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Set cookie preferences. Brexit Check what you need to do. Home Organisations. Horserace Betting Levy Board. Is this page useful? Maybe Yes this page is useful No this page is not useful. Thank you for your feedback. There is something wrong with this page. What were you doing? What went wrong? I have great sympathy with the views of my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Central Mr. His seems to me to be a quite different case from the one about the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which would be representing a special interest, if one might put it that way.

There is a great case for the Secretary of State for Scotland nominating one of the members of the Levy Board. There is a great Scottish interest in this matter. There is a parallel here. I notice that he has his name on the back of the Bill. It seems to me to be treating him in a rather shabby fashion to have him associated with a Bill in this way and not to be mentioned in it, although, in Scotland, he is an equal person with the Home Secretary in this country.

I was sorry that the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department implied in his closing words that the Secretary of State for Scotland would not be able to appoint people who gave a broad and impartial judgment; he said that this was an argument for limiting the nominations to his right hon. Of course, the Secretary of State for Scotland is just as capable as the Home Secretary of appointing people who exercise a broad and impartial judgment. It is because we support what my hon.

Friend the Member for Glasgow, Central wants, and not because we support what the hon. Arbuthnot wants, that we feel that we should make this clear when the Question is put. I am not altogether satisfied with the explanation given by the Under-Secretary.

We must bear in mind that in Scotland we have over 1, bookmakers, who will make their contribution to the Levy Board's fund or whatever arrangements are introduced. It is undesirable to suggest, as the Bill does, that this Measure is supported by the Secretary of State for Scotland when nowhere in the Bill, right from Clause 1 to the Second Schedule, has he any powers.

He has no functions. He is not even mentioned in the Bill. He cannot undertake to appoint the appeal tribunal that may be set up for Scotland. He will have nothing to do with the proposed Bookmakers' Committee and nothing to do with the appointments to the Levy Board. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick Mr.

Gordon Walker has said, that is somewhat shabby treatment. It should have been recognised that Scotland has to play its part in the Bill. If it has to do so, surely it is reasonable to ask that in the main body which is being established under the Bill, there should be a Scottish representative who will have knowledge and understanding of the situation in Scotland. It is all very well for the Under-Secretary to attempt to fob us off, if there is any dispute about allocation, that professional men can be brought in.

I do not want to resort to that method. It could be avoided if the Secretary of State for Scotland were enabled to appoint somebody to the Levy Board. I will only be satisfied by the procedure of enabling the Secretary of State for Scotland to make an appointment to the Levy Board so that either in the disbursement of the levy fund or any other aspect that may arise within the operations of the Levy Board, Scotland will be adequately represented. I hope that the Home Secretary will have another look at this proposition and give us fair treatment.

The proposal by the hon. McInnes probably is not the right way to tackle the matter. As my hon. I suggest, however, to my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland that there might be another way of achieving what I should like done. I should like the Secretary of State for Scotland in some way to be brought into all consultations concerning duties, appointments and that sort of thing which occur in the Bill, which are at present the duties of the Secretary of State, Which, in Parliamentary language, means the Home Secretary.

There are precedents for what I suggest. I cannot remember them in detail offhand, because I have not had time to look them up, but in most agricultural legislation, for example, which is United Kingdom legislation, the Minister of Agriculture nearly always has to consult the Secretary of State for Scotland.

I think that it will be found in other United Kingdom legislation that there is statutory consultation which he has to take first. In other legislation there is provision for statutory consultation between the two Ministers. There is the theory that the Government is one and that if one Minister is mentioned that covers the lot, but for quite a number of occasions that constitutional idea has been overridden.

Perhaps, at a later stage, maybe in the form of a new Clause, the Under Secretary might consider, in all the duties and appointments, and so on, in the Bill, wherever the Home Secretary has to do anything, to say anything or to appoint anybody, that there should be statutory consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland. As the Committee knows, traditionally I have great sympathy with Scottish nationalism, which I have expressed from time to time.

The Committee would be well advised to look at the principles upon which this and previous Governments have operated, up till now. Under the Racecourse Betting Act, , under which the Totalisator operates, there is a representative board appointed by the Home Secretary, the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and a number of outside bodies.

The Government, for better or for worse, have deliberately turned their back on that board and have gone for another kind of board on which there shall be representatives of the bookmaking profession, representatives of the Jockey Club and outside bodies, as in the Act.

Then, so that the Home Secretary, should discharge his responsibilities to this House of Commons, he adds a chairman and independent members. They are there because they are independent and impartial and not because they wear a kilt or play the bagpipes. It is their independence and impartiality that is the test. The Committee will get itself into a terrible tangle if it starts to look at this on a geographical basis. Where will it stop? I agree with my hon.

McInnes that in the past there have been very important branches of the bookmaking industry operating in Scotland—for the most part, down the century, utterly and completely illegally. I hope that these will now return over the Border, and that, now that it is legal, they will come to England and that Scotland will take its rightful place in the forefront of that part of the community that obeys the law and does not transgress it.

Because Scotland has been breaking the law flagrantly for fifty years it does not give it any special rights of representation. To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland to appoint someone merely because he is a Scot, to look after Scotland, is to traverse the principle on which the Bill is based. Perhaps I may make a brief reply to the Scottish point. Wigg has made my speech as well as the English Minister's speech on this occasion.

As an honorary Scot he might join the deliberations of the Scottish Grand Committee and make some of our speeches there for us. Member for Smethwick Mr. Gordon Walker , when he said the Secretary of State should be equally capable of appointing somebody with broad judgment, is valid. Broad judgment must be the criterion, as the hon. Member for Dudley said, and as everybody has said. We do not want to get into the position where somebody is exercising impartiality of judgment from the Scottish point of view and somebody else is exercising impartiality of judgment from the English point of view.

I hope that the hon. Member will accept that there is no reason why both the members Ministerially appointed should not be Scottish, English or Welsh. They are not there to represent the difficulties of any particular area; they are there to hold the balance in any disputes between the functional interests of the bookmakers or the racing fraternity. Why is he there if he is not there to represent Scottish interests? He is there because the Bill applies to Scotland and because he will be consulted and will share joint responsibility.

I believe that that is the position under the constitution. His responsibilities are constitutionally indivisible with those of the Home Secretary in matters of United Kingdom administration of this kind. I think that that also meets the point of my hon. Duncan about statutory consultation.

It is normally assumed in legislation that there will be consultation between Ministers, who share collective responsibility, and particularly close consultation in a case such as this, where the interests of the Home Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, are identical in obtaining objective judgment and fair administration of these Measures over the United Kingdom as a whole.

Noes I beg to move, in page 1, line 22, at the end to insert: and shall be persons who the Secretary of State is satisfied have no interests connected with horse racing which might hinder them from discharging their functions as members of the Board in an impartial manner". This Amendment relates to the chairman and two members of the Levy Board to be appointed by my right hon. The scheme depends upon the chairman and the two nominees of the Home Secretary being independent members.

During the Second Reading debate hon. Members on both sides stressed this need. McInnes has tabled an Amendment stressing that the members appointed by the Home Secretary should be independent. The word "independent", in his Amendment, would be meaningless in the context of the Bill, but because of the desire expressed on Second Reading, and because of the Amendment of the hon.

Member for Glasgow, Central, we have thought it right to table our Amendment, which will express in the Bill what my right hon. Friend would do in selecting the chairman and two members to be appointed by him. The Amendment makes clear that they must be independent of racing interests.

I assure those hon. Members on both sides of the Committee who may be apprehensive about this that it is simply to appoint nominees who will be independent in the sense that their interests will not impede their activities as members of the Board. This phraseology will express in the Bill what all members of the Committee desire. I am glad that the Minister has agreed to the proposition contained in the Amendment.

Having regard to the proposed constitution of the Levy Board as provided for in the Bill, I felt justified in taking steps to ensure that the three members of the Board—the chairman and two other members—to be appointed by the Home Secretary should be entirely free from any interest—vested interest, if you like—in horse racing. I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has taken the hint following my Amendment. I give him credit for the fact that his Amendment is perhaps more explicit than mine, and I very gladly accept his Amendment.

In my view, this Amendment is entirely unnecessary. I have every faith in the fact that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will select and appoint completely impartial members. He has made things more difficult by his attempt to define "independent". I do not know precisely what he means by interests connected with horse racing".

I do not suggest that I am a suitable candidate for the Levy Board. In any case, I am excluded by another part of the Bill. I have been an owner, a breeder and a trainer. I have had a licence to ride. I have had an interest in a bookmaking business. I am none of these things now. Have I interests "connected with horse racing"?

I have not any at present. I wonder who is covered by this proposal. I have particularly in mind those people, eminently suitable for membership of the Levy Board, who often act as stewards at race meetings and who have a very extensive knowledge of everything to do with racing, but who are not owners or breeders of horses. I hope that the meaning of "independent" will not lead to the usual sort of triumvirate—barrister, retired civil servant and trade union official without particular qualifications.

It is essential that these members should have an extensive knowledge of racing, and I hope that my right hon. Friend will be content to leave things as they are, which, I would have thought, was perfectly satisfactory. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley Mr. I understood my right hon. Friend to say that he was thinking of "independent" in the sense that these nominees should not be connected with racing. If that is so, there is great force in the argument of my hon.

Friend, because such a situation would deny us the sevices of people who could be of the greatest possible use to the Board. If my right hon. Friend thinks that the question of independence must be clarified in the Bill, I hope that he will ensure that people who could be of value, but who are not interested parties in racing at present, are not excluded from serving on the Board.

I support the views advanced by my hon. Johnson and my hon. Friend the Member for Bebington Sir H. When I first saw the Amendment I was worried about the words: … satisfied have no interests connected with horse racing … I was then told that the word "hinder", which appears a little later, made that expression less dangerous.

In other words, these members could be interested in horse racing provided that their interest did not hinder them from making a fair judgment. I hope that my right hon. Friend will be able to say whether the word "hinder" is the operative word or not. I support the Amendment. Somewhat to my surprise, yesterday evening I received what was called some notes on the Amendments. I did not ask for them, but I received them—and they did not come from the Government.

I rather gathered that this afternoon we were to be treated more or less as a branch office of Messrs. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will stick to the Amendment, because there are so many suspicions about how this Measure is to be worked, and the Amendment will do something to reassure those who believe that it will not be easy to work. There is supposed to be a levy on bookmakers. Even when a horse comes past the post first, it is sometimes difficult to make a levy on bookmakers, even when one holds a ticket.

I am certain that this will be a levy on the punters. I am sure that in some form or other the bookmakers will pass the tax on to the consumers. The consumer always pays and the consumer in this case is the punter, who will be consumed by the bookmaker in the long run.

I hope that the Government will insist on the Amendment. I would not wish to miss an opportunity of supporting my right hon. The Amendment is perfectly sound. If those who have doubts about it will look at the Bill they will see that the Levy Board is to consist of two members appointed by the Jockey Club, one member appointed by the National Hunt Committee, one by the Bookmakers' Committee and one by the Totalisator Board. Racing interests are fully represented and the only point of having a chairman and two independent members is to try to give impartial and unbiased judgment on subjects on which the other members of the Board are unable to reach agreement.

In those circumstances, my right hon. Friend is pursuing the right course. I am the more fortified in that belief in that the Amendment arose from some remarks which I made on Second Reading, when my hon. He has translated that undertaking into the Amendment. Horse racing interests are well represented and the Amendment will provide for some people of independent judgment who are not connected with horse racing who will be able to hold the balance between those interests when there are disputes.

As we discuss subsequent Amendments, the importance of these three memibers of the Board being independent will become even more obvious. It was always my right hon. Friend's intention that the chairman and two members appointed by him should be independent of racing interests, and the Amendment has been moved to meet that end. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove Mr. Dance to think that "hinder" is the most important word in the Amendment.

AU the words must be taken together. They serve to meet the need that the chairman and the two independent members should be independent of racing interests so that they are not impeded in their work. If we are to stand by the proposals in the Bill, as opposed to the Peppiatt recommendation, that is essential.

The words make my right hon. Friend's intention more obvious to those who are to be concerned with the operation of the levy, and I hope that hon. Members will not press me to reconsider the words which, I believe, meet the occasion. I beg to move, in page 2, line 1, to leave out "two members" and to insert "one member".

I should say that it will be for the convenience of the Committee if we discuss with this the Amendment in page 2, line 8, at the end to insert: and f one member shall be appointed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. It would be very much to our convenience if we discussed them separately, Sir Samuel. We regard them as raising completely separate issues and, unless we can get satisfaction, we shall want to divide the Committee on both.

If it is only a matter of convenience, and not of the Chair deciding what to call, we would like to take them separately. I think that we had better discuss them together, because I think it unlikely that the second will be called if it is not discussed with the first. Would it be improper to ask how likely or unlikely it is that it will be called? If the Amendments raise entirely separate issues, then we can call the second. They are separate, because even if we do not get the second we shall still want the Jockey Club to have only one member on the Board.

This is an Amendment to which we attach much importance. The Peppiatt Committee proposed that the Board should consist of a number of people, including one representative of the Jockey Club. When the Bill was issued we discovered, to our surprise, that the Jockey Club was to have two representatives on the Board, although all the other interests which were represented were to have only one each.

There has been no defence or explanation of that extraordinary change from the recommendations of the Peppiatt Committee. Before the right hon. Gentleman goes any further I should call attention to the fact that his second Amendment would be out of order if this Amendment should fail, because the size of the Board is limited by the Bill and it will not be possible to move to add to it. As the Bill refers to a chairman and seven other members we shall have to do the best we can.

No doubt my hon. Friend the Member for Workington Mr. Peart will have something to say on the substance of the second Amendment. It has been suggested in some quarters that the Jockey Club and, I think, the National Hunt Committee are treated as if they were impartial bodies before whom other interests would appear, and, as they represented racing as a whole, they would be impartial in deciding between the claims of various interests which came before them.

In practice, however, we think that the Jockey Club, although it represents racing as a whole, has very clear views about what the Levy Board should do which may well be controversial, and, therefore, it cannot be held to be impartial. The Jockey Club has made it clear that it wants the highest levy possible, whereas other people, including the bookmakers, do not. Can my right hon. Friend tell me his authority for the statement that the Jockey Club want the highest possible levy?

The Jockey Club has said, over and over again, not that it wanted any money, but that if there was a scheme of reorganisation it would ask for a levy. It has never asked for it in the sense to which my right hon. Friend refers. This is the main misconception. It has persisted all through these negotiations. Once the Peppiatt Committee was set up it obviously followed that all the bodies connected with racing would submit evidence.

Astor, when he was a Member of this House, did some homework and wrote a memorandum. He did a sum based on the total number of stakes which could be won in a season. He took the number of horses and estimated what it would cost to race them, taking into account travelling expenses, jockeys fees, and the like.

I can only go by what I find in the Peppiatt Report, not all the information that may be known about what was said when the Committee met. The clear impression given by the Peppiatt Report is that the Jockey Club wanted the highest figure of all those mentioned and other interests wanted a lower figure. I did not think that that was disputed. It is perfectly clear from the Peppiatt Report. It therefore seems to me that I am justified in saying that the Jockey Club has an interest.

It is not an impartial body in this matter and, therefore, it should not be over-represented on the Board. There is, I think, another connection in which the Jockey Club has an interest, and that is that as little as possible of the levy should be spent for public purposes, like veterinary science and education. On Second Reading I quoted a statement made by the Duke of Roxburgh to The Times on 6th April, saying that he was strongly against the proceeds of the levy being frittered away on a diversity of objects.

I conclude that what he meant was that it should be concentrated on a few simple things directly connected with racing and that to spend it on veterinary science, and other things, would be regarded as frittering the money away unless the sums so spent are small. Such issues as these will be in dispute on the Board. In no way can the Jockey Club be said to be an impartial body representing racing as such. It seems to me wrong that, as the Bill stands, those interests which want a high levy—the Jockey Club and the National Hunt Committee—will comprise three out of the eight members of this Board, three out of seven if the chairman is excluded.

This is a gross over-weighting of what is a clear interest. There is a good deal of evidence that the Jockey Club has a great deal of influence which it can bring to bear, not only through its representation on this Committee, but in other ways. For instance, suddenly the figure of "two" members has appeared in the Bill, when the Peppiatt Committee wanted only one. Somebody must have got at somebody to get this considerable change from the Peppiatt Report made in the Bill.

It is a considerable change that this one interest should have its membership doubled. It is not mentioned at any point in the Peppiatt Report as having been put forward. Someone has been able to bring about this change, and it seems to me that the Jockey Club must have had something to do with the figure in the Bill, which is in its favour. It therefore seems to me necessary that we should bring the composition of the Board back to what the Peppiatt Committee recommended.

That is all that our Amendment intends. We think that there are very powerful arguments against making this very striking change from the Peppiatt Report, and we have heard no arguments in favour of it. I support the Amendment, and if it comes to a choice between two members of the Jockey Club and one in order to get a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on the Board, I am in favour of the surgeons, although I do not share the jaundiced view of the Jockey Club of the right hon.

Gordon Walker. There is an overwhelming case to be made out for the inclusion of veterinary surgeons on the Board. A small board is obviously desirable, but it is notable that no one so far has suggested that there should be direct representation of other racing interests. For example, no one has suggested that the Racecourse Association, the Trainers' Federation and the Owners' Association should be represented on the Board. I do not think my hon. Friend is making a fair case. What they said was that if one was to be represented then they all should be represented, but they agreed that if all sections of the industry were represented the Board would become so big that the independent members would be completely swamped.

The racehorse owners, the breeders and others got together and said that they did not want a representative on the Board as long as the other interests did not. The first that was heard about the veterinary surgeons wanting to be on the Board was when the Amendment appeared on the Amendment Paper.

If the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is represented, then other interests will also want to be represented. It is possible to make out a very good case for the veterinary surgeons, indeed an exceptional case, because their position is quite different from that of other interests in racing.

Other interests in racing understand each other's intentions and point of view very well. The profession of the veterinary scientist is a highly technical one. Veterinary science represents the one interest which ought to be on the Board, partly because it is a highly technical profession and, for that reason, should be represented. I shall try to show why this is so. There will be a lot of hungry mouths to feed when all this money is available.

The increase of prize money, rebuilding programmes, the improvement of amenities and many other causes will be pressed very vigorously by those who think that they will derive some advantage. But this one interest which is specifically included in the Bill but which is not included on the Board has a very special case to be considered, namely, the case for the advancement of equine research, veterinary science and education.

Like others in so many forms of scientific research in this country, veterinary research has had a rather thin time. It has had to limp along for many years with very little money, but if has done very fine work. When all the "tough guys" my right hon. Friend proposes to put on the Board start scrapping about who is to get what out of all this lovely money, at the end of a year or two, I fear, the second of the major objects of the levy, veterinary research and education, will be left very much at the post.

There is nothing like it anywhere else. It is known all over the world as a centre for equine research. Every owner of bloodstock and every breeder in this country knows and values its clinical and consultative services.

I am not sure that many people realise how much patient and fruitful research has gone on at that station during the last twenty years, and I am not sure either that everyone realises in how many fields those dedicated men have reached a point of near break-through which, if it were really massively supported now, could lead to enormous benefits not only for horses and other ungulates but in the whole field of animal research, and, indeed, in human medical research as well.

The scientists at Balaton Lodge and Lanwades Park know more about haemotology and haemolytic diseases than anyone else in the world, and, because of certain characteristics of the horse's blood, the research they have done has a bearing on inflammation and allergies—especially as these are not only in horses but in human beings as well as in other animals.

In the virological research laboratory in Newmarket there is a tantalising background of knowledge of many virus diseases, and, with more staff and equipment, the researches could certainly produce cures and new treatments for a good many diseases which affect horses and other ungulates as well.

The station needs at least two metabolism chambers to follow up its new knowledge obtained in recent years in nutritional research. There are new techniques in dealing with bone fractures, bone diseases and bone healing problems which also should be developed.

There is a need to expand the biochemical laboratory, which is hardly adequate even for present needs. The station has performed autopsies on nearly every foal which died in the Newmarket area during the last ten years. Here again, in pathology and bacteriology as well ase in parasitology, any acceleration of the present progress could undoubtedly open up new areas of knowledge and treatment for young animals particularly.

Hand in hand, of course, with pure research must go the development and improvement of the station's clinical facilities and consultative arrangements. The station badly needs a good library. A good library with publication and indexing services and that kind of thing is just as important in animal research as it is in medical research. The people at this station receive inquiries and requests for advice from all over the world, but with their present facilities they simply cannot cope with them.

The rest came from voluntary contributions. It is really quite astonishing to see what has been done with so little money and to see how much work in different fields of equine research has been tackled and tackled successfully. If ever there was a winner on its record worth backing it is this station at Newmarket. We have here an opportunity not just to put Britain in the lead in equine research.

By stepping up its existing programmes and developing all the new leads the researchers at the station have found in relation to horses and other animals as well as human beings, coupled with a vigorous development of veterinary education, we could certainly make this country the dominant world centre in equine research and veterinary science.

Exports, tourism, Commonwealth development, agricultural productivity at home, and international prestige are only a few of the long-term beneficiaries from the sort of programme I have in mind, to say nothing of the long-term advantage to breeding and racing in the years to come.

We all realise perfectly well that, irrespective of whether my right hon. Friend decides to accept the Amendment or not, equine research and veterinary scientists will benefit under the Bill, but I feel certain that, in order to have their fair share of what will be available to them, these people really must be represented on the Board.

They are the ones who can do far more for the British bloodstock industry than the Jockey Club and all the other racing associations put together. There is another factor which is very important. This Bill should command support from a circle far wider than just that of racing and betting if it were made clear that by accepting the Amendment that Britain was determined to keep and extend her lead and dominance in this very great branch of science.

I do not know how it came about that the Government changed their mind. It is certainly no part of my job to act as a public relations officer for the Jockey Club, but there are certain things which need to be said arising from the points which have been made about the Amendment It should be recognised that racing is not only a business. It is also a sport. The overwhelming majority of people who are interested in racing are not in it because they will make money out of it.

If they do think so, they very soon find out they are mistaken. They go racing for fun. It is true, also, that there is some easy money about, and wherever there is easy money there will always be someone looking for it. Therefore, it is of absolutely paramount importance that the government of racing should be carried on by a body of men, whatever we may think about them, whose integrity and authority are beyond dispute.

It is quite plain that the main function of the Jockey Club, through its stewards and representatives, is to exercise its authority with an absolutely firm hand. There are many young men in racing who may not have had all the advantages of a very wide education and who may suddenly face high incomes and great temptations. Unless the hand of the Jockey Club is firm and is recognised as being firm, we shall run into trouble. Member for Bury St. Edmunds Mt Aitken spoke about the pre-eminence of British racing.

Of course, we all want that, but the preeminence of British racing is recognised throughout the world by the performance of our bloodstock. We need to recognise, also, that the Jockey Club has an international reputation. In a very humble position on the Racecourse Betting Control Board, I have from time to time had letters from people from far afield—for instance, letters from friends in Ghana who were concerned about the state of racing in Ghana and wanted to go to the Jockey Club for advice.

People have come to me from out of the blue, wanting to be put in touch with the Jockey Club. There were people in Brazil who asked me to put them in touch with Wetherby's. Perhaps it is interesting to note that so conscious of public relation are Wetherby's and the Jockey Club that if one wants to find their telephone number one cannot find it in the telephone directory.

Of course, this institution has been going on since the eighteenth century; and, of course, one can criticise it, and indeed, the more one knows about it the more one can criticise it; but so far I have never heard anyone attack the Jockey Club's integrity. Therefore, in a Bill of this kind it is of paramount importance that its position and its authority should be recognised.

My right hon. Gordon Walker is a much better and a much wiser and a much nobler person than I am. Of course, he does not go racing. If he did he would have recognised that the Jockey Club occupies a quite different position from that of the National Hunt Committee. It is to be represented by one, and it cannot be left out, but the Jockey Club speaks for many times as many people. The value of the racing controlled by the Jockey Club, the number of races, the extent of its activities, all these are many times greater than the number or value of the races or activities represented by the National Hunt Committee, and the pre-eminence of British racing rests chiefly upon flat racing.

Therefore, if we give one place to the National Hunt Committee it would seem to me to follow that we must give more to the Jockey Club. I would have thought the Jockey Club could have two places. I would have thought so. I would have thought there was a cast-iron case that, because of the authority of the Jockey Club throughout the world, it should be given special recognition. But that is not all the story. Member for North Fylde Mr. Stanley knows as well as I do that a very considerable amount of work has been done on this Bill over a very long period.

There are some who have had the good fortune to have come into our deliberations only at this late stage, but those deliberations and a great deal of hard work have been going on for several years, and so far this has been an agreed Bill. Of course, even though it is agreed, that does not mean that all the Members of the House of Commons necessarily have to agree with it, but I would have thought that they would at least take some trouble to find out the principles on which the Bill was based.

One of the fundamental principles, as the hon. Member for North Fylde said, was that beneficiaries should be excluded. If hon. Gentlemen will look at the old Act they will find a number of beneficiaries were left out; the then Home Secretary and others who hammered out the scheme left them off.

Perhaps that is the reason why the Jockey Club went to the Home Secretary and asked for two representatives now. I have no doubt at all that the Jockey Club is too modest to make the points which I have made on its behalf about its disciplinary work and the peculiar position which it occupies in the world of racing, but I imagine that it would have said, "We speak for thousands of employers in this industry.

We speak for the interests of owners, breeders, jockeys, trainers. Therefore, we ask for recognition to be given to them through us. For that reason we hope you will breach the principle of no direct beneficiaries being on the Board.

Let me deal now with the question of veterinary science. So far veterinary science has had help from the Racecourse Betting Control Board through the work of the charity trust of which by chance I happen to be a member. I am sure that those whose knowledge of this is much greater than my own and covers a much longer period will agree when I say that everything it has asked for has in fact been granted. Therefore, if it wants more it must come along and ask for more. The idea that it is being starved for money, if I may say so politely, is a piece of nonsense.

Friend challenges me. I was going to deal with that in discussing the second of the two Amendments, which I was going to move. Then I will answer my hon. That Amendment is not to be moved, I understand. Friend says "No" to what I am saying, let me tell him that as recently as last week a grant for next year was approved, and it was exactly what was asked for—and last year and the year before that. Inside the limits of the money which is available all that veterinary science has asked for has in fact been given.

I think that that is a little misleading, because very often people ask for what they hope to get and not what they would like to get. I could quite easily have given the hon. I do not think it is quite fair to say that they get everything they need or that they are not starved of money.

It is just not so. They are responsible people and would not ask for more than in fact there is, and within the sum total of the money available, as responsible people they have asked for what they wanted and have got it. They cannot get more than there is.

What I am controverting is the very unfair point that they have been starved of money by the Racecourse Betting Control Board. Friend is haranguing me, but I will answer his point later. Edmunds was suggesting that a great deal more can be given. I am quite sure that it can; but it does have to be related to the amount of money which is available, and inside the sum total which is available the veterinary service has been given adequate treatment. The point I want to controvert is the suggestion, implied in what he said, that representation on the Levy Board is essential in order to get more money.

That, I think, is an unfair reflection upon the work over the last twenty or thirty years of people on the Racecourse Betting Control Board. Member seems to me to be illogical about this. The whole object of getting a representative of the veterinary service on the Board is that more money will be available if it gets a fair chance of getting it.

That is exactly the point I am making, that it is said that an increased sum of money for veterinary purposes depends upon representation on the Levy Board of the veterinary service, but does the hon. Gentleman not see that it follows that as soon as that happens breeders, jockeys, everybody else will do exactly the same? Therefore, it is absolutely essential that there should be somebody on the Board directly representing racing interests who will act not as the representative of special interests however laudable they may be but will remember that in racing as in politics statesmen are essential.

The essential need here is for a turf statesman who will have the wisdom and the detachment to take a synoptic view and balance one interest against another. I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for admitting this. Out of his own mouth he has admitted the case because he has suggested that the amount which the various interests will get will be related to their membership of the Board.

I put exactly the other point of view. I hold the view that the well-being of British racing needs to be related to the position of racing on the world plane, and therefore I say it is the duty of the Government, bearing in mind its undoubtedly authentic voice in racing, to give the Jockey Club a place in deciding not only upon the disbursement of money but in the framing of policies in the interests of racing, of clean racing, of racing of which we are all proud.

I rise to support the Amendment to the effect that a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons should be included on the Board. I do so because I think that such a man would serve a very useful purpose there. I have recently had experience of the knowledge and the services given by members of the British Veterinary Association, and I have no doubt that not only do veterinary surgeons hope that in some way they would influence certain sums of money into the veterinary profession, but also that they would be able to carry out investigations as a result of their knowledge and further, by their membership of the Board which would be of inestimable value to the British bloodstock industry.

When we read about the intentions for which the money shall be allotted, we find that it shall be allotted for the improvement of the breeds of horses; the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science or veterinary education.

It seems to me, therefore, to be quite logical that, if that is one of the declared intentions of the use of the money, a nominee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons should be on the Board. I certainly do not go all the way—although I can understand his point of view—with the hon.

Wigg , who stated that because the greatest preponderance of interest is in flat racing the Board should include two members of the Jockey Club as of right. Certainly I believe that one member of the Jockey Club, if he were a strong member—and I am sure that he would be—would be quite capable of putting forward the views of the Board with force and that it would not suffer by having only one such member, especially when it is realised that in any case, whether there were one member or two members, the Jockey Club would be in a minority overall on the Board.

In the first place, of course, this money is raised from members of the public. It is not the prerogative of the Jockey Club or of any persons on the Board at all. The racing industry in this country is only pursued because of the interests of the general publice. Therefore, one finally comes down to what is best in the public interest concerning representation on the Board and the manner in which the money is raised.

Furthermore, we must realise—and this has already been stated—that the money cannot be raised voluntarily. It has to be raised by levy and, again, it has to come in the first instance from the public purse. If we are dealing with the public interest, I believe that the general public would be much more happy about the general circumstances if they knew that the veterinary profession was represented on the Board. There is certainly an awakening interest in this country in general animal welfare.

People not only think of the racing of the horses or of the bookmakers and others connected with racing. A great many people consider the welfare of the animals. In that connection, they consider that a highly qualified and highly skilled professional man on the Board might be able to exercise certain influences there. Indeed, when we come down to the question of professional know-how, I am fortified by the rather indignant—if I may so put it—intervention of my hon.

Oakshott , who objected when my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary introduced an Amendment specifying what was meant by "independent" and which would make it perfectly clear. What my hon. Friend said—and I took it down very carefully—was that the definition of independence "would exclude people with special knowledge of horse racing. I suggest that in this context veterinary surgeons have special knowledge of the animals used in horse racing, which is very important. One of my hon.

Friends shakes his head in disagreement. Are we to assume that veterinary surgeons have no knowledge of horses? I think that my hon. Friend is getting terribly muddled. Of course veterinary surgeons know horses. That is why they have their jobs.

But they know very little about the practical side of racing. I thought that that was the whole point at issue. The Bill lays down perfectly clearly what is the intention with regard to the money. It states that it shall be used for the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science or veterinary education.

Therefore, my non Friend has made the case even better. If veterinary surgeons have no knowledge of horse racing, then I suggest that a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons sitting alongside members of the Jockey Club when disposal of the money was being considered might be a very good thing because all the members of the Board would then come much closer together than they are apparently at the moment, according to my hon.

Friend, who, I understand, is a member of the Jockey Club. I suggest that that in itself is another reason for the inclusion of a veterinary surgeon. There is no doubt that the veterinary profession and those engaged in the production of bloodstock and of improving its quality have much work to do together. I personally can see no valid reason why there should be such strong opposition from some quarters to the introduction on to the Levy Board of a member of the veterinary profession who must, according to the Bill itself, have a particular interest not only in the way in which the money is disposed of but, indeed, in the whole science of the production of high quality bloodstock and British racing generally.

I trust that my hon. Friend will find it possible to include on the Board a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. An Amendment was down in my name, but there was a procedural difficulty. However, I assume that that Amendment has been taken with the Amendment moved and that we are discussing the position of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Before I deal with the Amendment, I wish to say something to my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley Mr.

He has praised the Jockey Club and has inferred that we who seek to restrict it are seeking to criticise it. I am not as experienced as my hon. Friend concerning the Jockey Club. I am only a humble racegoer. I hope that he will not be pompous because he has this added experience. If the Home Secretary has a complaint against this important body, it is not that it is faulty but that it is diffident and incapable in this modern age, because of the way it works, of acquiring the necessary knowledge to be able to give the lead which racing unquestionably requires at present.

Friend the Member for Dudley criticised the Jockey Club. I did not make that criticism. He seemed to argue that it now has great authority and that it is responsible for keeping a firm hand on racing. I hope it does.

But that would in no way be affected by the composition of this Board, and it would in no way affect the running of the Jockey Club if it had only one member on the Levy Board. I hope it will continue to exert its authority, and that if there are any grounds for criticism of its work such as was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley it will certainly bring itself up to date. However, I must point out that I am not experienced in the workings of the Jockey Club.

I think it was rather unfair to chide my right hon. Gordon Walker for saying that he did not go racing. The inference was that he did not know anything about the subject whereas my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley did know. I only wish my hon. Friend would show a little modesty in these matters. I wish to deal with the Amendment affecting the Royal College.

I am a member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and have been for nine years. I rely on the experience of experts, as does my hon. We are all square. The purpose of this Bill is to improve breeding and the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science and veterinary education.

The purpose of the levy is to improve breeds of horses and, of course, to improve horse-racing. But, as I think has been established by the hon. Members for Bury St. Edmunds Mr. Aitken and for Gillingham Mr. Burden , we cannot improve horse-racing or the breeding of horses without proper veterinary practice and the development of veterinary science and veterinary education.

I submit that the latter purpose is fundamental to this Bill. I am sure that the hon. Stanley , who raised the question of the state of veterinary education, would agree. Whether or not we are muddled about the purpose of this Bill, I think he will agree from his experience that if we have good veterinary practice, research and development, horse-racing will inevitably improve and that there will also be an improvement in breeding. There cannot be any separation of the two.

The success of this Bill and the use of the levy will depend very much upon how much money is allocated to veterinary research and education.

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The principal benefit to you of completing the online FOD is that the Levy Assessment Service website will automatically calculate your Levy liability for you. In addition, based on your Levy submission, the Levy Assessment Service website will advise you of how much you are required to pay for the Levy year in question or indeed whether you are owed a refund, taking into consideration all of your advance payments on account under the relevant Levy Scheme.

The Levy applies to all Operators who offer bets on horseracing in Great Britain. The Levy Assessment Service website allows you to submit all of your trading data securely online. Once you have completed the online FOD you will be asked to print a paper copy of your submission, sign it and then pass it to the Independent Accountant who must verify and sign it.

We use cookies to collect information about how you use GOV. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. You can change your cookie settings at any time. The Horserace Betting Levy Board HBLB is required to collect a statutory levy, known as the Horserace Betting Levy, from horseracing bookmakers and the Tote successor company which it then distributes for the improvement of horseracing and breeds of horses and for the advancement of veterinary science and education.

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RANDY SPORTS BETTING

We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. You can change your cookie settings at any time. The Horserace Betting Levy Board HBLB is required to collect a statutory levy, known as the Horserace Betting Levy, from horseracing bookmakers and the Tote successor company which it then distributes for the improvement of horseracing and breeds of horses and for the advancement of veterinary science and education.

HBLB is also a tribunal non-departmental public body. To help us improve GOV. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Skip to main content. Tell us whether you accept cookies We use cookies to collect information about how you use GOV. Accept all cookies. Set cookie preferences. It has never asked for it in the sense to which my right hon.

Friend refers. This is the main misconception. It has persisted all through these negotiations. Once the Peppiatt Committee was set up it obviously followed that all the bodies connected with racing would submit evidence. Astor, when he was a Member of this House, did some homework and wrote a memorandum. He did a sum based on the total number of stakes which could be won in a season. He took the number of horses and estimated what it would cost to race them, taking into account travelling expenses, jockeys fees, and the like.

I can only go by what I find in the Peppiatt Report, not all the information that may be known about what was said when the Committee met. The clear impression given by the Peppiatt Report is that the Jockey Club wanted the highest figure of all those mentioned and other interests wanted a lower figure. I did not think that that was disputed. It is perfectly clear from the Peppiatt Report.

It therefore seems to me that I am justified in saying that the Jockey Club has an interest. It is not an impartial body in this matter and, therefore, it should not be over-represented on the Board. There is, I think, another connection in which the Jockey Club has an interest, and that is that as little as possible of the levy should be spent for public purposes, like veterinary science and education.

On Second Reading I quoted a statement made by the Duke of Roxburgh to The Times on 6th April, saying that he was strongly against the proceeds of the levy being frittered away on a diversity of objects. I conclude that what he meant was that it should be concentrated on a few simple things directly connected with racing and that to spend it on veterinary science, and other things, would be regarded as frittering the money away unless the sums so spent are small.

Such issues as these will be in dispute on the Board. In no way can the Jockey Club be said to be an impartial body representing racing as such. It seems to me wrong that, as the Bill stands, those interests which want a high levy—the Jockey Club and the National Hunt Committee—will comprise three out of the eight members of this Board, three out of seven if the chairman is excluded.

This is a gross over-weighting of what is a clear interest. There is a good deal of evidence that the Jockey Club has a great deal of influence which it can bring to bear, not only through its representation on this Committee, but in other ways. For instance, suddenly the figure of "two" members has appeared in the Bill, when the Peppiatt Committee wanted only one.

Somebody must have got at somebody to get this considerable change from the Peppiatt Report made in the Bill. It is a considerable change that this one interest should have its membership doubled. It is not mentioned at any point in the Peppiatt Report as having been put forward. Someone has been able to bring about this change, and it seems to me that the Jockey Club must have had something to do with the figure in the Bill, which is in its favour. It therefore seems to me necessary that we should bring the composition of the Board back to what the Peppiatt Committee recommended.

That is all that our Amendment intends. We think that there are very powerful arguments against making this very striking change from the Peppiatt Report, and we have heard no arguments in favour of it. I support the Amendment, and if it comes to a choice between two members of the Jockey Club and one in order to get a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on the Board, I am in favour of the surgeons, although I do not share the jaundiced view of the Jockey Club of the right hon.

Gordon Walker. There is an overwhelming case to be made out for the inclusion of veterinary surgeons on the Board. A small board is obviously desirable, but it is notable that no one so far has suggested that there should be direct representation of other racing interests. For example, no one has suggested that the Racecourse Association, the Trainers' Federation and the Owners' Association should be represented on the Board.

I do not think my hon. Friend is making a fair case. What they said was that if one was to be represented then they all should be represented, but they agreed that if all sections of the industry were represented the Board would become so big that the independent members would be completely swamped. The racehorse owners, the breeders and others got together and said that they did not want a representative on the Board as long as the other interests did not.

The first that was heard about the veterinary surgeons wanting to be on the Board was when the Amendment appeared on the Amendment Paper. If the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is represented, then other interests will also want to be represented. It is possible to make out a very good case for the veterinary surgeons, indeed an exceptional case, because their position is quite different from that of other interests in racing.

Other interests in racing understand each other's intentions and point of view very well. The profession of the veterinary scientist is a highly technical one. Veterinary science represents the one interest which ought to be on the Board, partly because it is a highly technical profession and, for that reason, should be represented. I shall try to show why this is so.

There will be a lot of hungry mouths to feed when all this money is available. The increase of prize money, rebuilding programmes, the improvement of amenities and many other causes will be pressed very vigorously by those who think that they will derive some advantage. But this one interest which is specifically included in the Bill but which is not included on the Board has a very special case to be considered, namely, the case for the advancement of equine research, veterinary science and education.

Like others in so many forms of scientific research in this country, veterinary research has had a rather thin time. It has had to limp along for many years with very little money, but if has done very fine work. When all the "tough guys" my right hon.

Friend proposes to put on the Board start scrapping about who is to get what out of all this lovely money, at the end of a year or two, I fear, the second of the major objects of the levy, veterinary research and education, will be left very much at the post. There is nothing like it anywhere else. It is known all over the world as a centre for equine research. Every owner of bloodstock and every breeder in this country knows and values its clinical and consultative services.

I am not sure that many people realise how much patient and fruitful research has gone on at that station during the last twenty years, and I am not sure either that everyone realises in how many fields those dedicated men have reached a point of near break-through which, if it were really massively supported now, could lead to enormous benefits not only for horses and other ungulates but in the whole field of animal research, and, indeed, in human medical research as well.

The scientists at Balaton Lodge and Lanwades Park know more about haemotology and haemolytic diseases than anyone else in the world, and, because of certain characteristics of the horse's blood, the research they have done has a bearing on inflammation and allergies—especially as these are not only in horses but in human beings as well as in other animals. In the virological research laboratory in Newmarket there is a tantalising background of knowledge of many virus diseases, and, with more staff and equipment, the researches could certainly produce cures and new treatments for a good many diseases which affect horses and other ungulates as well.

The station needs at least two metabolism chambers to follow up its new knowledge obtained in recent years in nutritional research. There are new techniques in dealing with bone fractures, bone diseases and bone healing problems which also should be developed. There is a need to expand the biochemical laboratory, which is hardly adequate even for present needs. The station has performed autopsies on nearly every foal which died in the Newmarket area during the last ten years.

Here again, in pathology and bacteriology as well ase in parasitology, any acceleration of the present progress could undoubtedly open up new areas of knowledge and treatment for young animals particularly. Hand in hand, of course, with pure research must go the development and improvement of the station's clinical facilities and consultative arrangements. The station badly needs a good library.

A good library with publication and indexing services and that kind of thing is just as important in animal research as it is in medical research. The people at this station receive inquiries and requests for advice from all over the world, but with their present facilities they simply cannot cope with them.

The rest came from voluntary contributions. It is really quite astonishing to see what has been done with so little money and to see how much work in different fields of equine research has been tackled and tackled successfully. If ever there was a winner on its record worth backing it is this station at Newmarket. We have here an opportunity not just to put Britain in the lead in equine research. By stepping up its existing programmes and developing all the new leads the researchers at the station have found in relation to horses and other animals as well as human beings, coupled with a vigorous development of veterinary education, we could certainly make this country the dominant world centre in equine research and veterinary science.

Exports, tourism, Commonwealth development, agricultural productivity at home, and international prestige are only a few of the long-term beneficiaries from the sort of programme I have in mind, to say nothing of the long-term advantage to breeding and racing in the years to come.

We all realise perfectly well that, irrespective of whether my right hon. Friend decides to accept the Amendment or not, equine research and veterinary scientists will benefit under the Bill, but I feel certain that, in order to have their fair share of what will be available to them, these people really must be represented on the Board.

They are the ones who can do far more for the British bloodstock industry than the Jockey Club and all the other racing associations put together. There is another factor which is very important. This Bill should command support from a circle far wider than just that of racing and betting if it were made clear that by accepting the Amendment that Britain was determined to keep and extend her lead and dominance in this very great branch of science.

I do not know how it came about that the Government changed their mind. It is certainly no part of my job to act as a public relations officer for the Jockey Club, but there are certain things which need to be said arising from the points which have been made about the Amendment It should be recognised that racing is not only a business.

It is also a sport. The overwhelming majority of people who are interested in racing are not in it because they will make money out of it. If they do think so, they very soon find out they are mistaken. They go racing for fun. It is true, also, that there is some easy money about, and wherever there is easy money there will always be someone looking for it.

Therefore, it is of absolutely paramount importance that the government of racing should be carried on by a body of men, whatever we may think about them, whose integrity and authority are beyond dispute. It is quite plain that the main function of the Jockey Club, through its stewards and representatives, is to exercise its authority with an absolutely firm hand.

There are many young men in racing who may not have had all the advantages of a very wide education and who may suddenly face high incomes and great temptations. Unless the hand of the Jockey Club is firm and is recognised as being firm, we shall run into trouble. Member for Bury St. Edmunds Mt Aitken spoke about the pre-eminence of British racing.

Of course, we all want that, but the preeminence of British racing is recognised throughout the world by the performance of our bloodstock. We need to recognise, also, that the Jockey Club has an international reputation. In a very humble position on the Racecourse Betting Control Board, I have from time to time had letters from people from far afield—for instance, letters from friends in Ghana who were concerned about the state of racing in Ghana and wanted to go to the Jockey Club for advice.

People have come to me from out of the blue, wanting to be put in touch with the Jockey Club. There were people in Brazil who asked me to put them in touch with Wetherby's. Perhaps it is interesting to note that so conscious of public relation are Wetherby's and the Jockey Club that if one wants to find their telephone number one cannot find it in the telephone directory.

Of course, this institution has been going on since the eighteenth century; and, of course, one can criticise it, and indeed, the more one knows about it the more one can criticise it; but so far I have never heard anyone attack the Jockey Club's integrity. Therefore, in a Bill of this kind it is of paramount importance that its position and its authority should be recognised.

My right hon. Gordon Walker is a much better and a much wiser and a much nobler person than I am. Of course, he does not go racing. If he did he would have recognised that the Jockey Club occupies a quite different position from that of the National Hunt Committee. It is to be represented by one, and it cannot be left out, but the Jockey Club speaks for many times as many people. The value of the racing controlled by the Jockey Club, the number of races, the extent of its activities, all these are many times greater than the number or value of the races or activities represented by the National Hunt Committee, and the pre-eminence of British racing rests chiefly upon flat racing.

Therefore, if we give one place to the National Hunt Committee it would seem to me to follow that we must give more to the Jockey Club. I would have thought the Jockey Club could have two places. I would have thought so. I would have thought there was a cast-iron case that, because of the authority of the Jockey Club throughout the world, it should be given special recognition.

But that is not all the story. Member for North Fylde Mr. Stanley knows as well as I do that a very considerable amount of work has been done on this Bill over a very long period. There are some who have had the good fortune to have come into our deliberations only at this late stage, but those deliberations and a great deal of hard work have been going on for several years, and so far this has been an agreed Bill.

Of course, even though it is agreed, that does not mean that all the Members of the House of Commons necessarily have to agree with it, but I would have thought that they would at least take some trouble to find out the principles on which the Bill was based. One of the fundamental principles, as the hon. Member for North Fylde said, was that beneficiaries should be excluded. If hon. Gentlemen will look at the old Act they will find a number of beneficiaries were left out; the then Home Secretary and others who hammered out the scheme left them off.

Perhaps that is the reason why the Jockey Club went to the Home Secretary and asked for two representatives now. I have no doubt at all that the Jockey Club is too modest to make the points which I have made on its behalf about its disciplinary work and the peculiar position which it occupies in the world of racing, but I imagine that it would have said, "We speak for thousands of employers in this industry.

We speak for the interests of owners, breeders, jockeys, trainers. Therefore, we ask for recognition to be given to them through us. For that reason we hope you will breach the principle of no direct beneficiaries being on the Board. Let me deal now with the question of veterinary science. So far veterinary science has had help from the Racecourse Betting Control Board through the work of the charity trust of which by chance I happen to be a member.

I am sure that those whose knowledge of this is much greater than my own and covers a much longer period will agree when I say that everything it has asked for has in fact been granted. Therefore, if it wants more it must come along and ask for more.

The idea that it is being starved for money, if I may say so politely, is a piece of nonsense. Friend challenges me. I was going to deal with that in discussing the second of the two Amendments, which I was going to move. Then I will answer my hon. That Amendment is not to be moved, I understand. Friend says "No" to what I am saying, let me tell him that as recently as last week a grant for next year was approved, and it was exactly what was asked for—and last year and the year before that.

Inside the limits of the money which is available all that veterinary science has asked for has in fact been given. I think that that is a little misleading, because very often people ask for what they hope to get and not what they would like to get.

I could quite easily have given the hon. I do not think it is quite fair to say that they get everything they need or that they are not starved of money. It is just not so. They are responsible people and would not ask for more than in fact there is, and within the sum total of the money available, as responsible people they have asked for what they wanted and have got it. They cannot get more than there is. What I am controverting is the very unfair point that they have been starved of money by the Racecourse Betting Control Board.

Friend is haranguing me, but I will answer his point later. Edmunds was suggesting that a great deal more can be given. I am quite sure that it can; but it does have to be related to the amount of money which is available, and inside the sum total which is available the veterinary service has been given adequate treatment. The point I want to controvert is the suggestion, implied in what he said, that representation on the Levy Board is essential in order to get more money.

That, I think, is an unfair reflection upon the work over the last twenty or thirty years of people on the Racecourse Betting Control Board. Member seems to me to be illogical about this. The whole object of getting a representative of the veterinary service on the Board is that more money will be available if it gets a fair chance of getting it.

That is exactly the point I am making, that it is said that an increased sum of money for veterinary purposes depends upon representation on the Levy Board of the veterinary service, but does the hon. Gentleman not see that it follows that as soon as that happens breeders, jockeys, everybody else will do exactly the same?

Therefore, it is absolutely essential that there should be somebody on the Board directly representing racing interests who will act not as the representative of special interests however laudable they may be but will remember that in racing as in politics statesmen are essential. The essential need here is for a turf statesman who will have the wisdom and the detachment to take a synoptic view and balance one interest against another. I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for admitting this.

Out of his own mouth he has admitted the case because he has suggested that the amount which the various interests will get will be related to their membership of the Board. I put exactly the other point of view. I hold the view that the well-being of British racing needs to be related to the position of racing on the world plane, and therefore I say it is the duty of the Government, bearing in mind its undoubtedly authentic voice in racing, to give the Jockey Club a place in deciding not only upon the disbursement of money but in the framing of policies in the interests of racing, of clean racing, of racing of which we are all proud.

I rise to support the Amendment to the effect that a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons should be included on the Board. I do so because I think that such a man would serve a very useful purpose there. I have recently had experience of the knowledge and the services given by members of the British Veterinary Association, and I have no doubt that not only do veterinary surgeons hope that in some way they would influence certain sums of money into the veterinary profession, but also that they would be able to carry out investigations as a result of their knowledge and further, by their membership of the Board which would be of inestimable value to the British bloodstock industry.

When we read about the intentions for which the money shall be allotted, we find that it shall be allotted for the improvement of the breeds of horses; the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science or veterinary education. It seems to me, therefore, to be quite logical that, if that is one of the declared intentions of the use of the money, a nominee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons should be on the Board.

I certainly do not go all the way—although I can understand his point of view—with the hon. Wigg , who stated that because the greatest preponderance of interest is in flat racing the Board should include two members of the Jockey Club as of right. Certainly I believe that one member of the Jockey Club, if he were a strong member—and I am sure that he would be—would be quite capable of putting forward the views of the Board with force and that it would not suffer by having only one such member, especially when it is realised that in any case, whether there were one member or two members, the Jockey Club would be in a minority overall on the Board.

In the first place, of course, this money is raised from members of the public. It is not the prerogative of the Jockey Club or of any persons on the Board at all. The racing industry in this country is only pursued because of the interests of the general publice. Therefore, one finally comes down to what is best in the public interest concerning representation on the Board and the manner in which the money is raised.

Furthermore, we must realise—and this has already been stated—that the money cannot be raised voluntarily. It has to be raised by levy and, again, it has to come in the first instance from the public purse. If we are dealing with the public interest, I believe that the general public would be much more happy about the general circumstances if they knew that the veterinary profession was represented on the Board.

There is certainly an awakening interest in this country in general animal welfare. People not only think of the racing of the horses or of the bookmakers and others connected with racing. A great many people consider the welfare of the animals. In that connection, they consider that a highly qualified and highly skilled professional man on the Board might be able to exercise certain influences there. Indeed, when we come down to the question of professional know-how, I am fortified by the rather indignant—if I may so put it—intervention of my hon.

Oakshott , who objected when my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary introduced an Amendment specifying what was meant by "independent" and which would make it perfectly clear. What my hon. Friend said—and I took it down very carefully—was that the definition of independence "would exclude people with special knowledge of horse racing. I suggest that in this context veterinary surgeons have special knowledge of the animals used in horse racing, which is very important.

One of my hon. Friends shakes his head in disagreement. Are we to assume that veterinary surgeons have no knowledge of horses? I think that my hon. Friend is getting terribly muddled. Of course veterinary surgeons know horses. That is why they have their jobs. But they know very little about the practical side of racing. I thought that that was the whole point at issue. The Bill lays down perfectly clearly what is the intention with regard to the money. It states that it shall be used for the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science or veterinary education.

Therefore, my non Friend has made the case even better. If veterinary surgeons have no knowledge of horse racing, then I suggest that a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons sitting alongside members of the Jockey Club when disposal of the money was being considered might be a very good thing because all the members of the Board would then come much closer together than they are apparently at the moment, according to my hon.

Friend, who, I understand, is a member of the Jockey Club. I suggest that that in itself is another reason for the inclusion of a veterinary surgeon. There is no doubt that the veterinary profession and those engaged in the production of bloodstock and of improving its quality have much work to do together. I personally can see no valid reason why there should be such strong opposition from some quarters to the introduction on to the Levy Board of a member of the veterinary profession who must, according to the Bill itself, have a particular interest not only in the way in which the money is disposed of but, indeed, in the whole science of the production of high quality bloodstock and British racing generally.

I trust that my hon. Friend will find it possible to include on the Board a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. An Amendment was down in my name, but there was a procedural difficulty. However, I assume that that Amendment has been taken with the Amendment moved and that we are discussing the position of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Before I deal with the Amendment, I wish to say something to my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley Mr. He has praised the Jockey Club and has inferred that we who seek to restrict it are seeking to criticise it. I am not as experienced as my hon. Friend concerning the Jockey Club.

I am only a humble racegoer. I hope that he will not be pompous because he has this added experience. If the Home Secretary has a complaint against this important body, it is not that it is faulty but that it is diffident and incapable in this modern age, because of the way it works, of acquiring the necessary knowledge to be able to give the lead which racing unquestionably requires at present.

Friend the Member for Dudley criticised the Jockey Club. I did not make that criticism. He seemed to argue that it now has great authority and that it is responsible for keeping a firm hand on racing. I hope it does. But that would in no way be affected by the composition of this Board, and it would in no way affect the running of the Jockey Club if it had only one member on the Levy Board.

I hope it will continue to exert its authority, and that if there are any grounds for criticism of its work such as was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley it will certainly bring itself up to date. However, I must point out that I am not experienced in the workings of the Jockey Club. I think it was rather unfair to chide my right hon. Gordon Walker for saying that he did not go racing. The inference was that he did not know anything about the subject whereas my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley did know.

I only wish my hon. Friend would show a little modesty in these matters. I wish to deal with the Amendment affecting the Royal College. I am a member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and have been for nine years. I rely on the experience of experts, as does my hon. We are all square. The purpose of this Bill is to improve breeding and the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science and veterinary education.

The purpose of the levy is to improve breeds of horses and, of course, to improve horse-racing. But, as I think has been established by the hon. Members for Bury St. Edmunds Mr. Aitken and for Gillingham Mr. Burden , we cannot improve horse-racing or the breeding of horses without proper veterinary practice and the development of veterinary science and veterinary education.

I submit that the latter purpose is fundamental to this Bill. I am sure that the hon. Stanley , who raised the question of the state of veterinary education, would agree. Whether or not we are muddled about the purpose of this Bill, I think he will agree from his experience that if we have good veterinary practice, research and development, horse-racing will inevitably improve and that there will also be an improvement in breeding.

There cannot be any separation of the two. The success of this Bill and the use of the levy will depend very much upon how much money is allocated to veterinary research and education. I am glad that the hon. Members for Bury St Edmunds and Gillingham stressed this fact in their two admirable speeches.

Incidentally, we on these benches raised this point in the Second Reading debate. There has been some argument on how the Board shall be composed. I do not want to get involved in an argument about the Jockey Club, and that is why I am sorry that these Amendments are being discussed together, for the Amendment that I wished to move relates specifically to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. I know it is argued that no beneficiary should be included among the membership of the Board.

That is why breed societies, racehorse owners and other similar people have been excluded. I understand the point. But I assure those who make this criticism that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons will not be a beneficiary.

Certainly there will be institutes of research, as has been mentioned by the hon. Edmunds, which will benefit from the financial provisions of the Bill, but the Royal College will not be a beneficiary. Friend for Dudley wishes to dispute that assertion, I will gladly give way.

I think it is accepted that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, in respect of veterinary problems, veterinary science and education, is equivalent to the Jockey Club in respect of horse racing. Indeed, it is a statutory supervisory body. Many of my hon.

Friends will remember the Act which was sponsored by the right hon. Tom Williams who was Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. It will therefore not be a beneficiary in any way. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons would, like the Jockey Club, be able to give advice on the use of the levy for veterinary science and education. I should have thought that that was logical and reasonable.

Emphasis has been laid on the question of beneficiaries, and I hope that I have refuted any suggestion that the Royal College will be a beneficiary. There is also a member appointed by the Minister of Agriculture for the Republic of Ireland. This body, which has on it elected members, is held in high esteem all over the Commonwealth and throughout the world. This statutory body would be in no sense a beneficiary, but would be able to give its expert advice on matters affected by the Bill.

I am sure that horse racing in general and horse breeding would benefit from its advice. Member for North Fylde that I am in no way criticising the Jockey Club, and that I merely ask him to remember that this body would be able to give expert opinion on how best the levy could be used for horse racing—. I am a little confused. Could the hon. Member explain whether, in his opinion, there is anything in the Bill to prevent the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons giving its advice?

I should have thought that it most certainly could and would give its advice. I agree that even if the Amendment standing in my name were not accepted, the Minister could probably set up an advisory committee to the Levy Board. But I would hope—indeed, I think it is important—that where we have the conflict of interests which have been mentioned, a body like the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, dealing specifically with the use of the levy for veterinary purposes, which is one of the main purposes of the Bill, should be able to give impartial advice to the Board.

Friend is anxious to establish that if his Amendment were incorporated in the Bill there would be no breach of the principle that no beneficiary should be on the Board. If he looks at the Racecourse Betting Act, , he will see that there were representatives of the Racecourse Association, Tattersalls Committee and of a number of other bodies which are not directly beneficiaries, in exactly the same way as the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

They would be as disinterested as the Royal College. They would have special points of view to put. But does not my hon. Friend see that if we put one such body on the Board, the demands of all the others to be on it would be almost impossible to resist?

That is the very principle on which the Government are trying to establish the Bill. Friend has missed the point. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is in no way in that relationship. I know that I could explain this all night and that my hon. Friend would not accept it. I understand his point of view.

But I am arguing that the College is in no way a beneficiary. It could well be argued that the Jockey Club is much more a beneficiary and that the members of it are, too. Most of the members of the Jockey Club are connected with racing. How we are to find a representative who has no special interest in or will not benefit from the levy, I do not know. Many members of the Jockey Club are owners and are interested in horse breeding. They are honourable people; I am not criticising them.

But they will probably have a sectional interest, and I am merely arguing that for the purposes of Clause 1 1, b , which deals with the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science or veterinary education, there should be a member, dealing with this main purpose, who has an impartial view as to how these funds should be used.

Member aware that many members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have a direct interest, because they are trainers? There may be an individual veterinary surgeon who has a special interest, but the College has no interest. In the same way one could argue along those lines about the Jockey Club and the National Hunt Committee, or even say that the hon.

Member for Workington and others, who are ordinary punters, have a direct interest in the racing industry. Let us not pursue that too far. I merely argue that the representative of the College would be able to give general guidance on the use of grants to ensure that some of the levy money were put into important research projects which would provide fundamental information on animal breeding and diseases and on veterinary science.

In the end, all this will benefit the horse. I argue strongly that specialist advice wil be needed on the use of the levy. Figures were given on Second Reading. I assert from all the expert advice which I have had—which is just as expert as that given to my hon. Friend—that veterinary schools and institutes, which are responsible for 99 per cent.

I could tell my hon. Friend of a specific case affecting a university in which a grant was turned down. I admit, however, that much has been done and that it is not the fault of the Racecourse Betting Control Board that it has been limited. We are to have a new board, however, with the creation of a large levy, and I hope that larger sums will be given to such organisations.

I could quote figure after figure of the type of research which is needed. I have here a statement from the President of the British Veterinary Association, which is a separate body from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. In a letter the President tells me that The British Veterinary Association contends that the dispersal of funds to veterinary science and veterinary education can only be effected satisfactorily by a body which has a detailed knowledge of veterinary research as carried out by various universities and other organisations, and of veterinary education with its undergraduate and post-graduate problems.

I think that that is accepted. I have details, similar to those given by the hon. Edmunds, of the vast amount of urgent veterinary work and research which is required. I have a list which covers, first, science and the research which is needed into many problems of the horse, heart problems being one example; secondly, microbiology and the importance of work affecting contagious diseases, which has an important connection with racehorses and their transportation; and thirdly, the need for a quick investigation and development of research into parasitological problems, again mentioned by the hon.

A great deal of money and staff is required for urgent research work into diseases of the foal, and investigations are required into many other specialised sections of veterinary science. There is also a need, I am told, for important advances in the technique of veterinary surgery, particularly into bone and tendon surgery affecting the horse. Much of this work has been hampered through lack of finance. Much of it directly affects horse breeding and racing. Veterinary education needs the award of scholarships, fellowships and assistantships for investigation into work on the projects which I have mentioned.

In addition, it is argued by those who are specialists that we need more travelling scholarships. We can therefore make the case that there is an urgent need for work of this kind and that we should have on the Levy Board somebody who has this experience. It is not so much the amount of money involved; that could be decided amicably by members of the board.

It is a question where the money will be directed, even within the purposes which I have mentioned, and what type of research and what type of veterinary education should be developed. All these are matters for an expert. I have argued that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is an admirable body for this purpose and that one member of the Levy Board should be sponsored by the College, not because the College consists of veterinary surgeons but because it is a statutory body and because the Levy Board will function more efficiently and effectively if this is done.

I think that I can best deal with both the point made about the Jockey Club and that made about the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons by explaining to the Committee how the board will be composed of three elements, and what the functions of those three elements will be. We decided on having a small board. The first element is the chairman and two independent members, chosen, as has been said on an earlier Amendment, because they are impartial, in the sense that they have no vested interest whatever in racing, although one would expect them to be enthusiasts for racing.

The second element consists of the representatives of the racing interests. The right hon. Gordon Walker said that under the Bill the Jockey Club was to be an impartial body. That has never been our view. I said that that had been argued in favour of the Jockey Club by those who spoke for it, but it is clearly not in the Bill.

I am glad that we understand each other on that subject, because clearly under the Bill the Jockey Club is to be representative of racing interests in the broadest sense. The third element consists of the chairman of the Tote Board and the chairman of the Bookmakers' Committee.

The function of the representatives of the racing interests will be to advise on the financial needs of the racing industry and of its various parts. The function of the chairmen of the Tote Board and the Bookmakers' Committee will obviously be to advise on the capacity of the Tote Board and the bookmakers respectively to contribute towards the levy scheme.

The function of the chairman and independent members—and this is very important, because it has a bearing upon the position of the Jockey Club—will be in relation to the collection scheme, on which they will have the last word. In relation to the distribution scheme they will vote as other members of the Board vote, but the Board itself will not have the last word.

The last word on the distribution scheme lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. If we get clearly in mind who is to have the last word we find that in regard to both the collection scheme and the distribution scheme, it does not matter a bit whether there are two Jockey Club members or one—.

Yes, or of any others. We are therefore faced with this alternative. We can either have three representatives altogether—which we consider a reasonably small number for keeping the Board compact and not to outweigh either the independent members or the chairmen of the Bookmakers' Committee and the Tote Board—or we can have, as was done under the Act with the Tote Boards, a very large board that represents the interests of veterinary science, the Race Course Association and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

We decided on a compact Board, and hope that we have carried the Committee with us to that extent. I hope that the Committee will be reassured by the fact that under the procedure in the Bill it does not matter whether we have two Jockey Club members or one—.

I listened with great care to the right hon. Gentleman, but he has displayed his interest in the debate by being absent during practically the whole of it. I would wish that he would let me explain the position, because many hon. Members have spoken whom he did not hear. As the hon. I interrupted only when the hon.

I am most grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, but I hope that now he has come back he will do me the courtesy of listening, instead of interrupting from his seat. We have chosen two Jockey Club members rather than one for just the reasons given by the hon. He was in no sense a party to the consultations, but news naturally travels, and it has been felt by many of the various bodies inside the racing industry that as long as there was adequate representation of racing interests there was no need for individual representations of the many bodies concerned.

It is on that assumption—and, indeed, on that understanding—that various bodies such as the Race Horse Breeders' Association, the Race Course Association and others have been content to have their interests represented by the Jockey Club, provided that the Jockey Club was represented by two members and not just one. We feel that it is not unreasonable. In dealing with the question of the interests of veterinary science, may I say that it gives me the first opportunity I have ever had in the House of Commons of paying my tribute to the veterinary profession, on whose services I have so often called; never more than two or three months goes by without my having to call on it to tend one or other of the animals in which I am interested.

Theirs is indeed a dedicated profession and one which, especially in the context of horse racing, as the hon. Member for Workington Mr. Peart said, needs to be encouraged. Under the Act the Racecourse Betting Control Board undoubtedly did its best within its limited resources. Friend the Member for Bury St. Quite clearly, once we get the levy scheme going there will be more money to distribute than there has been in the past, and it is clear that veterinary science should benefit from that to an increasing extent.

What the Committee has now been considering for the last hour or two is how that can best be achieved. For the reasons I have given—namely, our desire to have a compact Board, our desire to have the interests of the racing industry represented in the broadest way and not by separate representation of interest that might directly benefit—we do not feel that it is necessary or wise to have a representative of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on the Board, more especially because the interests of the Royal College extend far beyond the interests of the treatment of horses.

The Royal College is concerned with all animals. What is to be done? If the organisations connected with veterinary science wish to obtain grants from the Levy Board their proper course, as for other beneficiaries, will be to make representations to that effect to the Board. It will then be for the Board to make the provision it considers appropriate in the distribution scheme.

There is, however, a further safeguard and, I suggest, a very important one. If veterinary science interests consider that they are not receiving a sufficient grant from the Board they can make representation to the Secretary of State, and if the Government Amendment to Clause 2 is accepted, the Secretary of State will have power to approve the distribution scheme with modifications. Among the modifications that it will be open for him to make would be an increase in the amount suggested by the Levy Board for veterinary science.

The interests of veterinary science will, therefore, be safeguarded without a member of the Royal College being on the Levy Board. For those reasons, and after this interesting and helpful debate, I suggest that our best plan is to leave the Bill as it is, because if we start upsetting the rather careful balance, and the carefully worked out machinery by which these three elements on the Levy Board will co-operate with each other, we may be in a very great difficulty.

The Under-Secretary has not responded to our case, and I asked him, if he did not intend to make a response, to say whether the Secretary of State had considered setting up an advisory committee. That is not a new thing. For example, the Agricultural Research Council has funds and is advised by the Anicals Standing Committee and the Soils Committee, both composed of experts.

If we are not to move in the direction I suggested, is there the possibility of an advisory committee being set up? I was not at all sure whether the hon. Gentleman meant a committee to advise the Levy Board or one to advise my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, or both. I was thinking of it in terms of advice to the Levy Board, but if it is knocked down by the Government, I hope that the Minister will be advised in other ways.

I should have thought, with great respect, that an advisory committee would be superfluous. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, of which the hon. Gentleman is, and for many years has been a distinguished member, is a responsible body, and any representations that it might care to make to my right hon.

Friend the Home Secretary or to the Levy Board will be accepted with great respect and given the most careful consideration. I shall be short with my remarks because the hon. Wigg has already, despite the sharp rebuke he got for immodesty from his Front Bench, deployed very strongly the arguments that are relevant to this question. On the first Amendment, I follow him very largely for the reasons which he gave, though I cannot resist the temptation to add that I hope that some of the members of the Levy Board, including the Jockey Club representatives, will go racing from time to time as ordinary members of the public and that they will inflict upon themselves the misery of the meals offered at some race-courses, because that would be a valuable and chastening experience.

It is proposed through these Amendments to include on the Board a representative of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. I see nothing in the Bill to preclude that body giving any advice which it likes to the Board. I cannot contemplate the Board being so asinine as to refuse to listen to that advice. The other point which I want to make strongly—I am sorry that my hon. The Race Course Association has a considerable interest and a heavy liability in this matter, but has been very restrained in not pressing what is at least a very strong case.

The claims by all these bodies should be resisted. The argument was mentioned by my hon. Stanley when he said that the danger was that the independent members would be swamped. I believe that the independent members in this scheme have an enormously important place. I go racing not as an owner but as a potential loser to the bookmaker, and I shall be delighted to feel that at long last there are independent people on such a Board who will have an opportunity of directing my losings to some profitable use from which the ordinary racegoing public may benefit.

The Temporary Chairman who preceded you in the Chair, Sir William, pointed out that one of the difficulties that compelled us to take these two Amendments together was the fact that the membership of the Levy Board is limited to a chairman and seven members, and therefore we have rather drifted into the unfortunate position of arguing either for the Jockey Club or for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, bath of which I believe to be, in the words of the Under-Secretary of State, respected institutions.

I heartily support the hon. Member for Yeovil Mr. The only meal I ever have at a race meeting is when I am invited by the stewards to lunch with them. Member should put his claim forward. I hope that the case made out by my hon. Wigg for the special position of the Royal College will not fall on deaf ears in the Government. If the Government were to alter the word "seven" to "eight" in Clause 1 2 and to bring in the Royal College, the situation would be well met, because I believe that the College is in a very different position from any of the other bodies that have been mentioned.

The College represents an attitude to this problem quite different from that of the racecourse executives—though I am well aware of their difficulties—and of any other people concerned. The point that has been made is well worth further consideration, and it was unfortunate that my right hon.

Friends, in framing their Amendments, did not spy the difficulty in which they would be ultimately involved—that if we are to have the College on the Levy Board, we must leave somebody else off. I hope that on Report that difficulty may be resolved. I endorse what my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields Mr. Ede has said. It is perhaps a little unfortunate that with these two Amendments we are dealing with two quite separate points. The first is whether it is necessary or desirable to have two members of the Jockey Club on the Levy Board, and the second is whether the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons should be represented on the Board.

The Home Secretary, who has been with us during the latter part of this debate, will have heard what has been said. I thought that the speech of the Under-Secretary of State was most disappointing and unsatisfactory. He gave no real reason why there was any necessity to have two members of the Jockey Club on the Levy Board. I suggest that it is because we have to have one to watch the other.

That is probably the best reason yet given.

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Alan Del Monte Talks.... In The Beginning

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