§ 56. Mr. Rhys Davies
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the strictures on gaming machines as a contributory cause of juvenile delinquency recently made by the chairman of the East London juvenile court; and whether he will consider introducing legislation to suppress them as recommended by the Royal Commission on Lotteries?
§ 57. Mr. R. C. Morrison
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the recent appeal by the chairman of the East London juvenile court for legislation to deal with pin-table gambling by children and young persons at cafes and fun fairs; and what action he proposes to take?
§ Sir S. Hoare
I am in full sympathy with the desire that all possible steps shall be taken to discourage the growth of gambling habits among young people. Under the existing law the keeping of any place for the purpose of gaming is illegal and the Royal Commission recognised that the existing law is fairly effective. The question of amending legislation which shall draw a proper distinction between amusements which are harmless and those which are liable to have mischievous consequence is by no means free from difficulty, and I regret that having regard to the state of Parliamentary business there is no opportunity for legislation during the present Session.
§ Mr. Rhys Davies
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some chief constables take a very strong line on this question, whereas in other parts of the country gaming machines of the same kind are allowed to be used? Will he call the attention of the police authorities to this disparity in treatment?
§ Sir S. Hoare
I will certainly look into the information which the hon. Gentleman has just given me.
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that magistrates' associations are very much concerned at the fact that, in spite of what the Lotteries Commission recommended, nothing has been done about this question, and that there is a great dissatisfaction among all societies dealing with children?