HC Deb 26 July 1979 vol 971 cc871-2
13. Miss Joan Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to amend the law to enable fund-raising organisations to have bottle stalls at their charity events.

Mr. Raison

I do not expect there to be an early opportunity for Government legislation on this subject.

Miss Lestor

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the law is being interpreted differently in different areas? In some areas local fetes and other activities to raise funds for parent-teacher associations and senior citizens are being prevented from having even a bottle of sherry as a prize for a tombola or raffle? Is that seriously what the law was intended to do?

Mr. Raison

I am aware of the problems and of the fact that there are varia- tions, but how the law is interpreted is a matter for the courts.

Mr. Emery

Has my hon. Friend considered by letter on that matter, which is not a party political issue? Will he consider encouraging a single-clause Private Member's Bill to try to straighten things out?

Mr. Raison

I am tempted to say to my hon. Friend that it is very much a party political matter because the political parties are greatly affected by it. If private Member's legislation is brought forward, we shall give careful and sympathetic consideration to it.