§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the following observations, reported in the Times and other newspapers as having been made by Mr. Hannay, Stipendiary Magistrate, at the Marylebone Police Court, on Thursday last, in the course of a prosecution for betting instituted by the Commissioners of Police—Mr. Hannay observed that, in almost all these betting prosecutions, there was an evident excess of insincerity, for one must know that gambling was going on amongst the highest as among the lowest of society. Fortunately it was not for him to say why one person was prosecuted and another left alone";and whether he will take such steps as will secure that the laws against gambling shall be enforced by the police with impartiality against all classes?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
Yes, Sir, I have seen the newspaper paragraph referred to. The prosecution of a betting-house depends entirely upon the particular circumstances of each case. I think the learned Magistrate cannot have been aware that the Metropolitan Police, in such cases as the Park Club and the Field Club, took proceedings against persons belonging to the higher classes of society; and I am not aware of any grounds for imputing insincerity or partiality to them in the enforcement of the law.