Oral Answers to Questions — Gaming Parties (Government Proposals).

– in the House of Commons on 5th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

asked the Home Secretary whether he can yet say what steps he proposes to take in order to check evasions of the law relating to gambling parties?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

In view of the difficulty under the existing law in dealing with gaming parties held in premises taken for one night only, and of the harm which is liable to be done, especially in time of war, by these methods of evading the law, it is proposed to strengthen the existing legal provisions by a Defence Regulation making gaming parties which are organised for gain unlawful, wherever they are held. I hope that, by these means, it will be possible to put an end to the scandal of a device by which those who make a profitable business out of providing facilities for gambling have hitherto evaded the law on the subject.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Do I understand from that reply that the right hon. Gentleman intends to make an Order or to bring in some legislation? No doubt he is aware that the chief at Scotland Yard knows a good deal about this business, and I take it for granted has told him about it?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I have, of course, kept in close touch with the Metropolitan Police. The action which I have announced will be taken under the Defence Regulations, and I hope the new powers will be adequate. I hope the House will share my determination that this kind of parasitical growth on the war effort shall be eliminated.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

When these offenders are of military age will my right hon. Friend draw the attention of the Minister of National Service to them?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

If necessary I will do so, but I understand that my right hon. Friend does keep observation on that point.