HC Deb 08 April 1935 vol 300 cc783-5
20 Lieut.-Colonel ACLANDTROYTE

asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether letters dealing with the Irish sweepstakes which are opened by his Department are returned to the writers or destroyed;

(2) whether the money paid for telegrams dealing with the Irish sweepstakes which are held up by his Department is refunded to the senders;

(3) the number of letters and telegrams stopped by his Department dealing with the Irish sweepstakes on the Grand National; and whether any and, if so, how much extra expense has been caused to his Department in dealing with this matter?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir Kingsley Wood)

Letters containing remittances are returned to the sender except in cases in which the money is ordered to be forfeited by a, Court in pursuance of Section 30 (3) of the Betting and Lotteries Act, 1934. I regret that I do not see my way to give an undertaking that the charges in respect of any telegram which may be detained will be refunded to the sender. As the Home Secretary and I have frequently explained, it would not be in the public interest to give the information asked for in Question No. 22

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

If there is no return of the money paid for a telegram which will not be transmitted, is it not obtaining money under false pretences; and, further, how can he say that it is against the public interest to give the figures asked for when the event is already over. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Grand National was run 10 days ago?


I have no official information about the Grand National


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether these regulations would apply to post-dated cheques?


Is my right hon. Friend aware that £2,825,000 reached Ireland, the greater part of it from this country, for this sweepstake, and does he not see how futile these "Ogpu" regulations are?


Is it no use Members of this House trying to persuade themselves that the Post Office is not entitled to open any letters it thinks proper?


That is clear.

55. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the delivery of French and other Continental newspapers to British readers has often been delayed recently owing to instructions issued from the Home Office to newsagents that, before distributing any foreign newspapers, they are responsible for the censorship of such papers to ascertain if there is any allusion to a foreign lottery therein and, if so, to black out any paragraph referring to any such lottery; and whether, in view of the inconvenience, expense, and delay thereby caused, these Home Office instructions will be discontinued and newsagents relieved from this task, for which they have no suitable organisation?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Captain Crookshank)

No, Sir; and as no such instructions have been issued by the Home Office, the second part of the question does not arise.


Then is there no reason for blacking out and for the delay in the delivery of these papers—does my hon. and gallant Friend say that the Home Office have given no orders in the matter?


That is what I have just said.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Can the hon. and gallant Member say how many "mare's nests" the Home Office has discovered lately?