HC Deb 09 May 1929 vol 227 cc2304-5
1. Mr. DAY

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is on his instructions that the Derby sweepstake organised in aid of the Barking Hospital fund has been stopped by the police?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)

My attention was called to the fact that tickets were being publicly sold, which clearly brought it within the provisions of the Lottery Act. I communicated with the promoters, and the promoters withdrew the lottery.


Does the right hon. Gentleman think there is any difference between this principle and the principle of the Stock Exchange draw, where the tickets are sold to stockbrokers, who publicly sell them to any of their clients who want them?


Yes, I am quite satisfied that the cases are distinguishable. As I explained to the House a fortnight ago, the Stock Exchange draw was a privately conducted draw, and tickets were not sold to the general public, but in this case I have actually got a letter from the hon. secretary enclosing to a perfect stranger a book of tickets, asking him to sell them and offering him any more that he liked to sell. That makes it quite clearly a public lottery within the meaning of the Act, and I have no discretion in the matter.


Does the right hon. Gentleman seriously say that he is not aware that at least the majority of the Stock Exchange sweepstake tickets are in the hands of the public?


That is not the point. The point is whether they are sold by the promoters to the general public, and the information in my possession is that they are sold by the promoters to members of their own body.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Does not the right hon. Gentleman see that it is very hard luck on the hospital committee, who may have spent a great deal of time and money in organising this, if, owing to neglect or ignorance, the tickets get into the wrong hands?


The hon. and gallant Gentleman must realise that as long as there are laws it is the duty of the Home Office and the police to see that those laws are respected. I have very great difficulty in distinguishing where the line is to be drawn, but I am quite satisfied that in this case the line is rightly drawn. The Stock Exchange is inside, and the other is clearly outside. There is no doubt about it.