§ 87. Sir THOMAS INSKIP
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department 625 whether, in, view of the reluctance of magistrates to convict persons charged with offences in connection with Irish sweepstakes and of the dissatisfaction of the public with a policy involving an arbitrary selection of a few persons for prosecution, he will consider the abandonment of his present policy?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Clynes)
My attention has been called to a certain number of cases where magistrates appear to have felt the reluctance attributed to them by the hon. and learned Gentleman, but I do not believe that magistrates as a whole would allow personal views to influence them in the discharge of their public duty of enforcing the law as they find it. There is no arbitrary selection of persons for prosecution. It is the duty of the police to take proceedings in all cases which come to their notice and where the necessary evidence is available. I do not know what the hon. and learned Gentleman means by the expression "my present policy." My duty as Home Secretary, so long as the law remains unaltered, is perfectly clear and it would be most improper and unconstitutional for me or any holder of my office to adopt a policy of ignoring the law. I may add that the question whether any amendment of the law in relation to sweepstakes is necessary or desirable is receiving the careful consideration of the Government, and I hope to be in a position to make a statement at an early date.
§ Sir T. INSKIP
May I give notice, in consequence of what I respectfully regard as the unsatisfactory character of the answer, that I propose to raise the question, with your permission Mr. Speaker, on the Adjournment to-night?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
On a point of Order, and not with the view of further pressing the question, may I, in view of the Home Secretary's suggestion that the magistrates were guided by their personal—