HC Deb 23 June 1955 vol 542 cc1493-4
42. Mr. H. Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now introduce legislation to legalise small lotteries where these are conducted on a non-profit making basis for the benefit of social, political, sporting and religious organisations.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth)

My right hon. and gallant Friend can hold out no hope of the early introduction by the Government of legislation on this subject.

Mr. Wilson

While we all recognise that this is a question on which strong views are held both ways—amounting to questions of conscience—does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the law on this matter is now utterly indefensible, and, in view of that, will he consider taking soundings in different parts of the House to see what kind of a welcome would be given to such a Bill if his right hon. and gallant Friend saw fit to introduce it?

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

This matter, of course, came before the House last Session in the Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Sir E. Errington), and that Bill failed to receive a Second Reading.

Mr. Ede

Will the hon. Gentleman draw the attention of his right hon. and gallant Friend to the deputation from this side of the House which was received by the late Home Secretary?

Mr. Wilson

In case the words which the hon. Gentleman has just uttered might be misunderstood in the country, will he agree to make it clear to the House that the reason that Bill failed to get a Second Reading was that the date to which the Second Reading was deferred was after the General Election, and that therefore it was the General Election which interfered with the passage of the Bill?

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

I was only trying to indicate that there is a fairly sharp difference of opinion about this matter in all parts of the House.

Mr. Nabarro

Is there any reason why the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) should not bring in his own Bill under the Ten Minutes Rule if he is so keen on it?

Mr. Mahon

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many voluntary educational bodies are dependent to a considerable extent upon small lotteries to help them to meet the ever-increasing costs in schools in many parts of the country?

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

That is one of the considerations which affect the minds of those considering this question.

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