§ 2.39 p.m.
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the legal position of those holding fetes and other functions for voluntary organisations and offering bottles of alcohol for raffles, as prizes or on bottle stalls, in regard to Section 160 of the Licensing Act 1964, which appears to prohibit the offering of alcohol as a prize unless the stallholder has a licence.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE, HOME OFFICE (Lord Belstead)
My Lords, I cannot offer an authoritative statement on the legal position. This is a matter which only the courts can decide.
My Lords, does the Minister agree that it may be possible to table an amendment to the Act in order to clarify the situation? As he knows, the fete season of garden parties and so on is now in full swing. Can my noble friend assure the organisers of such fetes that there will be no risk of anyone who has a bottle stall or a raffle being arrested?
§ Lord BELSTEAD
My Lords, I should like to give the assurance for which my noble friend asks, but that is a matter for the police. We will, of course, look at the legislative timetable as regards her point about legislation.
§ Lord MURRAY of GRAVESEND
My Lords, will not the Minister agree that if a charitable organisation or, indeed, a political organisation holds such a fete, it is rather unfortunate that someone can telephone the police on the day, telling them that such a raffle or tombola stall is likely to be there, and that then the police can immediately move in to stop it? It seems unfortunate that people are not forewarned on these occasions about breaking the law.
§ Lord TAYLOR of MANSFIELD
My Lords, what is the situation as regards the offering of tobacco and cigarettes as prizes at these fetes and galas? Shopkeepers require a licence for the sale of those goods. Would the same apply?