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Tea Lotteries

Volume 90: debated on Thursday 7 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to the fact of several convictions which have recently taken place for the illegal retail sale of tea upon a species of lottery system, notably at Coventry. Blackburn, Bury (Lanes.), Handsworth, and Hull; and, seeing that similar illegal forms of trading, have existed within the metropolitan area for some years past without prosecutions being brought by the police, whether he will direct the attention of the Metropolitan Police authorities to any case brought under his notice forthwith with a view to bringing the offenders to justice.

The convictions referred to in the first paragraph of the question have not been brought specially to my notice. Sale-of-tea lotteries were begun in the Metropolis in 1895, and proceedings were promptly instituted, with the result that the defendants entered into an undertaking to discontinue such practices. Since that date no case has been brought to the notice of the Metropolitan Police.