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Entertainment Licences: Removal Of Certain Exemptions

Volume 116: debated on Tuesday 12 May 1987

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Lords amendment: No. 1, in line 1, leave out from beginning to "the" in line 3.

7.18 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
(Mr. Douglas Hogg)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the amendment to the Commons amendment.

With this amendment we will consider Lords amendment No. 2.

I should be grateful for the assistance of my hon. Friend on three points. First, should there not be an "or" at the end of the last line of the amendment, so that it will read correctly? Secondly, is the removal of the Theatre Royal in the Haymarket intended to be temporary? Thirdly, would this mean that the Theatre Royal would be in the same position as a private club, which my hon. Friend will remember are in a special category? I have in mind, for example, the Queensway ice rink which does not have to have adequate provision for first aid facilities, particularly for the St. John Ambulance Brigade and others to carry out their important tasks, because the people who attend those places are considered to be in a separate class, unlike employees and the general public. Can my hon. Friend give me guidance on those three points?

My hon. Friend has raised three points. As to "or", I do not know, but I hope that he is wrong. As to whether it is temporary, that depends on the Government's legislative programme in the next Parliament or thereafter, but clearly there is an anomaly and I am against anomalies. As regards private clubs, the law is highly complex, as it is for the Theatre Royal, Haymarket which comes into a group of premises which are covered by such extraordinary things as licence of the Crown and letters patent, so I shall not give a comprehensive or even considered reply to my hon. Friend from the Dispatch Box today. However, he has raised an important and interesting point, about which I shall write to him.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 1 and 2 agreed to.