HC Deb 13 May 1935 vol 301 cc1371-2
42. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the deputy-master of the Royal Mint has arranged for a lottery to be held of 25 gold pieces which are to be issued to the public in consideration of a payment of £50 for each piece, the value of such pieces being largely in excess of the payment demanded for each chance; and what action is being taken in the matter, in view of the provisions of the Betting and Lotteries Act?


I regret to have to tell my hon. Friend that I am advised that the scheme referred to has not the characteristics of a lottery, and no action on my part is called for.


Will my right hon. Friend refer to the dictionary where he will see that the definition of the distribution of articles by lot is a lottery? Is it not a fact that the Government stated that the recent Lotteries Act was passed to suppress the gambling instinct, and that this is a, direct encouragement of it? Will he also tell the House by whom the draw will be made; whether it will be made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; whether the Government are in possession of a mixing drum, and whether the Postmaster-General has been instructed to refrain from opening private letters addressed to the Royal Mint?


I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I have consulted not only the dictionary but a high authority on this matter. I have always understood that an essential feature of a lottery was buying a chance, and that position does not arise in this case?


Will the right hon. Gentleman say how the 25 recipients of these coins will be chosen from among the hundreds of thousands of applicants for them?

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