HC Deb 14 February 1924 vol 169 cc993-4
37. Mr. PENNY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to recent prosecutions of tradesmen, weekly newspapers, and trade journals under an Act passed in the reign of George IV, Cap. 50, Section 41, referring to chances by lottery; whether he is aware that those convicted under this Act become rogues and vagabonds, and on second conviction are liable to be whipped; whether he is aware that advertisements similar to those for which certain newspapers have been punished have appeared in our great national daily newspapers; whether the police propose to take proceedings against those daily newspapers; whether he is aware that in some parts of the country the police have given cautionary notices to newspapers, and that in some cases, where prosecutions have taken place, no such notice was given; whether he will instruct the police to deal with all newspapers alike in this matter; and whether, having regard to the antiquity of the Act, he will advise His Majesty's Government to deal with questions of lotteries and chances on lines better fitted to modern conditions?


So far as I am aware, the same principles arc followed by the police throughout the country in dealing with lotteries, and such differences as do arise when action comes to be taken may be attributed to diversity of local circumstances. The question whether in a particular case the evidence available justifies a prosecution or not may be an extremely difficult one. 1 do not think any amendment of the law would meet this difficulty, and I do not see my way at present to recommend legislation on the subject.