HC Deb 11 November 1943 vol 393 cc1290-1
59. Mr. Oliver

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that by reason of the intervention of the police in Ilkeston and Ripley in prohibiting the promotion of small lotteries on behalf of the local voluntary hospitals, these institutions have been deprived of a substantial income and are experiencing difficulty in discharging their obligations to the public; and whether he will favourably consider extending the exemptions of the Betting and Lotteries Act, 1934, so as to exclude from the provisions of the Statute, with proper safeguards, lotteries promoted on behalf of voluntary hospitals pending the reorganisation of the hospital and medical services?

Mr. H. Morrison

The Betting and Lotteries Act, 1934, to which my hon. Friend refers, exempts from the general prohibition against lotteries small lotteries which are incidental to certain entertainments or are confined to members of one society, and I understand that the Derbyshire police found it necessary to draw attention to these limitations, which they had reason to believe were being disregarded. Neither I nor the police can give any dispensation from the provisions of the law. On the other hand, to amend in the direction suggested by my hon. Friend provisions which Parliament settled after careful consideration nine years ago would raise very controversial issues which I cannot undertake to re-open.

Mr. Oliver

Does my right hon. Friend believe that the practice of a twopenny draw ticket has a demoralising effect on the working classes, having regard to the facilities that are available for gambling?

Mr. Morrison

I do not think I should like to give an answer straight off.

Mr. Messer

Is it not more demoralising that hospitals should have to depend on this sort of thing?