HC Deb 11 November 1954 vol 532 cc1400-1
33. Mr. Nally

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will conduct an inquiry into the circumstances under which all police authorities, whilst strictly enforcing the laws relating to betting and lotteries against religious, social and other organisations are failing to take cognisance of continued and open breaches of existing law by bookmakers and their employees.

Major Lloyd-George

No, Sir. This matter was considered by the Royal Commission on Betting, Lotteries and Gaming, who were satisfied that the police enforced the law relating to betting to the extent which their resources allow. I have no reason to think that this is not still the case.

Mr. Nally

Is the Minister really not aware that voluntary money-making ventures for worthy causes are being systematically closed by the same police authority which cannot, or will not, enforce the law against bookmakers, particularly in relation to street betting? Whilst appreciating the difficulties of the police, may I ask whether the Minister would not agree that it is time that the Government and the House made an honest attempt to improve a situation in which hyprocrisy is complete, corruption is not unknown, and the law is held in universal contempt?

Major Lloyd-George

The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that this is an extremely difficult matter. I said in answering the Question that the Royal Commission itself felt that, within their resources, the police were doing what they could. One of the difficulties has been the considerable growth in the number and size of lotteries promoted for religious, social and athletic purposes.

Mr. Ede

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself considering bringing forward legislation to deal with the problem of these lotteries?