24. Major C. LOWTHER
asked the Home Secretary what is the approximate cost to the State of the prosecutions recently undertaken against the promoters of the Different Golden Ballot under the Betting and Lottery Acts?
§ Mr. SHORTT
I understand the total expenses amounted to approximately £92. Not all of this sum falls on the State as an allowance—of which the amount is not yet determined—will be made from local funds. But the figure of £92 represents the approximate charge on public funds, which is no doubt what the hon. and gallant Member desires to know.
Will the right hon. Gentleman indicate to the Director of Public Prosecutions the undesirability of prosecuting persons whose bona fides are beyond question, in such cases as those to which this question refers?
§ Mr. SHORTT
No. I am afraid I cannot do that. Up to the present we have been able by stopping circulars in the post, etc., to counteract the activities of a number of gangs of swindlers—there is a number of such gangs—who seek by means of circulars to float lotteries for their own profit, and I am afraid that perfectly bona fide people—and no one suggests otherwise about those referred to in the question—have shown the way to these gangs of swindlers.
If[...] as the right hon. Gentleman says, these perfectly bonâ fide promoters of the Golden Ballot have shown the way, will there be an Amendment of the law to deal with these bonâ fide promoters?
§ Mr. MILLS
Having regard to the fact that two banks, popularly supposed to be catering for poor people, have recently failed, and that it has been admitted that their coming failure was known to Members of the Government, could not steps be taken to deal with people like that before that stage is reached?