HC Deb 26 April 1888 vol 325 cc590-1
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he is aware that the lottery of the Church Conservative Club was actually drawn a few days ago; whether this is in direct breach of a promise from the Club that such lottery would be withdrawn; whether he is aware that the tickets for this lottery have since the 13th of March been sold in various parts of England; and, why no steps whatever have been taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions, to whom the matter had been referred by the Government on the 13th of March?


I am informed by the Chief Constable of Lancashire that although there are rumours at Church that the lottery of the Church Conservative Club has been drawn, the police have not yet been able to ascertain that such is the case, and are making inquiry. I was informed by the Chief Constable on the 16th instant that the promoters had caused the announcement of the lottery to be withdrawn, and that the sale of tickets had been stopped. I have since had information to a contrary effect from the hon. Member; and this information I forwarded at once to the Chief Constable, who told me on the 21st instant that the police of the district named would take further steps. I have not yet heard what has been the result of their action. The Director of Public Prosecutions communicated with the Clerk to the Justices, advising him that the lottery was illegal, and that summonses, if applied for, should be granted. At present the police have not been able to obtain such evidence as will lead to a conviction; but if this drawing has actually taken place, and tickets have been widely distributed, there ought to be no difficulty in obtaining sufficient evidence. I have asked the Chief Constable to report to me fully on the whole matter when his inquiries are complete.


said, he would put a further Question on the subject.