HC Deb 15 May 1924 vol 173 cc1528-9
22. Mr. FOOT

asked the Home Secretary whether he has received representations from a number of residents at Otley protesting against the organisation of a large public sweepstake at Otley Conservative Club and asking for his intervention; whether he has formed any opinion as to the promotion of this widely advertised sweepstake inviting subscriptions from the general public; and what action he proposes to take?


The question of taking proceedings in respect of this sweepstake is now under consideration.


Have the test cases which, I think, were to come before the High Court about this time, with regard to other similar lotteries, been tried yet?


No. I think there were three test cases in all. In two of them I think they have admitted their guilt and arranged to pay the penalties, and in the third I think an application is being made to be considered now in the same direction.


Will the right hon. Gentleman have regard to the fact that last year proceedings were taken too late, having regard to the distribution of the money, and will he hasten the decision of the Home Office in this respect?


It is possible, in cases of this description, to proceed too late, but it is also possible to proceed too early. If you are going to have the law properly applied, you must have the in formation upon which to act.


Has the right hon. Gentleman definitely decided whether this particular sweepstake is illegal or not?


I am afraid that that will have to be settled somewhere else.