HC Deb 28 June 1848 vol 99 cc1290-1

some weeks ago had placed in the hands of his right hon. Friend certain advertisements for raising what were called "Derby sweeps," and, believing fully that there was hardly any proceeding that produced more demoralisation among the people, he at the same time gave his right hon. Friend notice that he should ask him, first, whether, according to his own view, and in the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, such practices were illegal; and, secondly, if they were illegal, whether he was prepared to take any measures to prevent or punish such practices in future? He now begged to ask his right hon. Friend whether he was prepared to state what was the law upon the subject, and whether any measures would he taken in order to check the occurrence of such practices in future?


said that, in consequence of his attention having been called to this subject by his hon. Friend, he had felt it his duty to ascertain the state of the law as it applied to the question of these Derby sweeps. It appeared, by a decision of the Court of Queen's Bench in 1845, that it was held that a Derby sweep was a lottery, and, therefore, illegal. They were prohibited by the 42nd of George III., c. 19; by the 10th and 11th of George IV., c. 13; and he apprehended that they were included and prohibited by the 6th and 7th of William IV., c. 66. Under these circumstances, a communication had taken place between himself and the Board of Taxes, and he held in his hand a letter from the solicitor of that board in which it was stated that it was the intention of the Excise Commissioners to submit certain of the advertisements to which his hon. Friend had alluded to the Home Office for its determination. He (Sir G. Grey) had not yet received those advertisements; but when he should have received them, he would give the matter every attention.