HC Deb 22 March 1956 vol 550 cc1460-1
35. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to organise a national lottery.

Mr. H. Brooke

No, Sir.

Mr. Johnson

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he is aware that the marked change in public opinion during the last few years has led to a widespread demand for a scheme of this kind? Would not such a scheme divert a great deal of money into places where it could be used in the best interests of the nation?

Mr. Brooke

It is my duty to pay particular regard to the opinion of this House. Only two or three weeks ago the House endorsed, in general, the Report of the Royal Commission on Betting, Lotteries and Gaming, which stated that it was undesirable for the State to make itself responsible for the provision of gambling facilities.

Mr. Shinwell

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why we should be so unctuous and righteous about this when we condone what is, in effect, a national lottery through the pools?

Mr. Brooke

I was not being unctuous, and certainly I was not charging the House with being unctuous. All I was saying was that a representative Royal Commission, which impressed the House by its recommendations, advised that this would be a mistake.

Mr. Johnson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that five years have passed since the Royal Commission issued its Report?