HC Deb 26 March 1885 vol 296 c652

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he will order an inquiry to be made throughout the Metropolis into the number of sham clubs which are unlicensed drinking and gambling houses, over which the police exercise no power or jurisdiction?


I have more than once made careful inquiry into this matter, and I believe that there is a great deal of misapprehension about it. The Commissioners of Police report to me that there are no sham clubs to any considerable extent in the Metropolis. There are a great number of workmen's clubs, where workmen can have refreshments, without licences, and those are places which I do not think it would be desirable to interfere with; but as to there being sham clubs for the mere purpose of improper drinking—I know some people think that drinking anywhere, except in a public-house, is improper, but I do not—I do not believe that such places exist to any great extent. If there are places where gamling is carried on, and the police have information to that effect, it would be their duty to interfere.