§ 7.43 p.m.
§ LORD STONHAM
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. My attitude to betting is well known, and it may seem somewhat strange to see my name on a Bill of this kind. But, equally, I have always been opposed to injustice, and it is for that reason that I am bringing this Bill before you. It will remove one of the pressing restrictions which unfairly hampers the sport of greyhound racing, usually regarded as a working man's sport.
Parliament has seen fit to make special statutory arrangements to protect horse racing, but it did not extend that protection to greyhound racing. It must be recognised, though, that there are a considerable number of people who follow greyhound racing, which involves the breeding and training of an animal of ancient lineage. I make the point that there is a great difference between the exercise of skill by punters, who attend a racecourse and watch the activities of the greyhounds and make their selections, and the action of a person who merely goes to a betting shop to back his fancy. Since greyhound racing was first introduced into this country in 1926, it has expanded considerably—it is the next largest spectator sport after soccer—but its support on the course has seriously declined. In 1948, more than 25 million people attended the meetings organised at tracks by the National Greyhound Racing Society. Last year the total attendance had dropped to some 7 million. The reasons are not far to seek.
In 1934 Parliament decided that the sport should be subjected to a number of statutory restrictions because of the 332 social circumstances which then appertained, when a far different view was taken of betting, particularly betting by a working man. That Act has remained largely unchanged and was eventually consolidated in the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963. One of its restrictions was removed by my noble friend Lord Lindgren in 1969, when he successfully promoted a Bill to increase the percentage that could be deducted from the greyhound totalisator for operating expenses. The Home Secretary made the necessary Order later in the year and that has been instrumental in saving a large number of greyhound racecourses from being closed, because it is that percentage from course betting—they can now deduct 12½ per cent. compared with 6 per cent. formerly—which provides the major part of the operators' income.
In a situation where most tracks are barely viable, great pressures are exerted on them for their property value for development, because they are generally situated in areas of high urban development. A course is at present limited to 104 meetings a year, so with only two meetings a week it cannot possibly make full use of the large assets which must necessarily be employed and cannot show a reasonable return. Under these conditions, many are in danger of closing, but in many areas their closure would be quite disastrous, because greyhound racecourses are used for other sports, such as speedway, stock car racing, soccer, rugby and a host of other events. For instance, Wembley Stadium is a national institution because it stages football internationals and the Cup Finals, but it could not be kept open for only a few football matches; it would not be viable. So we have the position that Wembley, a national institution, is kept going only by the regular operation of greyhound racing.
I do not disguise from your Lordships that the legalisation of betting shops in 1961 has been another prime cause of the sharp decline in attendances. Previously, the punter went greyhound racing, where the betting is conducted under strictly controlled conditions. He now has the opportunity of going to a betting shop where he can sit in the warm, and he does not go to the local track. But one of the main restrictions, which stems directly from the 1934 Act and which is 333 still with us, is that greyhound racing, alone among betting sports, is restricted to these 104 days in a licensing year; and a licensing year is taken from July 1 to June 30. Moreover, inexplicably, all the tracks in a licensing authority's area must race on the same day.
Furthermore, existing legislation provides—and I find this even more remarkable—that the schedule of days on which betting is to take place for the whole of the forthcoming year must be approved by the licensing authority by May of the previous year. That means that track operators must forecast what will happen in their local area by way of football matches, big boxing shows and so on, up to 14 months in advance, in order that they can so arrange their schedule that they do not clash with other sporting events. Of course such forecasting—indeed, it could almost be called crystal gazing—is well nigh impossible, with the result that there is considerable clashing between greyhound race meetings and ether sporting events. It often involves, too, great public disappointment, because these other events cannot be held. This, in turn, causes difficulties in relation to the dispersal of traffic, and the public are in a sense denied the freedom of choice in the sports they wish to follow which they would otherwise enjoy.
My Lords, it appears to me abundantly clear that in this year of 1971 there is no need for such repressive legislation. It is certainly no longer required. The sport is conducted on a very satisfactory basis by the stewards of the National Greyhound Racing Club, who exercise a firm control and discipline over the racing al the 52 leading racecourses in England, Scotland and Wales. There are a number of other tracks which are outside the jurisdiction of the stewards, but I understand that plans are now being discussed to bring those tracks under one body, albeit in a loose fashion. The need for a change in the statutory arrangements therefore becomes more pressing as time goes on. I could instance what happened last year in the East Sussex County Council area, to illustrate this point. The show jumping authorities at Hicksteada—very popular venue for show jumping—wanted for the first time to have betting on a number of days in 1970 and 1971. Brighton and Hove Stadium, which is in the same area, had been operating continuously 334 for nearly 43 years, and naturally it was expected that their days would be chosen—they had had them long enough. But the county council overruled them in favour of the Hickstead show jumping. Whether or not there should be betting on show jumping is quite immaterial, but it just goes to show how ridiculous the law is in this respect.
When, in 1934, Parliament thought lit to introduce this restriction, there were at that time 270 greyhound tracks operating in the country. In 1949, which was the first year after the war when greyhound racing was allowed to operate fully under the 1934 provisions, there were not 270 tracks but 209. Since then there has been a further continuous decline, resulting in only 140 tracks—just over half—operating last year. This means that in 1970 there were available to the general public some 14,500 days of racing; that is, in 1970 there were just over half the number of meetings as were held in 1934. That is a very serious decline.
Let me give a few examples of the many closures that have taken place. In South London up to 1962 there were six tracks holding 624 days of racing, This year there will be only two tracks. In Lancashire the number has fallen from 17 in 1949 to 13. Glasgow has three tracks, one of which is scheduled to be closed for a motorway extension. That will leave two, which compares with five in 1949. In the County of Warwick, including Birmingham, the number of tracks has declined from six to two. Nottinghamshire has only one, compared with five. In the West Riding of Yorkshire there used to be 26: now there are 14. It is the same all over the country—creeping extinction of a sport by accident of Act of Parliament. This, I am sure, is not what Parliament intended. But the squeeze continues. Last year the attendances at those greyhound courses which race under N.G.R.C. rules declined by over 6½ per cent.
To sum up, the present position is that greyhound racing cannot compete on a fair and equitable basis with other betting media which have been granted the benefit of more modern legislation. For example, the Gaming Act is very restrictive—we saw to that—but the restrictions which apply to bingo and other forms of gaming are not nearly as 335 restrictive as they are on greyhound racing, because bingo-goers can gamble every day. And, of course, greyhound racing depends entirely upon the public paying to attend the course. During the last ten years alone, 7½ million patrons have been lost. It must be borne in mind that greyhound racing, unlike horse racing, is not favoured with the benefits of a levy, which is largely derived from off-course betting. Betting on the greyhound totalisator is restricted to those persons who come to the course. There is no credit for off-course betting as with horse racing.
Your Lordships will understand, therefore, why the main purpose of this Bill is to permit a modest increase—I think a very modest increase—in the number of betting days on which a greyhound track can operate. The Bill proposes that there should be 130 betting days in a licensing year compared with 104 at the present time, both figures inclusive of the four special betting days. Tracks in a licensing area—that is, county council and county borough council areas—will also, if the Bill is passed, be able to select their own betting days. They will not have to be selected annually, but can be chosen on a monthly basis. The track will thus have to give prior notification, seven days in advance, in writing, to the licensing authority of the days on which it proposes to race the next month. Such an arrangement will ensure that the licensing authority will be able to check that the number of betting days in a licensing year does not exceed the permitted number.
In addition, the Bill imposes an extra discipline, which I think is a very good idea but which has not been brought into betting legislation before. It is that the number of betting days to be held each month will be restricted to a maximum of 13, excluding the four special betting days. I think it is necessary to include this method of control so that Parliament does not open the floodgates to all kinds of other activities being allowed on which betting could take place. The figure has been determined by assuming that three meetings a week would be held in each calendar month and it also allows for the movement of the calendar when there are four and a half weeks in a month. 336 I should perhaps explain that the special betting days, which are part of the present 104 and will remain part of the 130, differ from ordinary days only in that they have sixteen races instead of the normally permitted eight. They take place mostly on bank holidays and gala days. There is no change in that what-soever; no increase at all.
As regards the Bill itself, Clause 1(1) is the operative section. It increases the number of days from 104 to 130. This arrangement would enable the track, if it wished, to race on three days a week for a period of six months instead of twice a week all the year round, as is the present general practice. Subsection (2) sets out the restriction that there should not be more than 13 betting days in any period of one month. The remaining subsections give effect to the necessary procedural amendments to the main Act. Clause 2 makes provision for prior notification to the licensing authority by the track betting licence holder, with not less than seven days' notice, of the number of meetings proposed for the following month. With regard to Clause 3, the Repeals clause, I repeat that repeal measures will include repeal of the whole of the Dog Racing (Betting Days) Act 1963 whereby at present it is possible for tracks to recover in a licensing year four days that are lost through bad weather or similar circumstances. It is not necessary to retain this Act and keep this potection, because any day lost through weather will now be taken in another following month—not necessarily the next one—provided that all the meetings are kept within the licensing year. It is also proposed to repeal the provision for notifying the licensing authority 12 months in advance and for tracks in the same licensing area to race on the same days.
It may be said that the Bill, if passed, will enable more new greyhound stadiums to start operating. This may be possible in theory, but in practice it will be utterly impossible, because promoters just could not, and certainly would not, provide the very large amounts of capital needed to run greyhound racing on a separate basis. Few new tracks have been opened since the war, and this year still more established tracks will be closed down. In my view, the most the Bill will do is to help those tracks still running to keep on 337 running. Above all, it does not seek to depart extensively from the overall and I think somewhat arduous, statutory control which Parliament has seen fit to impose on greyhound racing alone. Rather does it seek to ease some of those restrictions which in the course of years have become most onerous, pressing, and indeed unjust. It is for these reasons that I commend this little Bill and ask your Lordships to give it what I hope will be a unanimous Second Reading. I beg to move.
Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a. —(Lord Stonham.)
§ 8.4 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT WARD OF WITLEY
My Lords, I must begin what I assure your Lordships is not going to be a long speech by declaring the special interest which I have in this particular subject. For several years now, I have been President of the National Greyhound Racing Society of Great Britain. This, as your Lordships may know, is a voluntary association of all those greyhound tracks which race under the rules of the Greyhound Club.
As the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, said, we have at present 52 member tracks—although the number is bound to dwindle in the next few months—and the representatives of these tracks, who sit on the Council of the Society and work in conjunction with the stewards of the Club, are responsible for the shaping of the overall policy of the sport. This Bill is, therefore, of the greatest importance to the Society, and we are most grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, for introducing it to-night. Although the noble Lord has said that he is not a betting man, he has nevertheless for a long time taken a keen interest in greyhound racing. He has been most helpful to the sport; and the way in which he has opened this debate to-night shows, I think, how well qualified he is to speak on the subject.
I am also very glad that the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, is to speak in a few minutes. It is not the first time that he has taken part in a debate about greyhound racing. As the noble Lord reminded us earlier, Lord Lindgren introduced a Bill in 1969 which, by enabling a somewhat larger percentage of the Totalisator revenue to be retained by the track, has gone some way to meet 338 the ever-rising cost of maintenance and of providing the proper facilities for security as well as amenities for the public. But helpful as this concession is, I think the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, will agree that it provides no real or lasting solution to the difficulties that beset greyhound racing to-day.
Although the causes of these difficulties are many and complex, there are, I think, two main causes—and I hope that in saying that I am not over-simplifying the problem. The first is that the betting offices which were legalised in 1961 have kept people away from the tracks; and, the second is that the legislation which governs the sport, and which dates largely from the early 1930s, is thoroughly outdated. It is, of course, the second part of the problem that we are discussing to-night. Nevertheless, it is worth emphasising the important point which has already been made: that the betting offices, because they provide a handy means of betting without the trouble and expense of going to the tracks, have caused a decline in attendance at greyhound meetings of more than 42 pet cent. since 1961. This represents an annual rate of decline of 4 per cent. Your Lordships will readily appreciate the serious consequences to greyhound racing if such a rate of decline is allowed to continue.
We in the Society believe that there are two steps which must be taken at once to arrest this decline. The first concerns the level of betting tax at the race meetings. That lies outside the scope of this debate and so I must leave it aside. The second step is to ease some of the outdated statutory restrictions so that promoters can make greyhound racing more attractive to the public. This Bill, by giving promoters greater flexibility in the choice and number of days of racing, represents an important move in this direction.
I submit that the Government, any Government, cannot afford to let greyhound racing die. Over the past 22 years no less than £126 million have gone to the Exchequer from the sport; and there is no reason why it should not continue to be a valuable source of revenue if only a little attention is brought to these difficulties before it is too late. As President of the Society, one of the things I am most anxious to ensure is that the 339 reputation of greyhound racing should be above reproach. If this is to be so, it is clear that the conduct of the sport must also be above reproach and must be seen to be above reproach. In our efforts to prevent, so far as is humanly possible, any unlawful interference with the running of greyhounds, we have introduced the latest and most reliable analytical methods by which it is now possible for all greyhounds to be tested before each race. But we have to bear our own costs of security and analytical work, besides the cost of installing facilities to make these things possible. Unlike those responsible for horseracing, we have no statutory levy to support greyhound racing.
To sum up, my Lords, our aims are twofold: first, to stop the disastrous decline in attendance at the tracks, and secondly, constantly to improve the security and amenities at those tracks. If greyhound racing were allowed to die, as I submit it surely will unless something is done, the public would be deprived of a sport and a leisure pastime which thousands of ordinary people greatly enjoy. So I sincerely hope that your Lordships will give a Second Reading to this Bill which I believe will help to bring new hope to the industry.
§ 8.10 p.m.
§ LORD LINDGREN
My Lords, my noble friend Lord Stonham and the noble Viscount. Lord Ward of Witley, have indicated that in 1969 I brought a Bill before the House. That Bill contained a clause similar to that which is in the Bill presented by Lord Stonham to-night. Due to technical difficulties with regard to drafting, which are not unusual in respect of a Private Member's Bill, the clause had to be withdrawn. However, the Department with which my noble friend Lord Stonham was then associated indicated that they had every sympathy with the general principle of what I thought was intended at the time that the clause was included in my Bill. In the interim period, there has been an opportunity to examine this matter further, and I fully support this Bill as one which can be commended and I hope, as did the two previous speakers, that it will be given a Second Reading.
The Bill which I introduced in 1969, as has already been indicated, received 340 the approval of both Houses, but it was confined to the increase of the permitted percentage for the operating expenses of greyhound totalisators. The Home Secretary made the necessary Order effective as from December 8, 1969, and the percentage was increased from 6½ per cent. to 12½ per cent. This has already been referred to. I want to emphasise that this was only a palliative. Greyhound racing cannot continue under the pressure of the outmoded restrictions which date back from 1934 when the sport was operated under very different conditions with regard both to the tracks and to the social conditions obtaining in the 1930s. Parliament has seen fit to allow other betting and gaming media to have the benefit of more modern legislation, and to me it seems quite wrong that greyhound racing should continue to bear a burden which is not imposed on other betting sports.
It may be said that the Bill extends betting in this country. If there are such critics, I would point out to them that it enables greyhound racing to be carried on only for an extra 26 days a year but it controls the amount of betting in each month. Parliament does not so control betting shops which can open on every weekday. I would remind the House that the forthcoming reforms projected for local government, whether based on the Redcliffe-Maud Report or this Government's White Paper, will affect the boundaries significantly.
As I believe my noble friend Lord Stonham said, the licensing authorities are the county councils or the county borough councils. If their duties or boundaries are affected in any way by the new proposals, the licensing areas will have to be adjusted to the possible detriment of greyhound racing. Previously, whenever there has been an alteration of local authority boundaries, such as there were in London and Teesside, Parliament has made special arrangements whereby greyhound racing has not been adversely affected. This Bill, if it becomes an Act, will obviate the need for any special arrangements to be made for greyhound racing in any future local government reform. As was said by my noble friend Lord Stonham, it will free the second largest spectator sport in the country from an unnecessary burden. I would again commend the Bill to the House.
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ LORD WINDLESHAM
My Lords, there is no need for me to go over the ground at any length. It has been covered so thoroughly by the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, by my noble friend, Lord Ward of Witley, and by the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren. All of them have close connections with greyhound racing, and they have explained the background to this Bill and the purpose of the proposals which the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, has put before Parliament. I can say at once that there are some aspects of the case for amending legislation with which the Government have a good deal of sympathy.
Greyhound racing is governed by legislation passed in 1934 in an atmosphere in which memories of the depression played a very important part. The image of dog racing, the nature of gambling on dog racing and the social condition of those who gamble on dog racing have undergone a radical change since the early 1930s. But here we are, two Royal Commissions and three major Betting Acts later, and the controls governing the greyhound industry are still basically the same as in the mid-1930s. The legislation in 1934 sought among other things to control the total volume of betting on dog racing by imposing strict restrictions on the number and frequency of meetings in any one area. Before 1934 some places had experienced dog racing five, six and seven times a week.
After 1934 dog racing on any one track was limited to 104 days a year, an average of two days a week. This might rise to three days a week in those places—for example, coastal resorts—where summer racing predominated. Moreover, all tracks in one licensing area were required to operate on the same 104 days. As a result there was an immediate and drastic curtailment of gambling on the dogs, which was what the architects of the legislation at that time intended. However, in large areas of urban concentration, such as the Greater London conurbation and the West Riding of Yorkshire, the proximity of several licensing areas, coupled with the fact that, if there was unanimity in an area, tracks could virtually choose their own betting days, has meant that in these areas where the demand was naturally 342 greatest, enthusiasts could go dog-racing five or six days a week if they so wished.
The 1934 Act contained provisions which could have solved this problem. Licensing authorities could combine into joint authorities so that the days fixed would be the same over a much wider area. The Royal Commission which reported in 1951 recommended strongly that this further limitation should be achieved. The volume of on-course betting on dog tracks has fallen and, more important, the availability since 1960 of off-course cash betting every week-day in every area has made the restrictions on track meetings largely out of date.
What we have to consider to-day is perhaps less the effect on the total volume of gambling—though that is still an important factor—but rather the possible amenity effects of allowing tracks to fix their own days and of increasing the total number of days racing permissible in a year. The closing down of a number of tracks in recent years, as we heard from the noble Viscount, Lord Ward of Witley, has reduced the number of areas in the country in which there is more than one track accessible to local inhabitants, and there are probably no areas where tracks are so close that meetings on different days would be likely to cause any substantial amenity nuisance. But it is worth bearing in mind the extra traffic and crowd control burdens which may be imposed on the police, not only now but also in the future if tracks develop elsewhere for greyhound racing or other betting sports.
As for the total volume of gambling, the advent of licensed betting offices, when off-course cash betting was legalised by the Betting and Gaming Act 1960, fundamentally altered the pattern of betting on dog racing. Off-course cash betting on dog racing is now perhaps ten times the volume of betting on the course. Off-course betting is not, of course, confined to racing on any one local track, and if there is no local racing a punter can just as easily put his bet on a dog race anywhere else in the country. Accordingly, although the changes proposed in the Bill may produce some increase in off-course betting, the amount of this may not be very significant. As for on-course betting, there is little likelihood that attendances, and hence betting, will increase 343 by more than 25 per cent. In any event the amount of on-course betting is only a small proportion of the total. This is the background against which the present proposals must be considered.
With regard to the proposal to allow individual tracks to choose their individual betting days, the Government see no objection in principle. It involves a fairly complicated alteration to the existing law to ensure that local authorities are given adequate notice in advance of the actual days chosen and which of them are to be "special" days on which double racing will take place; and indeed some notification in arrear of the days on which racing did not take place after all. As the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, has reminded us, he introduced a Bill in 1969 which originally sought to free betting days. But the Bill was defective in drafting in this respect, and he dropped the proposal at that time. The proposals in the present Bill are much more workmanlike, but I am advised that there are still some defects in the drafting. If these can be remedied, I think I can best express the Government's attitude towards this measure as one of benevolent neutrality. I see the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, smiling. I hope he will not accuse me of plagiarism. I know that he used exactly these two words in describing the Government's attitude to the earlier proposals put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren.
The proposal to increase from 104 to 130 the number of days on which betting may take place presents a little more difficulty. There are two aspects of this, and neither of them is easy to assess. One is the social aspect of the possible increase in the incidence of gambling, and the other is the amenity aspect. I do not think I need do more than add briefly to the amenity point. What I have already said about the freedom of tracks to fix their own days applies with greater force, of course, if the number of days is increased. As for the incidence of gambling, it does not seem likely that any significant increase in Totalisator betting would result from these changes.
My Lords, since 1948, as we have heard from the noble Viscount, Lord Ward of Witley, and from the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, greyhound racing has declined considerably. The number of meetings has fallen by about 20 per 344 cent. and the total of attendances by almost 70 per cent. The amendment proposed would allow the number of meetings to be increased by a maximum of 25 per cent. which, assuming that the number of tracks remains constant, would restore the number of meetings to something like what it was in 1948. It may well be, however, as we have heard from the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, that further tracks will close as a process of rationalisation, with the result that the likely increase in the number of meetings would be less than 25 per cent. It seems certain however that, whatever the effect on the number of meetings, any increase in attendances would be highly unlikely to do any more than make good a very small fraction of the drop of 70 per cent. in attendances that has occurred since 1948. From the point of view of the possible social effects and the volume of on-course gambling, this is the important consideration. Any increase in the level of on-course betting is likely to be negligible and would certainly not reach anything like its immediate postwar level. It has, however, to be remembered that the increase would also be reflected in off-course betting where total turnover is about ten times larger than on-course. Although most dog track meetings are held in the evening, when betting shops are closed, the probability is that there would be some increase in off-course betting as a result, although the extent of this is difficult to estimate.
A further consideration is that the proposals would apply not only to dog tracks but also to other sports. There is no sport at present which would be affected; but this, we must remember, is a field that can be overtaken by sudden fashions and it is not impossible that some new craze such as trotting, involving considerable betting on a track event of some kind, might suddenly be introduced and become popular on a widespread scale. It would be very undesirable for such a development to be able to take advantage of an increased number of betting days. This objection could, however, be overcome if the proposed increase in the number of betting days were confined to betting on dog racing.
The Government therefore, to summarise, recognise the aims of this Bill and would not wish to dissent from them. There are, of course, inevitably some 345 practical implications, for those living near tracks, for the police concerned with crowd control, and for the total volume of gambling which noble Lords will no doubt wish to take into account. There are also some defects in the drafting which must be remedied. But, overall, the Government's position is one of neutrality. We shall watch the further progress of this Bill with interest and study carefully the comments which have been made in the Second Reading debate to-day and those which will be made on subsequent stages of the Bill.
§ LORD STONHAM
My Lords, I would express my grateful thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Windlesham, for his reply. If his words "benevolent neutrality" mean to him what they used to mean to me, this Bill will have a fair wind. I should also like to thank my noble friend Lord Lindgren and the noble Viscount, Lord Ward of Witley, for their very knowledgeable support. I do not think, so far as Lord Windlesham's doubts about this Bill are concerned, that there is any danger of a major increase in on-course betting, although I agree that if all goes well, there should be, as I hope there will be, an increase of some 25 per cent. As this is going to take place on one day out of every fortnight, it will scarcely be noticed, except that it will be an increase which may well be sufficient to make viable those tracks which are teetering out of business. I say "business", but this is a sport and a very good one. Greyhounds are beautiful animals and the sport is remarkably well controlled. I think that great credit is due to the National Greyhound Racing Association at a time when under other conditions they are being absolutely ground down. It has been desperately hard for them to continue. They have insisted on maintaining their standards: indeed, I think they have improved their standards, which of course is very costly. However, they have done that, and it is greatly to their credit. I think it may well be their eventual salvation.
I apologise for the errors in drafting, and naturally I shall be happy to look at them in Committee. One thing we do adhere to is the increase in days and the freedom of the operator to choose his days. I do not think that that will lead to other difficulties. We are not asking for a handout. Nobody helps greyhound 346 racing. So far as off-course betting is concerned, as the noble Lord probably knows, the greyhound authorities have forbidden bookmakers to quote tote odds. They just will not have anything to do with off-course betting. If it takes place it will not be their responsibility. My Lords, I cannot remember when a Bill had such a warm reception as this one has had. I can only express thanks to all concerned. And now let us finish the job by giving the Bill a Second Reading.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.