HC Deb 04 February 1977 vol 925 cc451-2W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will ascertain to what extent the Irish system of national lotteries to finance the health services could and should be emulated in the United Kingdom; and whether he will publish a report of his investigations into a national health lottery scheme.

Mr. Moyle

Under present legislation, lotteries of this type are unlawful, and I have made no specific investigation into a national health lottery scheme, although my Department was represented on the Inter-Departmental Working Party on Lotteries which published its report in 1973 (Cmnd. 5506). As the Royal Commission on Gambling is considering the whole question of lotteries in relation to the contribution that might be made from the proceeds of gambling towards the support of other activities, I would wish to have its views before considering whether the Irish, or any other system of national lottery, could contribute to the finances of the health services in England. In any case, I would be unwilling to See major parts of our health services depend upon lotteries for their funds because of the risk of the level of services if support for the lottery declined.