HC Deb 21 June 1960 vol 625 cc202-3
20. Mr. Thornton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Governor and official members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council all abstained from voting on the Second Reading of the Football Pools Betting Bill, 1960, which had been officially presented, with the result that the Bill was defeated by seven votes to nil with eleven abstentions; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Iain Macleod

After the First Reading of the Bill, public opinion reacted strongly against it. The Governor considered that in these circumstances it would be undesirable to force the Second Reading by the use of official votes.

Mr. Thornton

To what extent were the unofficial members of the Legislative Council consulted before the announcement last December of the Government's intention to enable a football pool to be established? Secondly, why was not the Bill withdrawn instead of the Colonial Government being subjected in this way to such a humiliating defeat? Thirdly, can the right hon. Gentleman give an estimate of the cost already incurred by the Post Office and by the Asian Football Pool in preparation of these pools?

Mr. Macleod

The answer to the first part of the supplementary question is that the Governor introduced the Bill after consultation with the Executive Council, which includes unofficials. I am not sure of the answer to the second question, but I imagine that it was wished to test opinion in the House, apart from public reaction in the Colony. The third question was a matter of detail and / will find out the answer and write to the hon. Gentleman.

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