HC Deb 20 April 1932 vol 264 cc1473-4
47. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Home Secretary whether he can now inform the House of the precise terms of reference of the Royal Commission on Lotteries, etc.; when he expects to be in a position to give the names of the commissioners; and whether he will request that an interim report may be submitted on the subject of lotteries and sweepstakes before the commission deals with street betting, totalisators, etc.


Arrangements are in hand for the appointment of the proposed Royal Commission, but I am not yet in a position to make any announcement. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon Friend to the reply given by the Prime Minister to his question on the 11th April.


Can my right hon. Friend say when he is likely to be able to answer? Further, with regard to the latter part of his reply, does he not realise that the question of lotteries is entirely distinct from totalisators and street betting, and, in view of the continual breaches of the law in respect to lotteries, could he not suggest that an interim report on this part of the case would be acceptable?


With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, I cannot yet say precisely when the names will be complete. It is very important to secure the right personnel for this Commission, and I would rather wait a week or two and get the right people than get wrong ones quickly. As to the last part of the question, the Prime Minister pointed out, in reply to the hon. Member a few days ago, that it is very difficult to divide one class of betting from another, and I rather prefer to leave to the discretion of the Royal Commission whether they think it advisable to separate particular parts of their inquiry and to present interim reports.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the question of setting up a committee to consider the terms of reference to the Royal Commission?

Viscountess ASTOR

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think this is a Commission on which it would be wise to have a woman, if he can find a suitable and proper one, seeing that women are among the offenders when it comes to betting?