Mock Auctions

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Erith and Crayford 12:00 am, 24th November 1960

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the matters raised by the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford in a letter sent to him on 27th October concerning mock auctions; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

My right hon. Friend is obliged to the hon. Member for drawing his attention to recent prosecutions in Lancashire for offences connected with mock auctions. My right hon. Friend has sent a reply to his letter. The House will have an opportunity to consider the whole matter when the Bill to be introduced by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lewes (Col. Beamish) is debated.

Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Erith and Crayford

I have not yet received that letter. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in imposing heavy prison sentences and fines, a judge said that the mock auction was one of the most unhealthy swindles that has come about? Can he explain why Mr. Gersham, who was fined £600 at Bournemouth, is still allowed to go on with the same technique every week in Petticoat Lane? Is he saying that it is illegal in Bournemouth and legal in Petticoat Lane, or is it that the Metropolitan Police are too warmhearted? Will he support the Bill brought in by the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Colonel Beamish) so as to put the matter beyond any reasonable doubt?

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

I am sorry if the hon. Gentleman has not received my right hon. Friend's letter. What the hon. Gentleman said in the latter part of his supplementary question points out the need for my hon. and gallant Friend's Bill, which I very much welcome.

Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Erith and Crayford

Does the right hon. Gentleman support it?