HC Deb 20 March 1930 vol 236 cc2080-1
34. Mr. DUKES

asked the Home Secretary whether the limitations on the scope and character of the Stock Exchange sweepstake are, in his opinion, such as to remove any necessity for his calling the attention of the police to the carrying on of the sweepstake with a view to warning the promoters that if they do not desist proceedings will be instituted; and, if so, whether he will take steps to prevent the sale in this country of tickets for the Calcutta sweepstake unless the promoters follow the example of the promoters of the Stock Exchange sweepstake?


I understand that henceforth the Stock Exchange sweep will be a purely private affair strictly confined to members of a single and localised organisation, namely, of the Stock Exchange. If it be so conducted and nothings occurs, such as the sale or transfer to non-members of tickets or shares in tickets, to show that the sweep or draw is other than a private one, I for my part shall not move to initiate action. Anyone of course can take proceedings and all questions of law are for the Courts, but I will let the police know my view and I have no reason to think they will take and act upon any other view. But if any sweep or draw, large or small, is so conducted as not to be of a private character, the authorities will have no option but to take whatever action is possible in the circumstances of the particular case. So far as administrative action by me is concerned, this broad distinction, private or not private, is the test for all sweeps or draws, wherever carried on, and for whatever objects. I am glad to have had the opportunity of making this statement, which ought to dispose once for all of the suggestion that in this matter there is one law for the rich and another for the poor.


Arising out of that answer, as an alleged rogue and vagabond, may I ask the Home Secretary whether he is aware that there are over 200,000 tickets on sale in Manchester, tickets costing 2s. 6d. each, for a draw, the first prize of which is £4,000?