.
I am asking the Chancellor not to make any concession, for this reason. First, is boxing a sport? I looked up the Oxford Dictionary, where I found sport defined as "a pleasant pastime." In view of the fact that in boxing the principal objective of a boxer is to render his opponent insensible in the shortest possible time, can we say that boxing is a pleasant pastime, at least, for the active participants? I would say that it is an unsavoury pastime.
When my hon. Friend says that the number of promotions is decreasing, she must recognise that the people of this country, and, indeed, of the world, are evolving and becoming more civilised. After all, what does boxing involve? It involves the exploitation of physically fit but ignorant youths by promoters 1961 whose sole interest is the amount of profit they can extort.
I have no intention of dilating upon the injuries of young boxers or arousing the emotions of hon. Members present, but I should like to draw their attention, if they care to look up certain medical works, to what some people have written on the subject of injuries to the soft tissues of the (brain which have been caused by boxing. Indeed, I had the great honour to take to the Treasury, before the Budget, a very powerful deputation on this subject. One of the most distinguished eye surgeons in this country accompanied me, and I would remind the Chancellor that he left with him a rather important paper entitled "Fisticuffs and the Visual Organs."
The distinguished man of whom I am speaking is a past-president of the Ophthalmological Society of Great Britain. I can assure the Chancellor that he was no great friend of mine. It simply happened that, being a brilliant surgeon, the poor boxers who had been injured in the ring, needing the best treatment they could get, came to him. This surgeon has been so shocked by the cases on which he has been called upon to operate that he thought it was the right thing to write a paper about it, which he read to the Ophthalmological Society of Great Britain, and it was in consequence of this medical paper that I came in contact with him.
I asked him whether he could give up his work to come with me in this deputation, and he said that he was sorry that he could not go on a morning when he saw hospital patients, but he was quite prepared to put off his private patients to give up his time to go to the Treasury. He is a very great man.
Besides this surgeon, I want to quote the former headmaster of a school, a man who is now the regional organiser of physical education in one of our great counties. He was in the R.A.F. during the war, and was so impressed by the fact that men engaged in boxing were injured that, in his county, the local authority has refused to have boxing of any kind taught. This man, who is well-balanced and knowledgeable, told me that many people are now feeling rather strongly about this matter.
I remember that the last time I spoke on this subject somebody said, in an 1962 interjection, that I knew nothing about it, as I did not frequent the ringside. When I have the spare time, I am not impelled, like my hon. Friend, to seek out what is known as a promotion—a delightful euphemism for this curious sport—tout I have read recently a paper in which the matter has been debated.
The "Daily Herald" of last Thursday contained a sports commentary by a very well-known man in the sporting world named Tom Phillips, who headed his article "What Do The Fans Want?" He said:I get very puzzled at times. Maybe, I am dumb or blind. I saw Dai Dower win a great 10-round fight against the Dutch champion at Empress Hall, and woke up yesterday to a chorus of 'He wasn't so hot, was he?' What do the critics want? Bear-baiting—with men standing-in for animals? Not once during those last four rounds could you tell that Dower's right foot was searing hot with pain. True, he slowed up. Everyone put it down to the fact that he was getting tired because he had never gone 10 rounds before. I like boxing. But when the day comes that most fans want grunt, snort and gore, let them go elsewhere for it And I will stay at home.6.45 p.m.
I will continue the quotation, but I assure the Committee that I would not have introduced personalities unless this had already been printed, and had, indeed, been read by millions of people. Tom Phillips goes on to say this:I'm puzzled, too, about Turpin. He has been but a shadow of himself since he had that terrible battering from Sugar Ray Robinson in New York, in 1951. He had the car accident—and then 15 rounds of agony against Carl Bobo Olson last autumn in New York. He was too bad to be true against Olle Bengtsson in London early this year. And then he went out, like a light, from one punch from Mitri in Rome.I do not want to quote the whole article, which goes on to say that a specialist had declared that Turpin is fit. Phillips says that the only test of Turpin's condition is in the ring, and, medically, that is absolutely correct. There is no instrument yet devised which can detect in a boxer any injury to the brain.
I have quoted from this article, because this man, Tom Phillips, has conveyed in moderate language what I am trying to convey more forcibly from this Box. I say that this man, Tom Phillips, has shown great moral courage, and I must confess that the great quality that I admire in men is moral courage. He shows moral courage because, after all, he derives part of his living from this 1963 sporting world. He has to go to these matches, and, although I have no personal knowledge of the promoters, as my hon. Friend has, I gather that they are rather crude creatures who would not spare Tom Phillips for daring to criticise the world of commercial boxing. Yet, he said that the time has come to say, in this newspaper, that all is not well.
§ Dr. Summerskill
The "Daily Herald."
The last time I spoke, Turpin was in the headlines. We shall see where he is next year when I speak on this subject. [An HON. MEMBER: "Probably in the breadline."] I want to ask whether, morally, spiritually and ethically, we can afford this brutal and degrading spectacle? Today, our prisons have three in a cell, and our reformatories are overfull. Can we allow these coarse men, whose only interest is making profit for themselves, to organise these displays, which appeal to the very lowest instincts in human beings? This week-end, I was shocked to learn that, in the United States, where there is commercial television—
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Hoy)
May I remind the right hon. Lady that what we are discussing is whether or not boxing should be exempted from Entertainments Duty. While I do not want to stop her, I hope she will not go too far away from that question.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I have nearly finished. The point I am putting is this: if we have a so-called sport which is not only hurtful to the active participants but is morally and spiritually hurtful to the onlookers, is that not a reason for taxing it out of existence?
§ The Temporary Chairman
What the right hon. Lady said may be so, but all we are considering in the Amendment is exempting boxing from Entertainments Duty.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I fully appreciate that, and I am opposing the Amendment.
It would be a great mistake to exempt this unsavoury pastime from Entertainments Duty. I have read that in the 1964 United States of America, where there is commercial television, the people are "fed "—I thought that was a particularly appropriate expression—12 times a week with boxing displays. When we have commercial television I hope that we shall not degenerate in the same way. No doubt commercial boxing and commercial television will find a mutual attraction.
As we debate this matter there is a very important conference going on at Geneva, where we are striving desperately to establish a world civilisation which will outlaw war as a means of settling disputes The Chancellor has in his family a great tradition of education. Can he for one moment approve of these boxing displays, which debase the minds of our young? Here, again, is an opportunity for him to educate our youth and to make it clear to the country that the right hon. Genteman is opposed personally to this kind of display which debases and degrades our young men.
§ Mr. E. Shinwell (Easington)
If I select this geographical position, a seat on the Front Bench below the Gangway, from which to offer observations on the Amendment I do so because I have no desire to involve the Labour Opposition Front Bench. There is all the more reason for so doing because, so far as I am aware—and I have some knowledge on this matter—no official policy on this subject has yet been declared by the Labour Party. Whatever view I may express will not bring me before the hierarchy and subject me to inquisition. On the other hand, let me correct any possibility of misunderstanding by saying that my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill) is speaking entirely for herself on this matter.
I am amazed at some of her observations. She began by informing hon. Members that she was about to make a rational speech. She spoke of ignorant youths engaged in what was described as a sport, but was no sport at all. She spoke of a "degrading spectacle." If that is what is meant by being rational, my right hon. Friend must be more affected by her prejudices than by reason and intelligence. Boxing—if you like; a pastime; if you care, a sport—is indulged in by youths in every university and college.
§ Mr. Shinwell
No, of course it does not make it right. I am merely stating the fact. My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) is not right in everything he does or says, yet we always listen to him with great respect. In expressing my personal view I ask him that I shall be listened to with the same respect that I accord to others. I repeat that this sport is universal in al! universities and colleges.
Moreover, it is the one sport that is sponsored, and is indeed financed, by the National Coal Board. I have no desire to introduce the subject of mines nationalisation, but in the opinion of the Coal Board and of the miners' unions, boxing is a sport to be encouraged. If the Coal Board and the miners' leaders regarded it as a degrading spectacle, indulged in by ignorant youths, would they encourage it? Of course not. I have had the privilege of watching on television the amateur boxing sponsored by the Coal Board. I have not seen young men battered about. On the other hand, I have seen men engaging in a scientific display and contending with each other. At the end of the bout, despite the blows inflicted here and there, I have seen them embracing each other in a gesture of the utmost friendliness and harmony.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I am speaking of amateur boxing. I agree that in many professional boxing bouts, some of which I have attended and enjoyed, no blows or injuries were inflicted upon me as a consequence of my attendance, and I admit that one or other of the contestants suffered injury. I say, and I challenge contradiction, that fewer injuries are inflicted in the boxing ring, certainly injuries with permanent effect, than on the football field, and particularly, on the rugby field. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] I know that emotions are aroused when one dares to speak about boxing. I do not know why the pacifist attitude and sentiment of my hon. Friends should be injected into sport. Cannot we content ourselves with trying to promote peace in the international sphere?
What we can say is that in the boxing ring there are no broken legs, or, at any 1966 rate, very seldom. Few men are permanently incapacitated in the boxing ring as compared with the football field. Someone spoke about being punch drunk. I must say that on this subject some of my hon. Friends are punch drunk intellectually.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I was perhaps a little lax in allowing the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill) to range so wide. So far, I have allowed the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) to range similarly in his reply, but I should be very grateful if hon. Members would now direct their attention to the Amendment under discussion.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I welcome that intervention, Mr. Hoy. It is similar to the advice given by the referee to contestants that they are not to clinch too often.
Only recently I was invited to attend a function at which many old-time boxers were present. One of them was over 80 and two were over 70 years of age. I must confess that when I looked at some of them closely they appeared to have cauliflower ears, but those men were healthy and vigorous. I venture to say that many of them could have taken on some hon. Members half their age.
The right hon. Lady spoke about ignorant youths. At that function I saw some of the best known boxers of the day. They were young men up to 25 years old. I could hardly believe that they were in the boxing fraternity at all. They looked like high-ranking civil servants, and their conversation was indicative of a high intelligence. Why those young men should be described as ignorant youths I do not know.
I agree that it would be unfair to say that those without experience of a sport should not express opinions about it. In my time I have played football, although my experience was not extensive. I was centre-half for a junior team and they decided, because of my incompetence to make me the trainer of the club. I have occasionally, when younger, engaged in this sport of boxing. I can hardly recall any occasion in which I got the best of it. Nevertheless, it did me no harm and, if I may say so, I am not punch drunk. What I do say is that unless one has had some experience, either by participating 1967 in the game as an amateur, or witnessed it in either its professional or amateur form, one is not entitled to express such opinions as those expressed by my right hon. Friend.
I cannot enter the ring against my right hon. Friend on matters of medicine or of medical jurisprudence. I have no competence to do that. She is probably not aware, however, that the British Boxing Board of Control exercises the greatest possible supervision over contestants and provides a great deal of medical assistance. No boxing contest is held today without the presence of a medical man.
§ Mr. Shinwell
My hon. Friend says that it is necessary. If I may say so some people ought to have medical assistance before they come in here. I find it a great advantage not speaking at present from the official Opposition Front Bench. Moreover, before these young men enter the ring they are subject to a rigorous medical examination.
If I were Chancellor and had my way I would abolish the Entertainments Duty altogether. It is wrong to impose a tax on recreation and entertainment. Both should be universal and there should be no impositions of any kind. Tax other things, but not entertainment. But if one has to tax entertainment why should there be this discrimination in favour of cricket? I do not object to that game being given all the privileges, financial and otherwise than can be afforded, but why deny equal privileges to other sports?
I can see no reason for discrimination. I suggest that the Chancellor should think again and assist in encouraging the sport of boxing. I agree that there is sometimes a little jiggery pokery in connection with it, but there is jiggery pokery in connection with Rugby League and Association football—and even with cricket. In fact, if we are honest and have no humbug or hypocrisy about it we shall admit that there is jiggery pokery in connection with almost everything, whether sport or anything else.
Some people do not like boxing, others actively dislike it, but is that any reason why the vast number of people who like 1968 it should have to pay higher prices to see their favourite sport? I think not. I hope that the Chancellor will ignore completely the opinions expressed by my right hon. Friend. Let her stay away from boxing—
§ Mr. Shinwell
Let her have her tea parties; let her become a habitué of the drawing-room or even of the cocktail party. We do not want her at the ring side. In any case, she already has enough to do. As a member of the National Executive of the Labour Party she has plenty to do to stop—I will not say the fisticuffs but 'the controver sies occurring in that body. I do not want to be—
Sir Robert Boottaby (Aberdeenshire, East)
§ Mr. Shinwell
—nasty. I have a great admiration for the right hon. Lady—I would even go so far as to say affection, but if I have to be in a corner in this arena I prefer to be in that of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) than in that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West.
§ Mr. Barnett Janner (Leicester, North-West)
After the "non-controversial" manner in which the Amendment has been dealt perhaps we could now resume what you, Mr. Hoy, suggested was the correct approach to the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock).
I suggest that if the Chancellor does not concede the point asked for in this Amendment he is, in fact, stating that the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill) was correct and that the sport of boxing should be killed. That, in effect, is the position towards which the matter is proceeding today unless something is done for this sport.
If a Chancellor thought that a certain sport should no longer be engaged in or that people should not have the opportunity of visiting tournaments or exhibitions of that sport, I could understand him saying, quite logically, "Stop the sport altogether. Impose such a tax as will kill the sport." Indeed, that is what 1969 the Financial Secretary and the Chancellor himself said should foe inquired into at the time when applications were being made for a reduction of Entertainments Duty in regard to various sports last year. He said that he was not prepared to do anything unless he was satisfied that by not doing something about reducing the duty the sport itself would be put out of existence.
I appeal to him to consider that point most carefully in respect of boxing. My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange was quite correct when she said that if this taxation is continued in the way in which it is imposed today there can be no doubt that boxing in this country will be wiped out of existence. I appeal to hon. Members to say that they will not permit that to be done. If it is to be argued whether the sport is good or bad I maintain that this is not the occasion for such an argument and that another opportunity ought to be sought. The electorate ought to be asked to express their views about the sport. I submit that if the opinion of the country were taken on whether boxing was good or bad as a sport the vast majority would say that it is a good sport.
I would point out to the right hon. Lady that the youth club movements of our country, which certainly do not exist for the purpose of doing harm, encourage boxing and regard it as being a healthy form of entertainment and amusement not only for the observers but for the participators. I speak with the knowledge that the British Boxing Board of Control consists of men of considerable standing against whom it could not be said that they have no regard for the moral and physical values of the sport.
The right hon. Lady is a member of the medical profession. There is at least one eminent member of that profession who is a steward of the British Boxing Board of Control. There are men of very high standing in the community who would not allow their names to be used or themselves to be engaged as stewards or members of the British Board of Boxing Control if they thought that this was a wrong type of sport in which to indulge.
§ Rev. Llywelyn Williams (Abertillery)
On a point of order. Is it not usual for hon. Members to declare their interest in a subject, if they have any?
§ Mr. Janner
My interest is perfectly well known. I have declared it here on a number of occasions. In a professional capacity I act for a number of people in the boxing world. Almost every lawyer acts for some kind of interest or another. If he were to refrain from speaking on any subject in which he had a professional interest he would probably have to refrain from speaking on every subject.
§ The Temporary Chairman
It is perfectly clear that if an hon. Member has an interest he should declare it to the Committee, but he has every entitlement to speak.
§ Mr. Janner
I have declared my interest so often that I thought that it was not necessary to repeat it. It is rather difficult for the professional man because, on the one hand, he has to say that he acts for people, and, on the other, the profession does not look with very great favour on reference to one's professional activities being made in public. My interest is fairly generally known. I am sorry that my hon. Friend was not aware of it. The Chancellor and other Ministers know of it. On many occasions I have informed them of my interest.
This interest gives one an opportunity to know what is happening. One has the great advantage of being able to see the inside of the matter with which one is dealing and being able to give the benefit of that insight to the Committee. I say categorically that the allegations made by the right hon. Lady are entirely unfounded so far as the boxing profession and the boxers are concerned. I say categorically that if she were to see the boxer to whom she referred she would have a very different opinion from the one she expressed about his physical condition.
§ Dr. Summerskill
The hon. Gentleman will recall that I was quoting Mr. Tom Phillips. I was not expressing any personal opinion.
§ Mr. Janner
In that case I would inform her that perhaps I know more about this boxer than Mr. Tom Phillips does. He is in a good state of health. My right hon. Friend need have no fear or anxiety about his condition.
§ Mr. Janner
I am glad to hear that. Perhaps my right hon. Friend will see him fight some time.
I was trying to point out that this is the real issue. There are people who would finish with boxing altogether. I understand that point of view, though I do not agree with it. I think that those people are entirely wrong in their outlook but, nevertheless, it is logical for them to oppose the Amendment. If the right hon. Lady occupied the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer I could understand her saying that she has decided to continue the taxation because, ultimately, it would kill the sport.
Fantastic pictures have been painted about the cruelty of the sport, about the promoters and the rest of it. That sounds very well but it is a highly coloured picture. Moreover, it is entirely wrong. What does the British Boxing Board of Control say about the matter of the tax. My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange gave some figures. I have since ascertained the actual figure up to date. There were 273 tournaments in the six months up to March of this year, compared with 443 from October to March of 1952. That is a reduction by almost half. Figures were given about the amount of tax paid in respect of football matches, and so on. In the case of boxing the total amount of receipts has increased but only by a small amount, although double the amount of tax was being paid compared with 1951. This reduced the net receipts very considerably. That in itself indicates the position as reflected by the attendances at the tournaments. I think these matters should be taken into consideration.
Let me give an illustration of what happens at an ordinary, small show. There may be about 1,500 persons present. The promoter's gross takings, out of which he has to pay for the hall, for the lighting, for the boxers' fees, and so on, probably amount to £500 gross. He has to pay £160 in Entertainments Duty. Under the new proposal he is relieved of about £3 18s. out of £160. Is it any wonder that 50 per cent, of the promoters, as I think it is correct to say, have already given up promoting altogether?
If that continues, ultimately there will be no boxers available for the larger tournaments. Indeed, in my constituency, 1972 where we have large tournaments, the promoter—with whom I have no connection—has told me that it is just impossible for him to continue. On his last promotion the tax was so high that, even though there was a large number of people attending, he was at a loss on the show, and he said he could not carry on in future if things went on like that.
I appeal to the Chancellor. We have given him the facts and figures. I beg him to realise that there are hundreds of thousands of people who thoroughly enjoy boxing and seeing boxing. I do not think they are wrong. I enjoy it myself. I am sure many hon. Members enjoy it, too. I beg the right hon. Gentleman not to leave the position as it is. If he cannot accept the proposal in the Amendment, I ask him to consider between now and Report making some reduction in the tax, which will enable the sport to continue. It is not fair to ask the sport to go out of existence. I do not think he would want it to.
I have spoken of this sport in particular, but I believe that the tax should be taken off sport altogether. My constituency has not done badly in this year of grace in football. Leicester City has done very well indeed. I think that that club and other clubs would be very much happier if the Entertainments Duty were removed. As to boxing, I do hope that the right hon. Gentleman will consider the suggestions I have made.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
We have had three hours of debate on what is the main Amendment proposed to Clause 1. We have yet to consider a good many other Amendments to this Clause, and I think it likely that there will be some reference to the film industry before we leave the Clause. Then we have the rest of a great, long Bill to take in our usual manner. So I think the Committee would be wise if it could bring the debate on this and the associated Amendments to an end as soon as possible, so that we can make progress.
I would remind the Committee that I did not bring the Schedule concerning the Entertainments Duty up to the front because I wanted to be as orthodox as possible, so there will be a further opportunity for hon. Members who have not spoken yet on the subject to talk on it on that Schedule. If we could bring this debate to an end and pass on to 1973 other Amendments, I think that that would be in the general interest.
The debate has ranged over a very wide area. I have taken notes of every speech to which I have listened. I do not want to join in the controversy between the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell), the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill) and the hon. Lady the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock). I notice that the right hon. Gentleman has put himself in a strategic position exactly half way between the right hon. Lady and the hon. Lady, and I would advise him to stay there to keep out of trouble. Some of his remarks made me feel we were attending what it has never been my privilege to attend, an intimate meeting of the Labour Party. He used expressions that seemed to me singularly appropriate. He said, "At some moments I detect a high intelligence." As an opponent, I should like to pay tribute to the party opposite— for that is possible, at some moments.
There was some talk of the hon. and right hon. Members opposite embracing one another. I understand that that is always done after their quarrels. I do not want to stir up the quarrels in the Opposition, but we can detect them even from the outside. The right hon. Gentleman referred to jiggery-pokery that he detected everywhere. We certainly detect it in the activities of the party opposite. So the right hon. Gentleman gave us a very happy preview of certain other events that are to take place.
I shall deal with the matter of boxing shortly in answer to the arguments raised from each sector of the front. There was a rather separate scheme of the hon. Member for Reading, South (Mr. Mikardo). Before I deal with the individual points, however, I want to say a general word, and that is that we depend for about £40 million on the revenue from the Entertainments Duty, and I think hon. Members have rather exaggerated the ease with which it would be possible to take it off sport.
The proposal would in any case make a great difficulty with the living theatre, and I shall be quite unable to accept any Amendment that makes that differentiation. It would make a really very difficult position vis-á-vis the film industry, which brings in the very much greater 1974 part of the Entertainments Duty, amounting to £37 million and more, whereas the amount at stake in the Amendment, if we brought racing into the exemption— though that is not clear, and, perhaps, the right hon. Gentleman will explain that— would be about £3.845 million. Of that sum the amount for football would be £1.64 million, boxing about £11,000—I have made a slip of the tongue. It is £110,000, not £11,000. I read the figure 11 and should have added a nought.
§ Mr. Butler
The "damned dots," yes. Horse racing is about £1 million, dog racing about £500,000, and speedway racing about £75,000. That shows that the amount involved is not so great. The real difficulty is first to differentiate between those and the theatres. The second difficulty is this, I feel. The relationship between the amount of tax imposed on sport and the amount of tax imposed on films being carefully balanced or compensated, being about 23 per cent, in the case of sport and 36 per cent, in the case of the others, it is extraordinarily difficult to accept an Amendment that would eliminate sport altogether, while leaving the whole burden of the Entertainments Duty to fall upon the film industry.
The film industry has many difficulties. We have done something quite exceptional in the Budget to try to help overcome them, for national reasons, such as saving unemployment, and other like considerations. It would make the situation, in my view, impossible to hold if we left the sports out altogether. That is the main reason why I am unable to accept the Amendment and the related Amendments.
I believe the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) was himself engaging in an exempted sport this afternoon, but would have liked to have spoken in the debate. This being a free country, perhaps he will be able to, but he is almost the only hon. Member with his name to these Amendments who has not actually made an expression of an opinion. Thus we have had a pretty general picture drawn for us, and I want to deal with some of the aspects that arise. I take boxing first.
The position of boxing undoubtedly is that the promoters are promoting less, 1975 particularly in the case of the small clubs. There is no doubt that small shows are not so prosperous as they were. Reference has been made, for example, to the position in Northern Ireland, and many arguments have been advanced to indicate that this is due to the Entertainments Duty.
The fact is that though the Entertainments Duty does fall heavily on these sports, I do not myself believe that the present position of boxing and its difficulties are attributable entirely to the tax. It is the case that when anything starts getting into difficulties the promoters turn to the tax in just the same way as we are told that any economic difficulties are due to Purchase Tax. In fact, the tax is not the only difficulty, and usually on investigation it is found that the cause goes to something much deeper.
Nevertheless, the position of boxing is extremely anxious for the promoters, but it is clear from the debate in this Committee that there is no unanimity of feeling on the subject, and the views of the right hon. Lady the Member for Ful-ham, West are in direct conflict to the views of the hon. Lady the Member for Liverpool, Exchange. I am not going into the medical aspect of this matter, but I should like to say that the deputation brought by the right hon. Lady was extremely impressive. However, I do not think that a tax question ought to be decided on the basis of medical views.
Here I know I will be told that one particular sport, namely, cricket, has been exempt and why not start exempting others. In all simplicity, the real answer to that is the experience of exempting one has made me quite certain that 1 cannot go further down the slippery slope. I do not regret the action I took about cricket. The entry into the decision—I use that phrase advisedly—to exempt cricket was by way of the very real difficulty of defining what is an amateur and what is not in the cricket world.
In the last Budget we exempted all amateur sports and we applied it to cricket, which led to amiable arguments, but the idea was commended universally in the Committee. Now the exemption is used as an argument for making other exemptions, but I must flatly state that 1976 I cannot face a gradual erosion of the Entertainments Duty not only in respect of the various sports that have been advocated today, but also as between sport and the film industry.
I have never refused to listen to arguments, and I have acknowledged already that the position of the smaller boxing promotions is, as revealed to me in many of the papers submitted, one of the least attractive sides of the statistics. There is no doubt about it that there is a decline, but I cannot go further than say that I have noticed it and cannot offer any further concession this evening in the matter.
There was considerable reference to football, and I should like to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) on his advocacy of his own club. I cannot give any answer about Bannister. I have not had time to consult the Foreign Office.
I feel that the football question has been gone into with very considerable care since I gave the undertaking I did in the last debates that we held. The position in football since I last spoke has been that on the whole the situation has been maintained. Attendances, for example, were shown to be 5 per cent, less in the 1952–53 season than in the 1951–52 season, while in the 1953–54 season up to the end of February the average attendances at league matches had only been 1 per cent, lower over all compared with the corresponding period in the 1952–53 season. There has been a considerable pick-up in attendances. The previous decline was 5 per cent, and the decline last season was 1 per cent. [Interruption] I am trying to give the Committee the facts and the statistics of the money involved.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)
Will the Chancellor tell us what he means by attendances? Is he speaking of the four major leagues and the Scottish League, or is he taking into account minor leagues, like Birmingham, the Southern and others, when talking about a blanket figure for total attendances?
§ Mr. Butler
I am told that in the First Division there has been an improvement but in the lower divisions there has been a slight decline, particularly in the Second Division—I was coming to this— 1977 and in the Third Division, North and South. That is the information that we get from the football world.
§ Mr. Butler
I have not the details here, but there has been a decline in attendance at the smaller clubs, though there has not been from our point of view a great decline in the takings.
When we came to consider what to do after taking the position of the film industry into account, we decided that, having offered some relief to the film industry for national reasons, we ought to do something to mitigate the position of the football clubs. We have, therefore, introduced this Clause to which I referred in my Budget speech when I said that there would be a reduction of ½d. per entrance. It was thought to be a very small figure, but, in fact, if one looks at the result on an ordinary Association football match with a gate of 10,000 there would be an improvement of £20, and on a Rugby League match with a gate of 6,000 there would be a £10 to £12 improvement on the takings. So there will be a slight improvement through this modest Amendment.
The interesting thing to note is that when we work this out statistically we find for the English leagues as a whole —I am taking that only as an example, and I do not wish to differentiate between England and Scotland in this matter—that the increase in gate money more than offsets the 2 per cent, decline in takings to which I referred earlier. I do not say it meets the position of the smaller clubs, but at least on the global figures, which are not always right when one comes down to the circumferences, we have found that there is a little amelioration which actually offsets the decline in the English league takings.
I would not advise the Committee to under-rate this small concession. I must state quite frankly that, of course, it will benefit the dub more than the public. There is no reason why it should not be passed on to the public, but it is much more honest to say that it is for the clubs and, as we all want to see the small 1978 clubs—I was referred to during the debate as the president of one of these clubs—in such a condition that they can continue, I think it will be a good thing if their finances are buttressed in the small way we propose in the Finance Bill, balancing in some way the concession to the film industry.
Could the right hon. Gentleman split up the figures? Could he tell us whether there have been serious reductions in gate money at the smaller clubs' matches which have been offset by a slight increase among the bigger clubs?
§ Mr. Butler
I was not taking only a global figure, but I was saying that there had been a decline in attendances at the smaller club matches. I was not trying to mix that up with the larger clubs, which have remained more or less constant.
That is the position for football, and I think I can say that I have looked at the position as I promised last year, and I have made a suggestion for a slight modification which has met the rate of decline. I cannot guarantee that it will apply to every club, or that every club will be satisfied. As far as I can see football and Rugby League clubs and other clubs involved in the game are not likely to go into a serious decline, and, indeed, they will maintain their position.
The hon. Member for Reading, South wanted to vary the scale and emphasised the need for a fourth line of defence. I think he made a perfectly rational speech, unlike the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West. His case is a perfectly easy one to understand. It means a further alteration in the scale, and I readjusted the scale in the last Budget but one following upon the representations about speedway which were made to my predecessor. That was done by the House of Commons, not all by one party. The right hon. Gentleman shifted from his position, and I finally stabilised the Entertainments Duty at the three-tier scale we now have.
I really do not think that the case for football, as investigated carefully by us, is sufficiently bad on present evidence to justify altering the scales again, but I have every reason to pay tribute to the care with which the hon. Member worked out his scheme, and I will certainly read his speech with great care, as I have only 1979 had the opportunity of listening to it and not testing it out on the scales which we apply in these intellectual utterances, including his.
The other question raised was that of the Highland games by the hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde). The smell of the heather brought refreshment into our debate, and was only brushed away by the cold, clammy hand of the Treasury. I thought at first that it might have been one of my immediate predecessors who imposed the Entertainments Duty, but I have had some rapid researches made and I find that it was Mr. McKenna who put on the Entertainments Duty in 1916, and so the cold, clammy hand which is complained of in the dales and glens of the North, and even in the constituency of the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond), came from a party which is at present only moderately represented in the House. Therefore, the rest of the Committee can glow with satisfaction that they have not the first responsibility in this matter.
§ Mr. Douglas Jay (Battersea, North)
But will the Chancellor remind the Committee that it was his own cold, clammy hand which raised the duty on all these sports and games in 1952. hence much of the trouble?
§ Mr. Butler
There was an adjustment on some and a reduction on others, and they met in the middle. Not all of the hand was cold and clammy. Some of it was warm and human. The mixture was generally regarded as being fair. The hon. Gentleman gave us a complete catalogue of all the athletes that Scotland has produced, and I must say that they make a most impressive collection, though I cannot believe that they were all trained at the Highland games. Nevertheless the position of the Highland games is intensely complicated. There are all sorts of legal definitions of what is and what is not amateur in the Highland games field, but one thing is quite certain, and that is that there is a degree of professionalism which is brought into the games in most cases; and whether it be piping or otherwise, it renders it impossible for the games to claim exemption on the amateur status basis.
That is precisely the difficulty. That is why there were some misunderstand- 1980 ings and mistakes in the interpretation of the Act last year. These have now been brought to the attention of promoters, and this year we shall have to administer the Act as it was intended to be administered; that is, that when an entertainment is not amateur and when there is a degree of professionalism in it, whether it be piping or anything else, we shall have to interpret the Act and charge the duty.
I am sorry for this and I sympathise with the Highland games, but the Highland games have just as much opportunity of making a profit, and therefore are not bad things to tax, as football and boxing The difficulty arises in the case of small ones. The only possibility is to make sure that the amateur status is, in fact, preserved and defined and understood as between Her Majesty's Collector of Taxes and the organisers. If any hon. Members representing Scottish constituencies have any more details about football which they would like to mention, we shall examine them during the passage of the Finance Bill, but I cannot depart from the differentiation between professional and amateur.
§ Mr. John Taylor (West Lothian)
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the point that Highland games are not necessarily an entertainment? Quite frequently they are regarded as a very solemn ritual. In view of that, would he not consider exempting them from the duty altogether?
§ Mr. Butler
I do not want to get into any more difficulties about what is educational, what is ritual and so on. These are difficult matters to define.
I have attempted to answer some of the many good, sincere and straightforward speeches which have been made in the course of this debate. I remember the speech of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), and I have answered him. I cannot take the duty off all the sports. I have done my best to deal with the points raised by the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher). My answer to him is this. He asked "Why not in peace-time take off the duty on sport?" The answer is: why did his own Government keep the whole duty on during the six years that they were in power?
§ Mr. E. Fletcher
The answer is that we did reduce it, whereas the present Chancellor has increased it.
§ Mr. Butler
I have made exemptions and certain adjustments, and I do not think that my record is any worse in this respect than that of hon. Members opposite in maintaining the duty. When hon. Members are in opposition they say that it must be removed, but when in power they kept it on for six years.
I have tried to answer my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro). I am sorry that I cannot go as far as he wants me to go and increase the duty on the pools, because if I did I would get into difficulties of maladjustment in the general rates of tax. I have dealt with the case raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. H. Fraser). The Stafford Rangers will survive, whatever attentions the Chancellor may lavish upon them. I have referred to the hon. Member for Reading, South, and I should like to make passing references to the speeches of the right hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. R. J. Taylor) and the hon. Member for Halifax (Mr. D. Brook). Although my speech may not have given the comfort which the Committee desired, I think that we should now come to a decision because I cannot take this matter any further this year.
§ 7.45 p.m.
The Chancellor has asked us whether we will come to a decision. Had he offered a gleam of hope to us that he would accept any of these Amendments, or even think about them, I am sure that my hon. Friends would have been more inclined to accept his proposition; but as it is, a number of hon. Members on this side of the Committee, feel very strongly on this subject, have substantial constituency interests and are concerned with one sport or another, and I am therefore rising not to conclude the debate but merely to comment upon some of the things which the Chancellor has said.
I agree that we have had a useful and interesting debate. I think that one of the highlights of this debate has been the remarkable display of talent from Scotland. Sir Charles, you have been presiding during a large part of these proceedings; Major Anstruther-Gray has presided during another part and Mr. Hoy during the rest of it. We have had 1982 a remarkable speech from my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde), and there have been speeches from the hon. Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. H. Fraser) and several other Scottish Members. It is quite evident that there is a danger of a serious Scottish nationalist outbreak on this matter of Entertainments Duty, and I hope that the Chancellor will take that fact into account.
The second highlight was the exhibition bout, if one might so describe it, between my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill) and my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock), with my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) poised not exactly between them but more on one side than the other. Whatever one may feel about their views on this subject, they certainly gave a remarkable display of debating ability. I do not propose to try to intervene between them, even though we may all share some of the responsibility for promoting that particular exhibition bout. I am certainly not going to attempt to act as a referee. I do not think that that would be a very safe occupation.
The Chancellor will probably realise that his reply has been extremely disappointing to the Committee and that the whole of the Committee is very dissatisfied with certain features of the Entertainments Duty in its present form. The right hon. Gentleman asked me something about our main Amendment, and I would explain that our main Amendment is designed to exempt from the duty all games of sport. It does not touch horse racing, dog racing and speedway racing, but it does apply to the others.
We have drawn that distinction partly at the invitation of the Chancellor, because I think that when we moved an Amendment two years ago to reduce all sport and racing to the lower level paid by the live theatres he accused us of trying to give far too much to horse racing and dog racing. We are always willing to fall in with any suggestions that he may like to make to us, and, therefore, we decided this year, as indeed last, that we would prefer to leave those forms of racing untouched.
1983 That was not our only reason, of course. We believe that there is a much stronger case for exemption in the case of what one may describe as live human sports where, incidentally, no element of gambling in the same sense enters into the picture. These are our preferences and that is why we made this our main Amendment, but there are various other Amendments which we have discussed at the same time on various individual sports, and on them a number of my hon. Friends, in what has been an effective team display, have spoken with great knowledge and authority.
I want to emphasise a point which my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) mentioned during the Chancellor's speech. The fact is that the Chancellor increased the duty on precisely these sports and games which we seek to exempt. He increased it very substantially in 1952. The total amount of increase in the duty, if I remember correctly, was £700,000. It is true that this year he proposes to reduce the duty by a small amount. He is graciously giving back about £200,000, possibly £250,000—about one-third of the increase which he himself imposed. It will not do for him to try to make out that it is we who have imposed this duty and who have had the cold, clammy hand. All Treasuries no doubt have cold, clammy hands, but the present hands are a great deal colder and clammier than were mine or those of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton), who, indeed, reduced the duty on live sport before the present Chancellor put it up again.
No explanation was ever given as to why the duty was increased two years ago, except that the Chancellor seemed to think it necessary to raise it to the higher level because he had reduced the duty on horse racing and dog racing. Frankly, I was never prepared to accept that argument, nor, I think, was the Committee, and I do not think it is a very convincing argument today.
Last year two further changes were made which altered the structure of the duty. There was the exemption of amateur sport and the exemption of cricket. I do not want to say much about the exemption of amateur sport. The Chancellor 1984 himself admitted the confusion into which the whole situation has drifted. I am far from clear—and I think my hon. Friends are in the same position—about exactly when the duty is levied in the case of Highland Games of different kinds and when it is not, and there are other sports of a similar kind in the North of England where certain prizes are given and which may or may not be taxed.
This is because the Act of 1953 described the condition which has to be satisfied if the benefit of the amateur concession is to be granted asthat no payment is made or reward given for the participation of any person in any game, race, or other sport constituting the entertainment or part of the entertainment, other than prizes of a reasonable number and value competed for and won by individuals taking part therein.What is "reasonable" in this case? I think we might have had an explanation from the Chancellor of the instructions which he has given to the Customs authorities in this matter. There was a case, which I think I mentioned last year, where, of all things, a table tennis championship was made subject to duty. I do not know to this day exactly why that was decided. No professional player was involved, but apparently there were some minor prizes or there was some objection which the officials had to the institution in question.
The situation is profoundly unsatisfactory, and I think it will remain unsatisfactory. I am sure we all appreciate that it was out of consideration of the arguments advanced in the Committee that the Chancellor introduced the exemption for amateur sport, but it has landed us in fairly serious difficulties of demarcation, and the complaints will continue. That, therefore, constitutes one of the arguments—not the only one—for exempting sport altogether.
Another argument is the discrimination which was introduced when cricket was exempted. I want to make it plain that none of us is for one moment suggesting that that was wrong. We approve of the exemption of cricket, but if we make such an exemption we must have an argument for it and we must foe able to show people that it is reasonable to exempt cricket but no other form of sport. We have never had satisfactory or convincing arguments on that score.
1985 Last year, the Chancellor dealt with the subject at great length, but he admitted, first of all, that the argument about cricket being more of an amateur game could not be sustained, and indeed that argument has again been demolished this afternoon by speech after speech from these benches. The Chancellor also admitted that the argument that cricket was good for Commonwealth relations applied equally to football and other sports and that the argument that it was a traditional game could be, and must be, applied equally to other sports. He was driven back, finally, on the only argument which he attempted to sustain—that the conditions of the cricket clubs was serious and there was some danger that they could not carry on.
It is our view that precisely this argument applies to other forms of sport, and particularly to the smaller clubs, to which special reference was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, South (Mr. Mikardo). The Chancellor promised in his Budget speech this year that he would consider the matter and he admitted, as he admitted this evening, that there had been a further deterioration in the situation. When he rose just now and told us that, after all, the rate of decline in attendances was not as great as before, I am afraid it made little impression upon us, because the damage to attendances and the net takings of the clubs was done by the increase in duty in the previous year.
As I understand—and I think the Chancellor will confirm what I am saying —in 1952–53, when the duty was increased, the consequence was to reduce the attendances, because the charges rose substantially, to increase very considerably the amount of duty paid—by £700,000—and, finally, to reduce the net takings available to the clubs—in other words, to put them in a substantially worse financial position than before. That I believe to be true, not of every individual club but certainly of Rugby League, of Association football and of boxing. To say that the decline is now only another 1 per cent, is no comfort at all when the damage has already been done and the clubs are already being driven into the "red." The Chancellor's arguments here seemed to us extremely unconvincing.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
The picture would not be complete without this point: I 1986 gave statistics to show that the modest concession made this year would in our opinion about balance the decline in takings which we had envisaged as last year's experience. We have thus done something to meet what I promised to meet.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
I have already admitted the small reduction, which is only one-third of the increase which the Chancellor imposed. The point is—and nobody has met this argument—that it is undoubtedly the smaller clubs, such as the Third Division clubs, which are seriously affected, and it is extremely unlikely, to put it no more highly, that the tiny concession given this year will be sufficient to rescue them from their extremely difficult situation.
The only new argument which the Chancellor has advanced today is that if we were to exempt all sport it would put the cinemas in a difficult position. Frankly, I find it hard to take that very seriously. For years we have recognised that the cinema duty was a special one. The vast proportion of the Entertainments Duty is raised from cinemas, and I do not believe that the cinema proprietors, who are very active in pressing their case, would feel inclined to press it more strongly because sport had been exempted altogether. In any case, as I explained at the beginning, we are not proposing to exempt horse racing and greyhound racing, and for the moment, at any rate, we are not discussing the theatre duty.
In all the circumstances, I personally feel that the case which we have advanced from many different points of view, with such wealth of experience behind it, in favour of the central Amendment and, indeed, in favour of the other Amendments relating to particular sports or the smaller clubs, is an unanswerable case. I urge the Chancellor, before we leave the Bill, to think again about this matter.
He loses in all, I think, £2 million by this Amendment. That is not a very large sum. He would gain immense popularity by doing this. He would, no doubt, become the hero of the "Daily Mirror" again, or some other paper, possibly, and he could not really seriously say that the effect on the country would be in any way detrimental. I ask him not to turn away entirely but to think further about this, to listen to the speeches which will now be made by my hon. Friends and at 1987 later stages in the course of the Bill, and, finally, to do the right thing by the Committee and by the country.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)
I shall not detain the Committee for long. I only speak because of the opening invitation to me by the Chancellor and the later comments of the former Chancellor. The right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) may be interested to know that the exempted sport I was playing against Westminster School will yield him little entertainment tax and will be sad to hear that the Lords and Commons lost by 9 wickets at Vincent Square. My name is at the head of the Amendment upon athletic sports and while I know that there are now no taxes upon amateur athletic sports, I would once more ask the Chancellor or the Financial Secretary to look again at the Powderhall, for example, at Edinburgh and the sports at Morpeth upon which the right hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. R. J. Taylor) must, I am sure, have spoken earlier. When I was a boy, 30 years ago, the Powderhall meeting and the Olympic Games at Morpeth were known far and wide, but today they have fallen upon sadder days and would welcome some financial help.
However, I want to say a few words most sincerely about the plight of the smaller football clubs. Last year I invited the Financial Secretary to go to his "local" at Kingston-upon-Thames—and I hope that he has done so within the last 12 months—to listen to the local supporters of the Kingstonian Football Club. They are happy as an amateur club; but the shop stewards and engineers in his constituency who support the professional clubs and the semi-professional clubs in the Southern League like Guildford, are "fed up" about this tax. I really cannot follow this differentiation which the Chancellor has presented between cricket and soccer. It does not make sense to me, that one should be singled out—and I have played both games.
Neither can I understand this differentiation between the amateur and the professional codes. The Chancellor knows that there are amateurs in all sports and yet he tries to draw a line between the so-called amateur sport and the profess- 1988 sional sport. I would call attention to the Worcester county cricket club and some Midland football clubs like Coventry City. If Worcester were so hard up and in need of tax remission, how can they spend £20,000 or £30,000 on improving the amenities of their beautiful ground? If soccer clubs were given some help, they could once more build up some decent accommodation. A few of them would build stands to replace those which were blitzed and which have been such a shambles since the war. It is, however, the minor clubs for which I want to say a word or two, not only Third Division sides like Coventry City and Newport County, but, of course, those in the minor competitions like Birmingham League, Southern League, and the like.
My club, Rugby Town, have just won the Birmingham Combination and they are having a victory dinner tomorrow night. Unfortunately, I cannot be there because, being a Whip, I am immured like a Trappist monk in this huge palace and I cannot get away. This club are league champions, yet have their financial difficulties. It is a well-known fact that many of these minor clubs which have a wages bill of £50 a week have a job to make ends meet, and to improve spectators' amenities with stands. They only exist week by week and month by month by means of the usual bazaars, sweepstakes, football pools and the like. Their committees are manned by voluntary labour—who, of course, are paid nothing for the work they do.
It may be that the B.T.H. engineer or a local accountant spends hours of every week working for nothing, and often putting their hands into their pockets for £10 or even £50 to keep their local team going. The Financial Secretary, I know, has often heard about functional democracy, and he must know what a big factor it is in the life of a market town to have a successful football club. It is the desire in a town of 20,000, 30,000 or 40,000 population to have a local league side in the Southern League, the Birmingham League, the North-Eastern League, but if that club is in deep water financially they cannot do this and goes out of existence. Men have nowhere to go on Saturday afternoons and the Chancellor knows how important it is to keep a football team going in a market town.
1989 The Chancellor has a football face in spite of his cold exterior. He must know as well as I do that a club getting a 2,000 gate, a 3,000 gate or a 4,000 gate, with the overheads which they have to meet has a job to get along these difficult days. Any help which he could give on the ones of exemption of tax as put by the hon. Member for Reading, South, would be of great assistance to them. Why cannot football clubs be given a sort of personal Income Tax allowance, like hon. Members have in this House? I plead with him to think again on this matter. It is not Chelsea or the big clubs that we are talking about; it is the minor clubs which do not pay dividends. I beg the Chancellor to look again at this matter and to be human and realise what a difference it would make in small towns if local clubs could keep their heads above water, and carry on.
§ Mr. Frederick Willey (Sunderland, North)
I apologise for not having heard the Chancellor's speech because I was engaged in committee downstairs, but I listened to the whole of the debate preceding the Chancellor's speech and I have failed to understand why he cannot on this occasion give way. I hope that when the Financial Secretary comes to intervene he will tell us when we adjourn for the Summer Recess so that we shall know whether we can go to the Morpeth Olympics.
I disagree entirely with my right hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) when he said that the Chancellor has not a football face. I think that he has a football face, especially when portrayed by the cartoonist Vicky. If he were to turn up at Roker Park wearing the appropriate cloth cap, I am sure he could get through the turnstiles at the cheap end and not be noticed.
The Chancellor will remember that during the last General Election he visited Sunderland and addressed two meetings. One of my constituents who heard the Chancellor told me that he thought the right hon. Gentleman was a sort of Socialist. I told my constituent that I thought he was mistaken, but undoubtedly the Chancellor is a persuasive and effective speaker. If he comes back to Sunderland at the next General Election, he must do something about this matter beforehand.
1990 Football is part of the life of Sunderland. I am surprised that the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) has not attended during our discussion, because football—we are very proud of it—is part of the life of Sunderland. We always claim pride in two things. Sunderland is the biggest shipbuilding town in the world and the best football town in England. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Sunderland is the only club which has been in the premier division of the English League since its inception, a remarkable record which we held with difficulty last season.
I am not claiming poverty on behalf of the Sunderland Club. In fact, it is a team of all stars, but the stars shine very intermittently. But we intend to get the Cup next year.
§ Mr. Willey
We are going to do better. We are not particularly proud of what we did this year, but we have laid the foundations for a better season next year.
Our interest is wider than Sunderland alone. Throughout the county of Durham football is part of the pattern of life. When hon. and right hon. Members opposite speak of phrases like "playing the game," of which I do not complain, I remind them that a lot of that kind of spirit is learnt in the game of football. I do not like the distinction which is drawn between professional and amateur football. I have played in both. I know very fine people who have been professional footballers and who have set a good example of gentlemanly conduct, often in difficult circumstances. We are proud in Sunderland of our fine record of being a good football team.
I disagree with the distinctions which have been sought to be made between professional and amateur football. As far as we are concerned in the county of Durham, there is no distinction. Some people allege—I do not take this view—that some of our bigger amateur teams need more money than some of the lesser professional teams. But we are equally proud of Bishop Auckland, Crook, and the big professional teams in the county. They work together. Of course, we have 1991 the teams which are both amateur and professional—the colliery welfare teams, and teams like that.
It would be foolish to say that one set of players makes a greater contribution to the game than another. It would be quite unreal to say that one set of football clubs was in a more advantageous position than another. If we were to examine which of the clubs were in greater difficulties, we would find that one or two amateur teams in the county have no financial difficulties while scores of small professional clubs constantly face financial anxiety. As far as we are concerned in the north—I am happy to believe Cods is true of Britain as a whole—we recognise the contribution that football makes. It is impaired by the incidence of taxation. The Chancellor ought to be open-handed enough to say that the Government recognise that, and that there is a case for encouraging this sport. It is not encouraged by the present taxation.
Everything that has been said about cricket can be said about football. An important match is shortly to be played in Hungary. That is a very real breach in the Iron Curtain. When I was in Hungary in 1946, football was one of the major interests of that country. Its people wanted to know how we were getting on and when we would send out another team. The Hungarians are rightly proud of their football prowess. If cricket can contribute to good relations within the Dominions and Commonwealth, so can football contribute to more friendly understanding between peoples all over the world.
Football plays an important part in the way of life. I have no apologies for people who are sometimes called professional spectators. It is a good thing that large numbers of people who can no longer play should watch the game and see people playing it and obeying the rules. It would do some Members of Parliament good to go to more football matches. I would not draw the distinction between the spectators and the players. After all, many of the spectators are past playing football, but there is no reason why their interest in the game should not continue. I am glad to see 1992 that the hon. Member for Sunderland, South has now arrived.
§ Mr. Paul Williams (Sunderland, South)
The hon. Member has been talking about the Iron Curtain and football. It might well have been better if the Sunderland team had included an iron curtain in its defence last season.
§ Mr. Willey
I am more tactful than to make such remarks about our football team. For the hon. Member's benefit, I repeat my confidence that the Sunderland team will do much better next year. If the hon. Member supports me in the Division Lobby tonight and helps us to remove the tax, it will give a real fillip to Sunderland as far as its football club is concerned—and not only to Roker Park, but to all the people who play football in Sunderland.
I hope that the Chancellor will not take a chance and ignore our appeal in the hope that there may be another Budget before the next election when he is obliged again to visit Sunderland. Instead of taking a chance, he should remove the tax now. Then, he will be able to come to Sunderland. I do not think he will help his hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South to retain his seat, but at any rate he will get the sympathetic response which the people of Sunderland always give to anyone who can speak persuasively, eloquently and thoughtfully.
If the right hon. Gentleman will not look at this matter again, if he shows that he is too narrow in his approach, I warn him that if he comes to Sunderland at the next General Election this will bear heavily against him. This matter has been discussed in the House repeatedly. Both sides ought to realise that the tax is no longer justified and that, on the contrary, we should do all that we can to encourage football and all sports.
I have spoken only about football, but what I have said would apply to Rugby football, for which I have a very great respect. I have a great respect also for Rugby League, particularly from the point of view of spectators; it is a fine game and has inspired real, broad sportsmanship amongst the peoples of Lancashire and Yorkshire and, now, Cumberland and Westmorland. And so, without disparaging all the other sports, I say that on this occasion the Chancellor 1993 should not be too inflexible or too unbending but should recognise that he did the right thing about cricket and, because he did the right thing about cricket, ought to do the same for all the other sports.
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)
I am sure that every hon. and right hon. Member on this side of the Committee was extremely disappointed with the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Indeed, not only every Member on this side, but quite a number of Members on the Chancellor's own side have already spoken in support of the Amendments.
I want to address my remarks particularly to the effect of the tax on Highland games. I had some correspondence with the Financial Secretary on this matter last year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that one of the reasons why he withdrew the tax on cricket was that it was very difficult to differentiate between amateurs and professionals. His reply today showed very clearly that during the past year he and his officers in the areas concerned have also had difficulty in differentiating between amateurs and professionals in Highland games.
My hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde) has shown that many areas that once had Highland games no longer have them. This should be a matter of concern to the Chancellor, and as a Member of Her Majesty's Government he ought to take cognisance of it. Scotland, the North of England and Wales are just as much parts of the United Kingdom as is London. Scottish people feel that Londoners ought not to have all the pageantry and colour of the United Kingdom. I am sure I have the support of all Members who represent constituencies outside London, and I know that there are some inside London who also support that view.
I know that those who live outside London have certain advantages which are not enjoyed by Londoners, but the Chancellor ought to remember that areas outside London have to make their own entertainment and provide their own colour and pageantry. The Highland games, and similar games in England, Wales and many parts of England outside London, bring colour, pageantry and great excitement to thousands of men, women and children living in villages and remote areas, and it is in just those remote 1994 areas that these games have now gone out of existence.
The Chancellor should also remember that the colour and pageantry that we find in these villages and remote places does not cost the local authorities or the Chancellor one penny. I am proud that our people, by their own efforts, have been able to provide something to brighten the lives of their fellow countrymen, but I seriously object to the Chancellor taxing some of them out of existence, as he has already done.
I can better illustrate to the Financial Secretary just what these Highland games and other games do for local communities by describing their effect in the very large village called Shotts, in my own constituency, about which I wrote to him at the end of August, last year. These games are organised by public-spirited men and women who give their time, thought and energy to the job, not looking for or getting any financial return. I do not say that they get no reward; they get the very fine reward of the satisfaction of knowing that they have done a good job well and have brought joy and happiness to the people of their villages and the surrounding areas.
The preparation for and running of these games bring out a real community effort. I have seen such an effort bringing out the very best attributes in our people time and time again. Because I know that that is happening in my own villages I realise the great loss which has been sustained by other villages whose games have had to be abandoned. A wise Government should have as one of its definite aims the fostering of all worth while projects which foster and strengthen community life and effort. I think I have said enough to show that these games have certainly achieved a very worth while object. We all wish our villages to be clean, bright and happy places for our people to live in.
On the Monday morning after our Highland games were held I was walking near the park where they had taken place. Near the entrance to that park are two semi-detached council houses, occupied by two miners and their families. I was with a friend, who is a right hon. Member of this House, and we stopped to look at the gardens and windows of those houses. One of my constituents came out and spoke to me 1995 and I praised him on the very fine appearance of his building and garden. I was delighted with his response. He said, "We feel that we are in a most important position in this village. Thousands of people passed our homes on Saturday, going to the games, and we feel that we have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to our community."
That was why these two families had put forward an extra effort to make their houses look pleasant. It was an excellent example of community effort. It happened not only to those two families. All round that village the housewives had made a special effort to ensure that their houses, their windows, their gardens would really look well for those coming to our Highland games.
That is why I say frankly to the Chancellor that he does not realise the importance of these games to the community life of many of our villages. A wise Chancellor would try to encourage, without reservations, any project which did something to safeguard the heritage and culture of any part of this United Kingdom. These games in Scotland, Wales, and parts of England, do something not only to safeguard our heritage, but also to encourage the spread of culture.
I have watched dancing, not only in Shotts but in other places in the United Kingdom. In my own place it is Highland dancing. What a delight it is to watch young people, to see what control they have over their fine limbs and lovely bodies. But they do not get that control without a great deal of self-control and self-restraint and by using up much of their leisure time which other people may be using for pursuits which we would not admire so much. Highland dancing is definitely a part of the culture of Scotland, and is fostered to a great extent by Highland games. In all those areas where Highland games have gone out completely, there has been a great loss of our culture.
The Chancellor spoke about pipe bands and he said that perhaps their inclusion has led to the payment of tax. It may be that Englishmen do not like to hear pipe bands, but I invite the Chancellor or the Financial Secretary either to go to the Cowell Games or to come to Shotts. If 1996 the right hon. Gentleman comes he will see perhaps 40 pipe bands and their pageantry as they go through our streets. He will see the wonderful colours of the tartans worn by the bands and the pride of those men, many of them miners, policemen, engineers, ordinary workers in our district, who give up their leisure time to practise so that their bands will become really efficient, and so that they can give pleasure and joy to the men and women in their districts. That is another part of the culture of Scotland.
The games about which I have been speaking are run under the auspices of the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association rules, so that in no way can they be described as professional games. The only way the Chancellor can deal with this matter, not only for us in Scotland but for anywhere in the United Kingdom, is to withdraw the tax completely, since the right hon. Gentleman has said quite clearly that in the last year difficulties have arisen for his officers in differentiating between amateur and professional. If the Financial Secretary replies to the debate I hope he will take into account the points I have made, particularly in respect of what these games do, not only for the spectators, not only for those who participate in them, but for the men, women and children for miles and miles around.
§ Major Sir Frank Markham (Buckingham)
We have listened to a moving oration, one almost in defence of Highland games. Listening to the hon. Lady, the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) I was led to believe that unless the Chancellor did something about the Entertainments Tax on Highland games, they would disappear for ever from the face of Scotland. It just is not true.
§ Miss Herbison
I did not say that at all. My hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde) gave a great list of the places that had had Highland games—villages and small market towns in Scotland which no longer are able to run them. The Chancellor added other names on behalf of his hon. Friends who represent Highland constituencies. That is the only claim that I made.
§ Sir F. Markham
The hon. Lady is also fully aware that these places that used to run Highland games and no longer have them lost them before the tax was ever introduced.
§ Sir F. Markham
The decay took place before the First World War, and the renewal of the games has been fostered very much between the wars, and since the last world war, during which time the Entertainments Duty has been in full vogue. I do not believe that the existence of the Entertainments Duty affects attendance at the Highland games by a single person. Perhaps that is an exaggeration, but certainly it is not sufficient to affect their continuance or their cessation. That is certainly the case with the items mentioned in the 17 Amendments, which we are taking together, in which the Chancellor is asked to remit Entertainments Duty on almost every kind of professional profit-making sport.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Major W. J. Anstruther-Gray)
If I may correct the hon. and gallant Gentleman, we are not dealing with 17 Amendments but nine.
§ Sir F. Markham
I am very glad to be put right on that point, because those nine cover my main argument. I am much more sympathetic with the plea of the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North on behalf of Highland games than I am with many of the other pleas that are being made in the Amendments. The second Amendment refers to all entertainments which consist of games or other sports. The third and fourth Amendments refer to both football codes, the next refers to Association football, Rugby League football and boxing, the next to eisteddfodau and the final one to horticultural shows which include sports, games, displays or any other entertainments as part of their attractions.
The point that I make is that there is no easier or more agreeable method for the Chancellor to raise money than the taxation of luxuries, and to go to see a professional football match is a luxury. However vital football is to Sunderland according to the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey), it is not an absolute necessity. That is true of all other forms of professional games and entertainments.
§ Mr. F. H. Hayman (Falmouth and Camborne)
Would the hon. and gallant Gentleman say that of cricket?
§ Sir F. Markham
I would lay that down in the case of all professional 1998 sports. I am very much against professionalism in sport, and I am all in favour of the Chancellor doing everything he can to improve the playing of sport by the people themselves, instead of their watching performers who very often draw excessively high rewards. I am very much opposed to the profit-making motive that is creeping into sport so very much.
I have not been able to listen to the full debate on these matters in this Chamber because of the pressure of other work, but I have not heard a single hon. Member opposite say categorically that if the Entertainments Duty were remitted on any of the sports that they have mentioned the remission of tax would be passed on to those who patronise the sport. My belief is that it would go to the pockets of the promoters and that more and more funds would be built up, either to pay dividends on sport, which to my mind is not quite the happiest way of conducting affairs in this country, or to spend more money on performers so as to bring more people to watch sport which, under professionalism, is very often not so clean or happy as it is under amateur rules.
The point was made from the benches opposite that it is a healthy thing to watch sport. Is it? Any one who has the lack of wit and good sense in our kind of climate to stand watching sport in wet clothes and footwear for two hours on a sodden English or Scotch day, getting anything from a cold to catarrh, bronchitis or double-pneumonia possibly, deserves all he gets. What we ought almost to do is to discourage this by Act of Parliament, we ought to protect these people against themselves. I cannot understand hon. Members opposite wanting to encourage people to go and catch cold or rheumatic diseases by standing about when they would be much fitter playing even the gentlest of games themselves, on a purely amateur and untaxed basis, of course.
No one has suggested where the money is to come from if this tax is abolished, or what other tax should be put in place of this duty. Do they want a tax put on industry or an increase in Income Tax? Someone has to find the money. Hon. Members are making a cheap popular appeal to football fans and posing as the champion of professional sport-loving people. They should be much 1999 wiser. Their duty to their constituents is to tell them that it is right to have an Entertainments Duty, and on professionalised sports I hope, a fairly reasonable one. The nation should be educated to play games for the love of games instead of watching other people doing these things for high money reward.
§ Mr. Jack Jones (Rotherham)
I am sure that hon. Members of the Committee will agree that they are thoroughly disappointed and almost disgusted with what they have just heard. To suggest that every one of the many millions of good, honest British citizens who go to watch football matches ought, in effect, to have their heads seen to is almost sacrilege.
The argument the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Mark-ham) put forward strengthens our claim. He asked where the money is to come from. It can come only from where all wealth comes, from a contented community, working hard and doing what they can for themselves and their country. I tell the hon. and gallant Member in no uncertain terms that football and the like are helping this country indirectly to do what we all want it to do.
Before we are through with the Finance Bill the major argument we shall hear from the Government is the need for greater production. The man who can avail himself at the week-end or other times of a fair amount of leisure to see what he likes to see goes to work on Monday morning a happier man than the man who, because of the incidence of this tax, is unable to do so.
I am all for the cheapest possible form of sport being made available to the largest number of our people. I know that one can argue about "shamateurism," things which go on in the boxing ring and all-in wrestling, and so on, but it is not peculiar and particular incidents such as those that we want to look at. I come from a great industry and only last week I read with tremendous pleasure of the results of the interdepartmental football matches inside my old company. In the cricket season there is the interdepartmental cricket match and there are interdepartmental darts matches and bowling matches.
These things create contentment among working people. That is something 2000 which this Government are seeking not to do by refusing to do away with Entertainments Duty. The hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) took a similar line in asking where the money is to come from. The money can come from the difference between the disgruntled, unhappy, dissatisfied fellow as against the decent, satisfied, happy worker.
Most branch meetings of trade unions take place on a Saturday night. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may not believe it but at dozens of branch meetings I have actually seen men come to them direct from football matches or cricket matches or bowling matches, or even from boxing matches. Those men were in a much happier frame of mind than if they had all come from their own homes where they might have been sitting brooding over the fact that they could not attend the form of sport which they wanted. In that case they would have been disgruntled and prepared to support anything which, in their opinion, would get at the "boss." Sport is essential to the welfare of the nation.
There is a reasonably good football club in my constituency. No one needs to be told that Rotherham United are continuously knocking at the door of the First Division of the Football League. I do not think they particularly want to go through because of the very facts enumerated by the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham. Men come from the steel works in their sweat-soaked working shirts and from the coal mines to watch Rotherham United. They stand on wet, sodden ground when they ought to have the benefit of decent, concreted, terraced seating accommodation. Why have they not such accommodation? It is because the wealth is not there to provide it.
Only last Saturday I was reading my weekly newspaper. It is not a Socialist newspaper. It is reasonably fair to me and I always try to be reasonably fair to it. I read about the annual dinner of the Rotherham United directors and supporters club. The club manager told the supporters some pertinent things. We have in our football team some good boys who work in the local factories. There are two of them for whom the club could obtain £20,000 or £30,000 tomorrow if they were put on the transfer list. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Yes, there are 2001 teams in this county who would pay those sums. I do not wish to mention names. We have an outside right for whom we could demand a very high price.
But what would happen if the club sold him? The supporters would be disgruntled. The point was made at this dinner that they were thinking seriously of having to sell some of the best players—local products and all good chaps—to make ends meet. That sort of thing has a great effect on the mass of the working-class and their attitude towards their employers.
I say the Government are missing the boat and making a grave mistake by not abolishing the Entertainments Duty on sports. I recall going to the chairman of the board of directors of the firm where I used to work and asking, on behalf of the men, for £6,000. I got the answer, "That is a lot of money. What do you want it for?" I said, "The men want a decent club house, a bowling green, tennis courts, a cricket pitch and a football ground." We got that money and the director will tell anyone that it was the best investment the firm ever made.
As a result it was possible for the management and the men to get together over a game of cricket or football or on the bowling green and that is the kind of attitude we ought to cultivate in this country. It is better than to have disgruntled people sitting at home because they cannot afford the 3d. or 6d. extra to go to a football match. That kind of thing will not do this Government any good. I know that the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham has never had to decide upon the difference between having or not having 3d. or 6d.—
§ Sir F. Markham
The superb arrogance of the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) in assuming that he is one of the few who has ever known the value of 3d. is absolutely astonishing.
§ Mr. Jones
Judging by the arguments advanced by the hon. and gallant Member I can only assume that he has never had to decide whether he should or should not attend a function for the sake of 3d.
In any case, I wish to say to the Financial Secretary that this has a great bearing on the attitude of mind of the workers. If this Government could say, "There is your sport. Go out and enjoy 2002 it at the least possible expense," I should say that there would be a happier and a more contented community. As a result of happy and contended minds, production would be improved. If the extra production was subject to a minimum of profit rather than an extreme amount of profit, the money which the Chancellor would lose would be returned tenfold.
§ Mr. Richard Adams (Wandsworth, Central)
A little earlier the Government Chief Whip was active in drawing all his supporters off the benches opposite back into the dressing room. I would remind the half-dozen or so hon. Members opposite who have entered the Chamber since that they may incur the displeasure of the Patronage Society, and the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham) will, no doubt, be carpeted tomorrow for daring to make an intervention.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Major W. J. Anstruther-Gray)
Order. I would point out that the Amendment relates to Entertainments Duty on various forms of sport.
§ Mr. Adams
I have no intention, Major Anstruther-Gray, of dwelling at any length upon the internal difficulties of the Tory Party. But in view of the Chancellor's opening remarks, I thought I might be permitted to say something from this side of the Committee about what we see on the other side. I leave it there, but hope that the Financial Secretary will transgress a little by telling us something of what goes on behind closed doors at Tory meetings.
Having opened in a lighter vein, the Chancellor quickly abandoned it and became very despondent and depressing. If his first speech in Committee on the Bill is to be typical of his subsequent speeches, we are in for a dull and dreary time. He gave away nothing at all. I 2003 am sure that he realised that his argument was not a good one. He said that he could do nothing to meet the wishes of hon. Members about sports and pastimes because the Entertainments Duty was already very heavily unbalanced against the cinema. He pointed out that, of the total receipts of £43 million, about £37 million was provided by the cinemas, and he said that it would be unfair to them to do anything to help sports and pastimes.
If it was right for the Chancellor last year to take the duty off cricket matches after he had surveyed the unbalanced position resulting from the fact that almost all the Entertainments Duty was provided by the cinema industry, why should he use this same situation as an argument for doing nothing this year? The Chancellor put his argument rather timidly, and I think he realised that it did not hold water. It is nonsense to use the argument in that way.
I thought I detected in the Chancellor's argument a hint of anti-professionalism. The time has come when we ought to consider Entertainments Duty from the point of view, not of those who are providing the entertainment but of the man-in-the-street who pays to see the entertainment which is provided. Why should we look at the problem from the point of view of the struggling professional football club or the struggling boxing promoter? Why should we not look at it from the point of view of the man-in-the-street who when he wishes to see a sport or pastime, has to pay duty if he goes to a professional football match but not if he goes to see an amateur game?
Why should he have drawn this line so that professional boxing has to pay a heavy rate of tax, while a man who goes to see amateur athletics does not have to pay any tax at all? Why should those unfortunate Scottish colleagues of mine who go to see Highland games have to pay Entertainments Duty, while those who go to similar events in the South, such as athletic meetings, are not called upon to pay? If the Chancellor will look at it in that way, instead of from the point of view of the necessity for bolstering up some industry or sport, he will come to the conclusion, which I myself reached long ago, that the real 2004 ideal is to abolish the Entertainments Duty altogether.
If it is said that the cost of doing that is too high, I would say that we ought at least to make a start by abolishing it on all outdoor sports and pastimes. It is quite ridiculous to continue to draw a distinction between amateur association football and professional rugby football, between professional football and tennis or between amateur athletics and some other form of sport.
The real reason why the Order Paper is cluttered up with 17 Amendments on this subject, nine of which we are discussing together now, and the reason why we have had this kind of argument every year since the war, is because once we start introducing a special selection and favouring one section of the community against another, it is inevitable that everybody will try to get some advantage from it or to avoid some disadvantage. That is the position we have reached today, and the time has long since arrived when we should either sweep the whole of Entertainments Duty away or remove it from a broad band, such as all outdoor sports and pastimes.
The Chancellor commented unfavourably upon, and threw upon my right hon. Friend responsibility for, the present position in regard to Entertainments Duty, but I would remind him that it was my right hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton) who, five years ago, reduced the rate of Entertainments Duty, and that was five years nearer to the end of a catastrophic war. One of the first things which the present Chancellor of the Exchequer did on coming into office was to put the tax up. In other words, the price of this so-called "freedom" was an increase in the rate of Entertainments Duty, and since then, there have been further increases in other items, such as fares and petrol, so that, since we have had this wonderful new freedom created by the Tory Party, the whole cost of entertainment, including Entertainments Duty, has gone up and up. If he still entertains any hope of popularity at all, the Chancellor should redeem the present situation by removing the duty from all forms of outdoor sport and pastimes.
I myself would not differentiate between professional Rugby football, tennis matches, Highland games or what have 2005 you. I think that, if we are to hold the position fairly and not draw moral or psychological distinctions about the effect of a boxing match on individuals, we must make a broad sweep and do away with it altogether. The Chancellor made no effort to deal with the matter in that way, nor, indeed, to deal with the suggestion made from his own side of the Committee, which is rather more surprising. I understand that certain hon. Members opposite, who dare not come out in support of these Amendments, because they would get into trouble with the Whips' Office, have suggested that there should be an investigation into the whole question of the Entertainments Duty.
I hope that the Financial Secretary will give us better arguments than did the Chancellor for adopting this curious attitude of being able, last year, to take the duty off cricket matches and amateur athletics, and, this year, with a financial position almost exactly the same, not daring to do anything for these other pastimes. Secondly, will he tell us whether his Department will inquire, between now and the next year, into the whole question of Entertainments Duty, with a view to sweeping it away altogether?
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Ross
My hon. Friend the Member for Wandsworth, Central (Mr. Adams) jocularly referred to Scottish nationalism. There is no doubt that the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was more likely than anything else to set the fiery crosses alight throughout Scotland.
Since last year's Budget debate on the subject of football every Scottish Member of Parliament has been deluged from almost every Scottish football club with the full details of its financial position. We have sent the details to the Chancellor, because he promised that he would watch the position and see what happened. He has been given all the data, yet he came here today and, when talking about whether or not to make any change, blithely told us that all the statistics on which he based his reply came from the English League divisions.
There is all the difference in the world between Scottish football and English football. We hear people talking about the wonderful English football clubs, but most of the clubs have Scottish managers or Scottish centreforwards.
§ Mr. Ross
Attendance at Scottish First Division matches may average 8,000 on Saturdays. As to the Second Division games in Scotland, at the last two games played by Ayr United, attendances were 1,200 and 980, respectively. The Chancellor tells us that the ½d. per person will make all the difference in the world. The difference will be about £2 per week in a case like that. These are not small, unknown clubs, but First and Second Division clubs. Many of these clubs, who have had famous players, will go the way of many others. They will simply disappear. Many clubs which I knew as a boy and used to watch have gone. My hon. Friends who represent Dunbartonshire constituencies could not speak on this subject because of the position in which the local football club has been placed. During the whole of the past year it has been living from week to week, and it is now in a very serious position.
We are sorry that the Chancellor did not see fit to quote a single Scottish figure to support his argument that he could not do anything more for football. Last year he did something for the great national sport of cricket, and he gloried in it. He now calls the step which he took with regard to cricket a slippery slope.
Cricket means nothing at all to Scotland, but if he can forget altogether about whether cricket is professional or amateur and take it right out of the range of Entertainments Duty he can surely do the same for Highland games. There is no doubt that these games are unique. They are purely annual community functions. When we talk of the Highland games, I am quite sure that most hon. Members think we refer to those at Braemar. The Braemar Games are much publicised and popular. The amount taken in the car parks alone would probably pay for all the games in Scotland. But just as the Arsenal is not English football, nor the Rangers Scottish football, Braemar is not the Highland games.
In speaking of the games, it is to the little places that we refer—places such as those referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde). There is no doubt that many of these have disappeared. These 2007 games are contests between localities, and between local champions vying one with the other. To the areas concerned they matter far more than the entertainment value of cricket. I am quite sure that without very much intellectual or mental exertion the Chancellor could find a means of exempting them from Entertainments Duty.
All the speeches today have made it perfectly plain that the Chancellor himself has introduced anomalies. In doing so he has introduced quite a lot of ill feeling. People think that the sport in which they are mainly interested has not been treated so well as others. As a matter of justice to all sportsmen and sports lovers, I hope that the Chancellor will think this matter over again.
§ Mr. Charles Royle (Salford, West)
I support my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mr. D. Brook) in Ms reference to Rugby League football. The intervention of the Chancellor this evening has blown an icy blast over sportsmen generally, and certainly over hon. Members. I would join with my hon. Friends in expressing a sense of severe disappointment that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not been able to do something for sport in general. I hope that as a result of the few speeches which have been delivered from these benches since the Chancellor sat down, his right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary will say that there have been second thoughts, even if only along the lines of the Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, South (Mr. Mikardo.)
I will be perfectly frank and say that in the case of many of our wealthier sports clubs there is not a very strong case for a reduction in Entertainments Duty. My hon. Friend's Amendment dealt exclusively with the poorer clubs, and in the course of his speech the Chancellor indicated to my hon. Friends that his case had been conclusively proven. Because of that I hope that before we finish with the Bill there may be second thoughts about this matter.
To return to Rugby League football. This game is not quite exclusive to Lancashire and Yorkshire. It has penetrated into Cumberland and Westmorland as well as South Wales. People from Lancashire and Yorkshire are very concerned 2008 about this sport. There is a keen rivalry in many things between Lancashire and Yorkshire. When there is a challenge in any shape or form between these two counties they deeply recent the intervention of anybody else, but I can assure the Chancellor that we would welcome an intervention from Saffron Walden into Rugby League football circles in Lancashire and Yorkshire. We should certainly welcome that intervention if it were for the purpose of helping this sport.
I want to make one or two brief points about it. This sport is greatly affected in January because of the frosty grounds inevitable after Christmas. Many matches have to be postponed, and that postponement results in mid-week matches and smaller gates. The clubs suffer considerably because of that, and I feel that if the Chancellor were to show that he was prepared to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, South it would benefit the Rugby League clubs, who would come within its scope and would afford them relief. I represent a constituency which has no soccer league team. For football entertainment we rely upon the Rugby League, and it needs encouragement and support.
I would conclude by saying, as so many of my hon. Friends have said, that here is a British way of life deserving of the utmost consideration. Whatever was said by the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham) about professional sport and his criticism of people attending professional matches, we have to remember that it is part of our life. I believe it is a healthy part not only in the physical sense, and that the right hon. Gentleman would be doing a great service to a very large section of our population if he changed his mind about this matter.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I hope the Committee may now be prepared to consider coming to a decision on this matter. We have had a very full and extremely interesting debate during the course of which the claims of every sport have been very fairly and fully put. Indeed, there were times when I wondered whether my right hon. Friend might not be justified in imposing an Entertainments Duty on those who witnessed our proceedings in this Committee, because many speeches have been illumined with wit which has 2009 not in any degree diminished the sincerity of the case put by hon. Members but has made the debate infinitely more agreeable to listen to.
On the other hand, we have been discussing this series of Amendments for many hours. Having sat through practically the whole of the discussion, I think I can say that no issue which could arise in this interesting matter has failed to be put and discussed. The arguments having been fully deployed, I wonder whether we are not reaching the stage at which, if we are unable to convince each other of our errors, we ought not to resort to the traditional methods by which these matters are decided in the Committee. I say that with great respect to the arguments which have been used and bearing in mind, as hon. Members must, that although they will do my right hon. Friend credit of agreeing that he always tries to manage the Finance Bill on the basis of the fullest possible discussion, none the less we are still only on the second Amendment to Clause 1 and the Committee has to deal with a Bill of moderately massive proportions.
Perhaps I may seek to reply to one or two of the speeches. Some of them seemed to be more consistent with dealing with a measure in which Entertainments Duty was being imposed on sport for the first time than with the discussion of a duty which, for better or worse and at varying rates, has fallen on those sports since the year of grace, 1916, when, as my right hon. Friend reminded the Committee, a very distinguished Liberal statesman, Mr. Reginald McKenna, decided to impose them.
When we are discussing a series of Amendments, the first of which—on which our debate hangs—being moved by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith)—would abolish Entertainments Duty on sport altogether, it is material for the Committee to recall that what is proposed is the abolition of a system of taxation which has been continued through all the vicissitudes of our recent political life, by Governments of all political colours, since 1916. It is therefore for those who suggest this abolition to discharge the very heavy burden of satisfying us why, suddenly, in 1954, it has become wrong to impose taxation on activities which have been taxed since 1916.
2010 Having dealt with that point, we come to the quite different question of the rates of taxation applicable. These are raised by a certain number of Amendments which are being taken with the main Amendment, and here again some speeches seem to be more consistent with discussing a Clause raising the tax than a Clause which has the effect of lowering it. Naturally—and nobody understands it better than my right hon. Friend—the clubs and organisations concerned would like to see a larger reduction, but I know that hon. Members will give due weight to the fact that, in circumstances in which outside this field it has been possible to make only one other remission of taxation over the whole sphere of the Budget, my right hon. Friend has seen fit to recommend reductions of the rates of Entertainments Duty on sport.
Those who have suggested that my right hon. Friend underrated the importance in our life of these wholesome forms of activity ought to give him credit for the fact that although, for reasons which he has explained more than once to the House and the Committee, it is not possible for him this year to recommend any drastic changes in taxation, he has nevertheless decided this year to give some slight easement of this burden. I think no one will underrate the degree of easement he has given, particularly to football. I hope the Committee will not mind if I address my main argument to football, because the main tenor of the majority of the speeches has related to football in different forms. Let me say, in reply to the hon. Member for Sunder-land, North (Mr. F. Willey), that anyone who has seen me trying to play cricket would not accuse me of any prejudice in favour of that game.
On football, the proposals contained in the Clause will in fact give a relief of some £140,000 for Association football and a few thousand more for other forms of football. If one weighs the importance of that, I think that it is essential to weigh that amount, not against the gross turnover of the clubs, but against the net amount which remains to them at the end of the day or at the end of the year. All the argument which has been made from benches on both sides of the Committee as to the difficulties with which these clubs are faced are arguments which emphasise proportionately that the sums 2011 concerned will give quite helpful assistance to a considerable number of clubs. I hope, therefore, that hon. Members and people outside will appreciate the fact that my right hon. Friend has seen fit to recommend a reduction of this sort, even in the circumstances which I have been describing.
§ Sir Richard Acland (Gravesend)
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House how that £140,000 divides up as between First Division clubs and the rest, or is that too difficult?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I think that it would be impossible to do that because we should have to divide it among the individual clubs in accordance with the gates they draw, which vary considerably in accordance with their success or lack of success. I would remind the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir R. Acland) of the fact that my right hon. Friend pointed out that in the case of a club with a home gate of 10,000 the gain over the year would be about £500. If the hon. Baronet figures that out in proportion to those with bigger or smaller gates, it will give him some idea of the magnitude of the assistance given.
With regard to the main Amendment, the right hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) explained that he did not intend the main amendment to deal with racing in its various forms. He did not intend it to cover horses, dogs or speedway racing. I do not know whether on a strict interpretation of its terms the right hon. Gentleman is necessarily right, but we do not want to argue on a question of drafting.
I do, however, recall that last year the right hon. Gentleman said—and I still believe it is true—… that it was difficult to sustain permanently a distinction between racing—horse and dog racing, and the others—and football, cricket, and so on. I still think it is difficult to do so."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th May, 1953; Vol. 515, c. 1997.]I am inclined to agree with him that it would be difficult to evoke permanently the distinction which he indicated to the Committee it would be desirable to make.
I do not flatter myself that the considerations which I have endeavoured to put to the Committee will answer hon. 2012 Members opposite who have expressed themselves far more eloquently in a contrary sense. I hope that they will appreciate that the decision we came to on this matter was made after the fullest, most conscientious and careful consideration of the facts and figures, and that my right hon. Friend, in the circumstances of this year, has done the most that it is possible to do. In these circumstances, I hope that the Committee will either accept these views or indicate their dissent from them in the traditional manner by which this Committee comes to its decisions.
§ Mr. W. A. Wilkins (Bristol, South)
Would the right hon. Gentleman verify the figures he has given before we come to the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill"? He said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that the saving to clubs with average gates of 10,000 would be something like £500 a season. We rather query that figure. The figure given to me, taking the average gates, which would be very good gates, of 25,000 for the season, would bring the saving over the country at about £600. I think this is rather an important point. If a Third Division side with, say, a 10,000 gate thinks it will save £500, and I said that it would need a 25,000 gate to save £600, there is need to get the figures accurate. I do not say I am right, but the figures have been given to me by the manager of a football club, and I am inclined to think that he has gone into them thoroughly and may be right.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
These figures are given after careful thought, and there are sources of information available to us which enable these things to be carefully calculated. There could be a difference between the hon. Member's figures and mine based upon the differences in admission charges. The Entertainments Duty and the degree of concession relate to the amount charged. The figure I gave was based upon the ordinary average of charges, and I gave it to the Committee as the best calculation that could be made. Clearly, with an average figure, some clubs will be above it and some below, but it is the best we can give and is based on careful inquiry by those qualified to make the inquiries and who have the statistics.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."2014
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 234; Noes, 250.2015
|Division No. 101.]||AYES||[9.27 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Hargreaves, A.||Pannell, Charles|
|Adams, Richard||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Albu, A. H.||Hastings, S.||Parker, J.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Hayman, F. H.||Parkin, B. T.|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)||Popplewell, E.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Herbison, Miss M.||Porter. G.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Baird, J.||Hobson, C. R.||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Holman, P.||Prootor, W. T.|
|Bence, C. R.||Holmes, Horace||Pryde, D. J.|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Hubbard, T. F.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Benson, G,||Hudson, James (Eating, N.)||Rankin, John|
|Bing, G H. C.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Reeves, J.|
|Blackburn, F.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Reid, Thomas (Swindon)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Reid, William (Camlachie)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Rhodes, H.|
|Boardman, H.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Riohards, R.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Isaaos, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pantras, N.)|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Janner, B.||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Ross, William|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Jeger, George (Goole)||Royle, C.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jeger, Mrs Lena||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Burke, W. A.||Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Short, E. W.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Carmichael, J.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Champion, A. J.||Keenan, W.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Chapman, W D||Kenyon, C.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Clunie. J.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)|
|Coldrick, W.||King, Dr. H. M.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Collick, P. H.||Kinley, J||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Lawson, G. M.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Lewis, Arthur||Steele, T.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Lindgren, G. S.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Daines, P.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Logan, D. G.||Stross, Dr. Barnett|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||MacColl, J. E.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||McGhee, H. G.||Sylvester, G. 0.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||McGovrn, J.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Deer, G.||Mclnnes, J.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Delargy, H. J.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)|
|Dodds, N. N.||MeLeavy, F.||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Donnelly, D. L.||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Thorton, E.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Timmons, J.|
|Edelman, M.||Mellalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Tomney, F.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Manuel, A. C.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A||Usborne, H. C.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Mason, Roy||Viant, S. P.|
|Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||Mayhew, C. P.||Weitzman, D.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Messer, Sir F.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Finch, H. J.||Mikardo, Ian||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Mitchison, G. R.||West, D. G.|
|Folliok, M.||Monslow, W.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Foot, M. M.||Moody, A. S.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Forman, J. C.||Morley, R.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Freeman, John (Watford)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)||Willey, F. T.|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Mort, D. L.||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Moyle, A.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Glanville, James||Mulley, F. W.||Willams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Gooch, E. G||Murray, J. D.||Wlliams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)|
|Grey, C. F.||Nally, W.||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith S.)|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Willis, E. G.|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Oldfield, W. H.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Grimond, J.||Oliver, G. H.||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Hale, Leslie||Oswald, T.||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Padley, W. E.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Paget, R. T.||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Hamilton, W. W.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Yates, V. F.|
|Hannan, W.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Palmer, A. M. F.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr Pearson and Mr. Arthur Allen.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Nield, Basil (Chester)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Harden, J. R. E.||Odey, G. W.|
|Amory, Rt. Hon. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Hare, Hon. J. H.||O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Harris, Frederio (Croydon, N.)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D|
|Assheton, Rt Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Hay, John||Osborne, C.|
|Banks, Col. C.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Page, R. G.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Heath, Edward||Perkins, Sir Robert|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Higgs, J. M. C.||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Pilkington, Capt. R. A|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Pitman, I. J.|
|Bennett, William (Woodside)||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Pitt, Miss E. M.|
|Bevins, P. R. (Toxteth)||Holt, A. F.||Powell, J. (Enoch)|
|Birch, Nigel||Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Bishop, F. P.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. 0. L.|
|Black, C. W.||Horobin, I. M.||Profumo, J. D.|
|Bossom, Sir A. C.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. lves)||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Bowen, E. R.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Ramsden, J. E.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Huloert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Kurd, A. R.||Redmayne, M.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Hutchison, James (Scotttoun)||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.||Ranton, D. L. M.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G T||Hylton-Fosttr, H. B. H.||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Bullard, D. G.||Iremonger, T. L.||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Robertson, Sir David|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Jennings, Sir Roland||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Redgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Carr, Robert||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Channon, H.||Kerr, H. W.||Russell, R. S.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston||Lambert, Hon. G.||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Lambton, Viscount||Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W|
|Cole, Norman||Legge-Bourk", Maj. E. A. H.||Scott, R. Donald|
|Colegate, W. A.||Legit, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T||Shepherd, William|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Lindsay, Martin||Simon, J. E. S. (Middiesbrough, W.)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Linstead, Sir H. N||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Llewellyn, D. T.||Snadden, W. McN.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Longden, Gilbert||Speir, R. M.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Low, A. R. W.||Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S)||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Deedes, W. F.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Stevens, G. P.|
|Digby, s. Wingfield||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||McAdden, S. J.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA||McCorquodah, Rt. Hon. M. S||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Donner, Sir P. W.||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Storey, S.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)|
|Doulas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||McKibbin, A. J.||Summers, G. S.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. Sir T. (Richmond)||Maclean, Fitzroy||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L||Macmrllan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bronrtoy)||Teeling, W.|
|Duthie, W. S.||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horneastle)||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)|
|Fisher, Nigel||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)|
|Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.|
|Fort, R.||Marples, A. E.||Tilney, John|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Maude, Angus||Turton, R. H.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||Maudling, R.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K|
|Galbraith, T. G. D. (HiHhead)||Medlicott, Brig. F.||Vosper, D. F.|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Mollor, Sir John||Wade, D. W.|
|George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd||Moore, Sir Thomas||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Glover, D.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)|
|Godber, J. B.||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E||Wall, P. H. B.|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col A||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Neave, Airey||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Gower, H. R.||Nicholls, Harmar||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnfam)||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Wellwood, W.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)||Wills, G.||Mr. Studholme and Mr. Kaberry.|
|Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)||Wilson. Geoffrey (Truro)|
Amendment proposed: In page 2, line 5, at end, add:
(3) As from the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, football matches shall be excluded from the entertainments in respect of which entertainments duty is payable.—[Mr Dugdale.]
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes. 232; Noes, 250.2021
|Division No. 102.]||AYES||[9.37 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Gooch, E. G.||Mitchison, G. R|
|Adams, Richard||Grey, C. F.||Monslow, W.|
|Albu, A. H.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Moody, A. S.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Morley, R.|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Hale, Leslie||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Mort, D. L.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Hamilton, W. W-||Moyle, A.|
|Baird, J.||Hannan, W.||Mulley, F. W|
|Bartley, P.||Hargreaves, A.||Murray, J. D.|
|Bellenger, Ri. Hon. F. J||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)||Nally, W.|
|Bence, C. R.||Hastings, S.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Hayman, F. H.||Oldfield, W. H.|
|Benson, G.||Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)||Oswald, T.|
|Blackburn, F.||Herbison, Miss M.||Padley, W. E.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Hewitson, Capt. M||Paget, R. T.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hobson, C. R.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Boardman, H.||Holman, P.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Holmes, Horace||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Hubbard, T. F.||Pannell, Charles|
|Brockway, A. F.||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Hughes, Clerdwyn (Anglesey)||Parker, J.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Parkin, B. T.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Hynd, H. (Acorington)||Popptewell, E.|
|Burke, W. A.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Porter, G.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Price, J. T (Westhoughton)|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Carmichael, J.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Proctor, W. T.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Janner, B.||Pryda, D. J.|
|Champion, A. J.||Jay, Rt. Hon. O. P. T.||Pursey, Cmdr H|
|Chapman, W. D||Jeger, George (Goole)||Rankin, John|
|Clunie, J.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Reeves, J.|
|Coldrick, W.||Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)||Reid, Thomas (Swindon)|
|Collick, P. H.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Reid, William (Camlachie)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Rhodes, H.|
|Cove, W. G.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Richards, R.|
|Craddook, George (Bradford, S.)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Keenan, W.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Kenyon, C.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||King, Dr. H. M||Ross, William|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Kinley, J.||Royle, C.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Lawson, G. M.||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Deer, G.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Delargy, H. J||Lever, Leslie (Ardwisk)||Short, E. W.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Lewis, Arthur||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Donnelly, D. L.||Lindgren, G. S.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Logan D. G.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Edelman, M.||MacColl, J. E.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||McGhee, H. G||Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||McGovern, J.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Mclnnes, J.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Evans, stanley (Wednesbury)||McLeavy, F.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Ferny hough, E.||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Finch, H. J.||Mainwarhig, W. H.||Steele, T.|
|Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Follick, M.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Foot, M. M.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Stross, Dr. Barrett|
|Forman, J. C.||Manuel, A. C.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H A.||Sylvester, G. 0.|
|Freeman, John (Watford)||Mason, Roy||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N||Mayhew, C. P||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Messer, Sir F||Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)|
|Glanville, James||Mikardo, Ian||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)||West, D. G.||Willis, E. G.|
|Thornton, E.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Hoyton)|
|Timmons, J.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Tomney, F.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Turner-Samuels, M.||Wilkins, W. A.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn||Willey, F. T.||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Usborne, H. C.||Williams, David (Neath)||Yates, V. F.|
|Viant, S. P.||Williams, Rev. Lrywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Weitzman, D.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Wells, Percy (Faversham)||Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)||Mr. Pearson and Mr. Arthur Allen.|
|Wells, William (Walsall)||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Maitland, Comdr, J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)|
|Amory, Rt. Hon. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Glover, D.||Markham, Major Sir Frank|
|Asshelon, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Godber, J. B.||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Astor, Han. J. J.||Gomme-Dunean, Col A||Marples, A. E.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Gough, C. F. H.||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Gower, H. R.||Maude, Angus|
|Banks, Col. C.||Graham, Sir Fergus||Maudling, R.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Grimond, J.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Medlicott, Brig F.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Hall, John (Wyoombe)||Meller, Sir John|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Harden, J. R. E.||Moore, Sir Thomas|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Morrison, John (Sallsbury)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.|
|Bennett, William (Woodside)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Neave, Airey|
|Birch, Nigel||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Nicholll, Harmar|
|Bishop, F. P.||Hay, John||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)|
|Black, C. W.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Bossom, Sir A. C.||Heath, Edward||Nield, Basil (Chester)|
|Bowen, E. R.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Higgs, J. M. C.||Odey, G W.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Holt, A. F.||Orr-Ewtng, Sir Ian (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Bullard, D. G.||Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Osborne, C.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Page, R. G.|
|Burden, F. F. A,||Horobin, I. M.||Perkins, Sir Robert|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Carr, Robert||Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hurd, A. R.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A:|
|Channon, H.||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)||Pitman, I. J.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston||Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)||Pitt, Miss E M.|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (Earl Grinstead)||Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Clarke, Brig. Terenoe (Portsmouth, W.)||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Cole, Norman||Iremonger, T. L.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. 0. L.|
|Colegate, W. A||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Profumo, J. D.|
|Conant, Mai. R. J. E.||Jennings, Sir Roland||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Ramsden, J. E.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Rayner, Brig. R|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Redmayne, M.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C||Kaberry, D.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Crowder, Sir John Finchley)||Kerr, H. W.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruialip—Northwood)||Lambert, Hon. G.||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Lambton, Viscount||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Deedes, W. F.||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Robertson, Sir David|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA||Lindsay, Martin||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Donner, Sir P. W.||Linsead, Sir H. N.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Liewettyn, D. T.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Russell, R. S.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lookwood, Lt.-Col. J. C||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. Sir T. (Richmond)||Longden, Gilbert||Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Low, A. R. W.||Schofield, Lt.-Co|. W.|
|Duthie, W. S.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Scott, R. Donald|
|Eden, J B. (Bournemouth, West)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Scon-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Shepherd, William|
|Finlay, Graeme||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Fisher, Nigel||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)|
|Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Snadden, W. McN.|
|Fort, R.||McKibbin, A. J.||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Maclean, Fitzroy||Speir, R. M.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||Macmillan, Rt Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)|
|Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok)||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Stevans, G. P.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)||Wall, P. H. B.|
|Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Storey, S.||Tilney, John||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Touche, Sir Gordon||Wellwood, W.|
|Studholme, H. G.||Turton, R. H.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Summers, G. S.||Vane, W. M, F.||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Sutcliffe, Sir Harold||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K||Williams. Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Vosper, D. F.||Wills, Gerald|
|Teeling, W.||Wade, D. W.||Wilson, Geoffray (Truro)|
|Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)||Mr. Robert Allan and Mr. Legh|
Amendment proposed: In page 2, line 5, at end, add:
(3) As from the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, in the case of any entertainment consisting of association football, rugby league football and boxing, the amount of entertainments duty payable in respect of any fixture shall be reduced by one hundred pounds
in every case where the total receipts for admission to the fixture do not exceed two thousand pounds.—[Mr. Mikardo.]
§ Question put, "That these words be there added."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 237; Noes, 247.2025
|Division No. 103.]||AYES||[9.48 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||Kinley, j.|
|Adams, Richard||Fernyhough, E.||Lawson, G. M.|
|Albu, A. H.||Finch, H. J.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Fletcher, Erie (Islington, E.)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Follick, M.||Lewis, Arthur|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Foot, M. M.||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Forman, J. C.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Baoon, Miss Alice||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Logan, D. G.|
|Baird, J.||Freeman, John (Watford)||MacColl, J. E.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T N.||McGhee, H, G.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Gibson, C. W.||McGovern, J.|
|Bence, C. R.||Glanville, James||McInnes, J.|
|Bernn, Hon. Wedgwood||Gooch, E. G.||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Benson, G.||Grey, C. F.||McLeavy, F.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Blackburn, F.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Mainwaring, W. H.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Grimcnd, J.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hale, Leslie||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Boardman, H.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Ghenvil (Colee Valley)||Mann, Mrs. Jean|
|Bewen, E. R.||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Manuel, A. C.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Hamilton, W. W.||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Hannan, W.||Mason, Roy|
|Brockway, A. F.||Hargreaves, A.||Mayhew, C. P.|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)||Messer, Sir F.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hastings, S.||Mikardo, Ian|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Hayman, F. H.||Mitohison, G. R.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)||Monslow, W.|
|Burke, W. A.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)||Moody, A. S.|
|Butlet, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Herbison, Miss M.||Morley, R.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Morris, Peroy (Swansea, W.)|
|Carmichael, J.||Hobson, C. R||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Holman, P.||Mort, D. L.|
|Champion, A. J.||Holmes, Horaoe||Moyle, A.|
|Chapman, W. D.||Holt, A. F.||Mulley, F. W.|
|Clunie. J.||Hubbard, T. F.||Murray, J. D.|
|Coldrick, W.||Hudson, James (Eating, N.)||Nally, W.|
|Collick, P. H.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Oldfield, W. H.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Craddook, George (Bradford, S.)||Hynd, H. (Acerington)||Oswald, T.|
|Crostand, C. A. R.||Hynd, J. B. (Atteroliffe)||Padley, W. E.|
|CuMen, Mrs. A.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Paget, R. T.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Isaacs, Rt Hon. G. A||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Janner, B.||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Pannell, Charles|
|Deer, G.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Parker, J.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Jenkins, R. H. (Steehford)||Parkin, B. T.|
|Donnelly, D. L.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Popplewell, E.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Porter, G.|
|Edelman, M.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brifhouse)||Keenan, W.||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Kenyon, C.||Prootor, W. T.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W||Pryde, D. J.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowesloft)||King, Dr. H. M.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Rankin, John||Sorensen, R. W.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Reeves, J.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|Raid, Thomas (Swindon)||Sparks, J. A.||West, D. G.|
|Reid, William (Camlachie)||Steele, T.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Rhodes, H.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Richards, R.||Stauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Stross, Dr. Barnett||Wigg, George|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Robinson, Kenneth (St. Paneras, N.)||Sylvester, G. 0.||Willey, F. T.|
|Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Ross, William||Taylor, John (West Lothian)||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertiller)|
|Royle, C.||Taylor Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Shackleton, E. A. A.||Thomas, George (Cardiff)||Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Short, E. W.||Thornton, E.||Willis, E. G.|
|Shurmer, P. L. E.||Timmons, J.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Sirverman, Julius (Erdington)||Tonney, F.||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Turner-Samuels, M||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Skeffington, A. M.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Usborne, H. C.||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)||Viant, S. P.||Yates, V. F.|
|Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Wade, D. W.|
|Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||Weitzman, D.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr. Pearson and Mr. Arthur Allen.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Duthie, W S.||Langford-Hott, J. A.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)|
|Amory, Rt. Hon. Heathooat (Tiverton)||Finlay, Graeme||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Fisher, Nigel||Lindsay, Martin|
|Asshelon, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Linstead, Sir H. N.|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Fort, R.||Llewellyn, D. T.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambo & Lonsdale)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.|
|Banks, Col. C.||Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||Longden, Gilbert|
|Barlow, Sir John||Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok)||Low, A. R. W.|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Galhraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Bell, Philip (Boltcn, E.)||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Glover, D.||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Godber, J. B.||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Bennett, William (Woodside)||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Gough, C. F. H.||McKibbin, A. J.|
|Birch, Nigel||Gower, H. R.||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Bishop, F. P.||Graham, Sir Fergus||Maclean, Fitzroy|
|Black, C. W.||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)|
|Bossom, Sir A. C.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hen. J. A.||Harden, J. R. E.||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastte)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Harris, Frederio (Croydtm, N.)||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Markham, Major Sir Frank|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Harvie-Wall, Sir George||Marples, A. E.|
|Bullard, D. G.||Hay, John||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Maude, Angus|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Heath, Edward||Maudling, R.|
|Bulcher, Sir Herbert||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Maydon, Lt -Comdr. S. L. C|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Higgs, J. M. C.||Medlicolt, Brig. F.|
|Carr, Robert||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Mellor, Sir John|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Moore, Sir Thomas|
|Channon, H.||Hirst, Geoffrey||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Churohill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Mott-Radciyffe, C. E.|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Clarke. Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Hornsby-Smilh, Miss M. P.||Neave, Airey|
|Cole, Norman||Horobin, I. M.||Nicholls, Harmar|
|Colegate, W. A.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Nield, Basil (Chester)|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hurd, A. R.||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Crookthank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)||Odey, G. W.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Hutchison, James (Scolstoun)||O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Crowder, Sr John (Finchley)||Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Iremonger, T. L.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Deedes, W. F.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||Jennings, Sir Roland||Osborne, C.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Johnson, Erio (Biackley)||Page, R. G.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Johnson, Howard (Kunptown)||Perkins, Sir Robert|
|Donner, Sir P. W.||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Kaberry, D.||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcoim||Kerby, Capl. H. B.||Piekthorn, K. W. M|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kerr, H. W.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. Sir T. (Richmond)||Lambert, Hon. G.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Lambton, Viscount||Pitt, Miss E. M.|
|Powell, J. Enoch||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)|
|Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Shepherd, William||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hm. Peter (Monmouth)|
|Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N-|
|Profumo, J. D.||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)||Tilney, John|
|Raifces, Sir Victor||Snadden, M. McN.||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Ramsden, J. E.||Soames, Capt. C.||Turton, R. H.|
|Rayner, Brig. R.||Spearman, A. C. M.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Redmayne, M.||Spier, R. M.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P(Kensington, S.)||Vosper, D. F.|
|Remnant, Hon. p.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard||Wakefielt, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Renton, D. L. M.||Stevens, G. P.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)|
|Ridsdale, J. E.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Wall, P. H. B.|
|Roberts, Peter (Heetay)||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Robertson, Sir David||Stoddart-Soott, Col. M.||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Storey, S.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C|
|Robson-Brown, W.||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Warkinson, H. A.|
|Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)||Studholme, H. G.||Wellwood, W.|
|Roper, Sir Harold||Summers, G. S.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E)|
|Russeli, R. S.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.||Teeling, W.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Schofield, Lt.-Col. W||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Scott, R. Donald||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)||Major Conant and Mr. Wills|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. Crosland
I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, at the end, to add:(3) As from the thirtieth day of June, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, no entertainments duty shall be payable in respect of admissions to a horticultural show merely by reason of the fact that it includes sports, games, displays or any other entertainments.We now enter a very much more limited sphere than we have been discussing so far. The Chancellor has declined to make any of the major concessions sought in the earlier debate, and the Amendment which I now move is designed to extract from him a concession of a more minor character.
The matter of horticultural shows is of importance and interest to hon. Members partly because it concerns all hon. Members who sit for rural constituencies and partly because it has always been recognised as a very difficult borderline case.
I wonder whether it was in the minds of those who conceived the duty and the minds of those who have since carried it on that it should be imposed not merely on amusements, but also on such things as horticultural shows. The duty was first introduced in 1916 as a war-time measure, then being called a tax on amusements. It was then conceived that it would apply virtually only to theatres, cinemas and sports.
Neither the Chancellor nor the Financial Secretary of that time gave any hint that it would ever apply to horticultural and agricultural shows, which, after all, cannot be put in the same category of amusements as a sport or the cinema. Most hon. Members representing agri- 2026 cultural areas would agree that the horticultural show is partly an educational occasion, partly a social occasion and partly an occasion for encouraging higher production. I do not think that these three elements taken together can possibly amount to what any ordinary person would describe as an amusement.
It has always been recognised that something which is not 100 per cent, amusement or entertainment but is a mixture of entertainment plus something else is a borderline case. It certainly has not been the main object that Entertainments Duty should fall upon mixed cases of this character. Even in the first year in which the Entertainments Duty was introduced, this sort of thing was raised with the Chancellor of the day, and one hon. Member raised the question whether tea gardens would have to pay the duty, and he instanced that as a good example. The Fiancial Secretary at that time gave an assurance that tea gardens would not attract the tax.
The first thing I should like to ask the Financial Secretary is whether this assurance given when the tax was first introduced still holds good. If it is the case that Entertainments Duty is not paid by tea gardens or public parks, what possible ground is there for exempting this kind of occasion from the duty and yet taxing horticultural shows?
This question of horticultural shows was raised in 1935, when the late Mr. Neville Chamberlain amended the Entertainments Duty in a radical manner. An hon. Member raised the question of floral fetes, and the Financial Secretary of that 2027 time, Mr. Duff Cooper, replied that the majority of these fetes would be outside the tax. He said that 4,000 horticultural fetes were outside the tax and that only a very small minority paid it. The next question is whether it is still the case today that the great majority of these shows do not pay the tax, or whether the position which obtained in 1935 has been changed and that almost all of them do attract tax.
The matter was raised again by hon. Members opposite when they were in Opposition in 1946, when my right hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton) introduced another tax, and when an Amendment similar to this one was moved. The right hon. Gentleman who was then Solicitor-General replied that, although horticultural shows attracted tax under the Finance Act, nevertheless, they were exempt under the Income Tax Act, 1924. The right hon. Gentleman was pressed on this point, and my right hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland promised to give a further reply on Report, which I regret he did not do, because I can find no report of it.
In 1952, the tax on horticultural shows was actually raised through the Budget changes of that year. As an incidental effect of those changes, the tax on horticultural shows went up, and a lot of hon. Members must have found that this had come as a shock in their constituencies, and that these events had to pay more in 1952 than they had done in 1951. Certainly, in my own constituency, it was a very disagreeable shock to the organisers of a number of these shows.
Perhaps the Financial Secretary can say, first of all, what is the exact legal position today. Is it quite clear that these shows all attract tax if they have any kind of entertainment or amusement in addition to the actual show? If they do attract tax, will he also tell us whether the great majority of them have received exemption as in 1936, or whether they must pay the tax? Will he tell the Committee, further, what would be the cost of exempting them altogether from Entertainments Duty?
I would urge upon the Government that, although this may sound a minor matter, it is of some importance in rural areas, and certainly in my own constitu- 2028 ency, where, at Kingswood, we have a horticultural show which is one of the most famous in the West of England. Almost every village runs a show of this kind, which is the ideal opportunity for people to come together. It is an excellent and entirely innocuous social occasion, which could not be described as amusement in the same sense in which football or cricket can be. It has an excellent effect on food production, and has a perfectly obvious social value. I do not think that hon. Members on the Government side of the Committee would disagree with that.
In view of the very small amount of money which I imagine to be involved in this proposal I hope that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, after resisting our main Amendment on this Clause, will be more sympathetic towards this very minor reform.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I sit for a constituency which, although its name is generally associated with the carpet industry, embraces within its bounds one of the richest horticultural areas of England, namely, the Teme Valley of Worcestershire and the northern end of the Vale of Evesham. Every year, we have a large number of horticultural shows, and here the difficulties which the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) referred to occur every year with monotonous regularity. Prosecutions are threatened by the Customs and Excise regularly because of the uncertainty there is about the present state of the law.
Most horticultural shows have, also, a pony show, sheepdog trial, dog show or livestock show contributory to the main theme of fruit and flowers. Evidently, the Customs and Excise take the view that immediately a sideshow of that description is introduced into an enterprise that has been publicised as a horticultural show, the whole of the display and all the money taken at the gate become liable for the payment of Entertainments Duty.
I want to tell the Committee, very shortly, about an incident which occurred in my constituency a couple of years ago, and which exemplifies the uncertainty of the present state of the law. A flower show was organised at a well-known village in West Worcestershire three years ago. It included a children's pony display. It was assumed that Entertainments Duty would not be payable on the sums 2029 collected at the gate, which, incidentally, were in support of a well-known local charity.
An inspector from Worcester arrived, a gentleman from the Customs and Excise, who stated that because 30 or 40 motor cars had been grouped around the ropes of the enclosure of the children's pony show that became a display and that, under the appropriate Finance Act, the whole of the gate money taken at this advertised horticultural or flower show became liable to Entertainments Duty. The local people were so incensed that they threatened to put the inspector into the pond which adjoined the field. Whether that displayed the proper spirit I am not privileged to say. I was present at the show, but I was in no way related to its organisation. It showed that there is considerable uncertainty as to the state of the law in this regard.
In defence of the Chancellor and his predecessors, I confess that I know of no means whatever of defining within the statute what a horticultural show is. If one attempted to say that, because the bulk of the exhibits comprise flowers, fruit, hops, and so on, a horticultural show should be exempted from Entertainments Duty and yet should be allowed to have a pony competition, a sheep dog trial or something of that kind, it would not be beyond the bounds of possibility for organisers of such shows to disguise what was really a pony show as a horticultural show merely by adding a fruit, flower and hops display tent to the pony show. The two are so closely associated in the countryside that it is extraordinarily difficult to define the difference between them.
This all adds up to the plea which I made earlier this afternoon. The whole structure of Entertainments Duty has today reached a crazy condition. We should scrap the whole lot and reimburse the Revenue by a suitable and commensurate increase in the football pools betting duty.
§ Mr. Tom Brown (Ince)
The hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) has amused us by relating an incident at a horticultural show. It was not very nice to threaten a Customs officer who was trying to do his duty. If the hon. Member is desirous of preventing a similar occurrence all he and his hon. Friends need do is to vote with us 2030 for the Amendment. That would be the better way.
The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) is quite right in saying that horticultural shows have become part of our national and communal life. That remark applies not only to the countryside, but to many of our mining villages. Many miners cannot understand why Entertainments Duty should be levied on the money paid by the public who wish to see exhibits grown by miner horticulturists. This duty has grown. I do not blame the Financial Secretary, but the Treasury has gone blundering along trying to get a few coppers from sources from which they are not entitled to receive them.
As one who is interested in horticulture and who tries to stimulate and inspire it I want to reinforce the plea made by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South. I shall not go over the history which he briefly recorded, but even learned legal luminaries find it extremely difficult to define whether or not a horticultural show should be charged Entertainments Duty. I beg the Financial Secretary to examine the position very carefully. Speaking as a president of one or two horticultural societies, I think that acceptance of the Amendment would give the organisers and promoters of these shows a feeling that they are not forgotten by the Government. Though I have tried to analyse it in every conceivable way I still cannot understand why Entertainments Duty should be paid by people who go to see horticultural exhibits.
Nobody can deny the fact that many of these horticultural shows attract a large number of people because they are anxious to see what can be done and many of the popular shows now in existence have developed from small beginnings. They have not developed because they have made a profit every year; they have not made profits, but there are to be found in this country men and women prepared to made a sacrifice so that they may reveal to the public what can be done in the way of growing flowers and vegetables.
I have always believe that the growing of flowers and vegetables has an educational value, and it is because of that educational value that we are asking the 2031 Chancellor to give consideration to this modest Amendment. It is true that my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South said that the amount involved is infinitesimal. I know that the argument will 'be advanced from the other side that if we keep making concessions here and there we shall have to turn our attention to new taxation. I assure the Financial Secretary that the amount he will lose here is small in comparison with the amount of good he will do in horticultural circles.
Who can deny the great joy and happiness that is created by the Shrewsbury Floral Fete, and the Chelsea, South-port, Altrincham and Worcester flower shows? All these have grown up in years gone by despite the fact that this duty has been levied upon them. While it has created a great deal of discontent and dissatisfaction people still go on, and go on they will if the Financial Secretary and the Treasury do not agree to this Amendment. A love for horticulture is deeply rooted in their hearts and souls.
At the same time, I firmly believe that if the Treasury will agree to this modest request it will give inspiration and encouragement and will be an incentive for people to continue growing beautiful flowers and vegetables so that this country can see what can be accomplished in both of those directions and what can be produced by the land.
These people make sacrifices. It is not a money-making undertaking with them. It is quite true that there are some commercial enterprises connected with horticulture, but in the main the ordinary miner, steel worker and the workers in the industrial areas generally are as keen on horticulture just for the pleasure it gives as are any of the experts who are found in Kew Gardens or in the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. It is for such people that I am supporting this Amendment so that the growing of flowers and vegetables will continue to flourish.
§ Mr. M. Philips Price (Gloucestershire, West)
I should like to support my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) and to express the hope that the Chancellor will seriously consider this matter. The whole thing requires clarification. There are a number of enterprises of this type which exist mainly for amusement. I am thinking 2032 of the carnivals which are organised from time to time in the mining towns and villages or in the agricultural areas. Here one could hardly object to the tax collector taking a portion of the proceeds.
On the other hand, there is the kind of case to which my hon. Friend referred, as did the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro), where amusement is by no means the main purpose and is, in fact, incidental. The main purpose is horticultural and, of course, agricultural. I am sorry that the word "agricultural" has not been introduced here, for that is an important aspect, perhaps more important than any other; but I do not want to cross swords with my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. T. Brown), who is an expert on horticulture.
§ Mr. Price
Well, my hon. Friend speaks as an expert. I know more of the agricultural side of the problem. There are many shows, both horticultural and agricultural, the object of which is mainly educational. Farmers and smallholders attend the shows to see the latest machinery being exhibited there in order that they may increase their output and improve their methods of cultivation. They go to see the magnificent exhibits of the Minister of Agriculture or the Forestry Commission or some such body as I.C.I., which is concerned with the improvement of agriculture. No doubt there is a profit motive attached, but nevertheless these exhibitions are also educational.
There are side shows which have an amusement aspect and, for instance, a polo match or horse jumping. I do not think the latter are entirely for amusement. The horse jumping shows, like flat racing and steeplechasing, do a great deal to improve the type of our thoroughbreds and hunters, which is something which I, at least, think ought to be encouraged. Our horses are the finest in the world and are exported. One sees institutions and enterprises, some mainly amusement and others mainly educational, with all grades in between the two.
The Treasury ought not to put everybody on a Procrustean bed and take so much from all of them. They should see whether they cannot impose taxes a little more scientifically, taxing where it is a 2033 question of amusement and not taxing those shows where amusement plays either no part or very little part. In mining and agricultural villages—I have both in my constituency—these shows play a very big part, and I hope the Chancellor will look into this problem again most carefully to see whether he cannot do something to meet this request.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Judging from one or two speeches, there is some misunderstanding in the Committee about the present position, and it might be of help if I endeavoured to reply to one or two of the specific questions put by the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland).
With your permission, Mr. Hoy, I will first seek to answer a question which, I am bound to say, seemed to have nothing to do with the Amendment. The hon. Member was permitted to ask it and perhaps you would permit me, in courtesy, to reply. He asked what was the position with respect to tea gardens with a croquet lawn attached, and he wanted to know whether that agreeable mixture was subjected to the rigours of Entertainments Duty. I am advised that it is not, because I understand that in these cases the persons concerned play croquet themselves and the amusement, if any, is therefore given by themselves. The question of Entertainments Duty does not arise nor, I understand, has it ever arisen. I am grateful to you, Mr. Hoy, for turning a blind eye to a point which I think is not strictly relevant to this Amendment.
May I seek to deal with the present position upon which the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South asked me specific questions, which I will endeavour to answer. The present position in respect of horticultural shows and—in reply to the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Philips Price)—agricultural shows is largely governed by Section 11 of the Finance Act, 1923, under which exemption from Entertainments Duty is given in the case of those exhibitions which are provided by a society not conducted or established for profit.
I understand that provision covers the greater part of the flower shows, if I may use the less technical term, with which the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South was concerned, and also the pure agricultural shows in which the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West was interested. This provision for exemption 2034 is fairly broad, and the exemption given under the Act of 1923 is not forfeited even if there is a band providing music or an exhibition of work or displays of skill by children.
As I understand it, the existing position is that the great bulk of these shows are covered. Where they do not get exemption in that way, some others will get exemption by the proposals, with which the Committee will be familiar, which govern entertainments given for charitable or philanthropic purposes. As a result, the great majority of these shows are exempt.
The difficulty arises in quite a few cases of the type which appears to have given so much amusement and pleasure to my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro). That is the type of case where there is a flower show which has attached to it every kind of entertainment—musical displays, horse jumping, riding and the like. In that case, where there is a flower show and there is also another substantial element, the Act of 1923 does not operate to give exemption. I have no doubt that that is the type of case which my hon. Friend had in mind. These types of cases are not the type of show which I think particularly concerned the mover of the Amendment. Although they are limited in number, they seem to be very different from the flower shows to which the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. T. Brown) referred. I was very glad that he took part in this debate, and I certainly hope that he shows his orchids with great success this year.
The suggestion in this Amendment would, of course, go very far, as hon. Members will see if they look at its terms. The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South asked what would be the cost. Its direct cost, with things standing as they are, would be only a matter of a few thousand pounds, but the trouble would undoubtedly be that it would open the door very easily to a means of avoiding duty for a whole variety of functions. If, for example, there was a race meeting with a flower show attached to it, the hon. Member's Amendment would confer exemption upon the race meeting.
I hesitate to suggest that the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South would install a little flower show on Epsom Downs on Derby day, but I am not at all sure under his Amend- 2035 ment what the legal position of the Derby itself would be. Although I know that the hon. Member is trying to tackle seriously the case where there is a flower show and some entertainment, the difficulty arises when he tries to propose a remedy of this sort.
My hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster pointed out that difficulties of interpretation can arise under the existing law in marginal cases. Of course they can, but I suggest that those difficulties would be multiplied if we adopted a provision such as this where a flower show which included sports, games, displays or any other entertainments was entitled to exemption from duty. I think that that really would multiply the difficulties with which we are concerned. We are concerned actually with very few. The ordinary proper flower show does get exemption. The hon. Member for Ince referred to the Chelsea Flower Show and rather suggested that that was subjected to duty. I understand that it is not being a complete flower show without extraneous additions, and that is the sort of case in which I have no doubt the hon. Gentleman is interested.
§ Mr. T. Brown
I only mentioned the Chelsea Flower Show as an event which had grown up from a very small beginning to its present size. It is quite true, as the hon. Gentleman said, that they can get exemptions, but why should they be troubled with making application for exemptions when the tax ought to be swept away?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
The difficulty, as I was trying to explain, is that if we sweep away the tax in this way by allowing exemption where there is not merely a flower show to which exemption has very largely been given by the Act of 1923, but a flower show plus these various other things, we allow all sorts of things which have nothing to do with flower shows to secure exemption by the back door, or else we open the door to far more marginal and difficult cases than could possibly exist under the present law. I do not say that no difficulties exist. There are marginal cases in this as in all other provisions, but I do not think those marginal cases are best resolved by attempting to throw Customs officers into the pond, and I am bound to say that the 2036 physique of Customs officers is such that the hon. Member might find it a little risky if he attempted it.
Of course, if any real difficulty has arisen in a particular case which my hon. Friend or any other hon. Member cares to draw to the attention of my right hon. Friend or myself, we should be happy to look at it. I am not saying that there may not be individual cases of difficulty, but I must advise the Committee that this proposal, whose intentions I hope the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South will allow me to say I recognise as fully admirable, would cause great confusion, would do little good to flower shows and would give extraneous aid to all sorts of performances which the hon. Member has no desire to benefit.
§ Mr. Crosland
It seems to me that we are all agreed that this is an important matter. It is quite true that this Amendment was loosely worded, but we are all clear on what we have in mind. Since the cost is only a few thousand pounds, I am wondering if there is any possibility between now and the Report stage of the Financial Secretary being able to find a form of words which would cover what we have in mind, and thus accomplish at negligible cost a considerable social purpose.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I should like to respond to that appeal so agreeably put by the hon. Gentleman, but I should be misleading the Committee if I indicated that I thought such a thing were possible. We are dealing with a well tried statutory provision—Section 11 of the Act of 1923—and although it has not always worked perfectly, and although I should like to look at any case where difficulty has arisen, I should be misleading the Committee if I suggested that anything on those lines could be found. The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that when he put this Amendment down we gave it the careful attention which we give to all Amendments, and we came to the conclusion that there was nothing to be done in this direction. Therefore, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not think me ungracious if I say that I see some difficulty in responding to his request.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ To report Progress, and ask leave to sit again.—[Mr. Studholme.]
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.