§ 2.25 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps, if any, have been taken to safeguard recipients of Maundy Money from persistent pestering by persons wishing to purchase such Maundy Money; and whether any offences have been committed against such recipients.]
§ LORD BESWICK
My Lords, I understand that this year the Royal Almonry Office arranged for the recipients of Maundy Money to be warned to expect approaches from coin dealers. I am aware that certain approaches made to recipients after the Maundy Service were reported in the Press; but so far as we know none of the incidents reported constituted a criminal offence.
§ LORD WADE
My Lords, while I recognise that the recipients of Maundy 452 Money are free to sell if they so wish, although I believe the great majority do not wish to do so, may I ask the noble Lord whether he would agree that to harass old people in an endeavour to get them to sell, sometimes at less than the true value, is to be deplored? Can any practical steps be taken to discourage this type of exploitation?
§ LORD BESWICK
My Lords, it is conceivable that the Newspaper Proprietors' Association could recommend their members not to accept from coin dealers the sort of advertisement which appeared in the Press at the time of the Canterbury Service at Easter. I understand it is also being considered whether the prior publication of the list of recipients could be withheld. As for the rest, this of course, as the noble Lord says, is not a criminal offence, but there is a matter of good taste involved, and I should like to think the noble Lord's Question underlines that fact.