HC Deb 08 February 1977 vol 925 cc1361-95
Mr. Speaker

Before we turn to betting and gaming, I remind the House that on this issue the debate must be confined to the rules and restrictions laid down by the Statutory Instrument. A wider debate on the issue of lotteries would be beyond the scope of our debate.

10.16 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Dr. Shirley Summer-skill)

I beg to move, That the Lotteries Regulations 1977, a draft of which was laid before this House on 18th January be approved. I understand that with this motion we are to discuss the corresponding Scottish motion: That the Lotteries (Scotland) Regulations 1977, adraft of which was laid before this House on 18th January, be approved. The present position under the Lotteries Act 1975 is that certain charitable, sporting and other societies may promote lotteries subject, among other things, to the condition that the turnover of each lottery shall not exceed £5,000.

When the Act is fully in operation that limit will be raised to £10,000 for a short-term lottery, £20,000 for a medium-term one and £40,000 for any other lottery. Briefly, a short-term lottery can be promoted weekly, a medium-term lottery can be promoted monthly and any other lottery can be promoted quarterly. The full operation of the Act will also permit local authorities for the first time to promote lotteries for any purpose for which they have power to incur expenditure under any enactment subject to the same limits that I have just mentioned as to the scale and frequency that apply to lotteries promoted by societies.

The outstanding provisions of the Act cannot however, be brought into operation until the Secretary of State has made regulations under Section 10 of that Act, and in accordance with Section 18(2) of the Act such regulations shall not be made unless a draft of them has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

The Government have given careful consideration to the content of these regulations and to this end a consultative document was issued last summer. Subsequently numerous and detailed comments were received by letter, and through deputations from hon. Members and interested organisations which I met. These were taken into account when the draft regulations which are now before the House were prepared.

In a debate initiated by the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) on 4th August I said that the regulations would be prepared in a less restrictive manner than was proposed in the consultative document, and hon. Members can see that this has been done. In preparing the draft regulations we sought to safeguard the public from harassment in connection with the promotion of lotteries but on the other hand wished to avoid needlessly hampering requirements.

I shall explain briefly the main provisions in the draft regulations. Draft Regulation 3 and the schedule propose requirements about the provisions which must be included in a scheme for the promotion of a lottery. These provisions have been kept as simple as possible, and in effect require the full council or the governing body of the society, as the case may be, to decide certain matters which ought to be decided by it and not by the person who runs the lottery on its behalf.

Draft Regulations 4 to 8 propose restrictions on the sale of tickets or chances in a lottery. No lottery ticket shall be sold by or to a person under 16 years of age. This provision maintains the current position under lottery law. Sales in the street are prohibited except where the seller is in a kiosk. In this way, the passer-by is free from pestering by street sellers, but the person wishing of his own accord to buy a ticket may do so at a kiosk.

Draft Regulation 6 prohibits sales in certain premises devoted to gambling for commercial purposes. The Government believe that it is right that those who have chosen to gamble in one way should not as a result of that choice be subjected to pressure to gamble in other ways. This Act will offer many and increased opportunities to sell lottery tickets in a variety of ways, and it was thought unwise to allow selling where there was virtually a captive audience of people already gambling. The Gaming Board is strongly in favour of Regulation 6.

Draft Regulation 7 proposes a prohibition on sales by means of a vending machine. Draft Regulation 8 proposes restrictions on door-to-door sales by those such as rent collectors, meter readers, postmen or milkmen calling on business not connected with lotteries.

Mr. Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)

Will the hon. Lady explain the logic by which it is permitted to sell contraceptives by vending machine but not lottery tickets?

Mr. Eric Ogden (Liverpool, West Derby)

That is a lottery!

Dr. Summerskill

I am sure that I do not have to explain to the hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) that contraception is not gambling.

Mr. Robert Mellish (Bermondsey)

I want to ask my hon. Friend a serious question and not a silly, frivolous one. She spoke earlier about a captive audience. I think I understand that from the point of view of people in a betting shop, say. But what about a football club which may have a crowd of 10,000? What about a club like Millwall, the greatest that there is? It is doing very well. I want to get this clear. Cannot a football club sell all the lottery tickets that it can to its supporters?

Mr. Dan Jones (Burnley)

Of course, it can.

Mr. Mellish

I am not asking my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley (Mr. Jones). If I want his advice, I shall write to him and ask for it. I am asking the Minister. Will she put it on the record that a football club can sell all the tickets that it likes at a match, for example?

Dr. Summerskill

When I said that, I was referring to Regulation 6, which would prohibit sales in certain premises devoted to gambling for commercial purposes. If my right hon. Friend looks at the regulations, he will see examples of those premises—bingo halls, amusement arcades, and so on.

Mr. Mellish

Is a football club free to sell tickets?

Dr. Summerskill

Yes, if it is not devoted to gambling for commercial purposes.

Regulation 9 proposes requirements about the publication of the name of the authority and the date of the lottery in the case of a lottery promoted by a local authority. This regulation parallels the requirements in Section 9(1)(b) of the Act which apply in the case of societies.

Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Thanet, West)

Reverting to the matter raised by the right hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish), am I not right in thinking that it would not be possible to sell tickets on the premises of a football club because it would be in the open air? For example, tickets could not be sold by people going round inside a football ground. I think that that would not be lawful. Is it not correct that that would be regarded as a street or, if not, a public place? It is important to get this right.

Dr. Summerskill

As it is so important to get it right, perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will allow me, if I catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, a second time, to answer that point when I reply. It does not appear to be included among the prohibitions in the regulations but I shall make quite certain about that for the hon. and learned Gentleman.

It will have been noticed that the draft regulations do not contain certain restrictions on the sale of tickets in public houses and shops that were proposed in the consultative document. The draft does not set out restrictions on the advertisement of lotteries.

Mr. Peter Hardy (Rother Valley)


Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, Central)


Mr. Hardy

My hon. Friend has referred to the sale of tickets in public houses and licensed premises. Is she aware that it appears to be the case that the small lotteries of the type that she describes are not covered by the regulations and that this is a cause of grave anxiety? This matter should be resolved urgently, and not left to the courts at a considerable cost of time and money.

Dr. Summerskill

Perhaps it will be better if I proceed with my speech and deal with the regulations as they are. I am sure that we shall come to that matter slightly later.

Mr. McNamara


Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Lady has said that she wants to complete her speech. Without having had any messages, I gather that there will be many hon. Members wishing to speak in this debate.

Dr. Summerskill

To take up the point raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish), it is permissible under the regulations to sell lottery tickets anywhere in a football ground.

The Government think that the limits imposed by Section 9(13) on the amount of the proceeds that can be appropriated on account of expenses, which cannot exceed 25 per cent., are sufficient to control undesirable or wasteful advertising techniques.

In general, the regulations will provide adequate safeguards for the public against harassment. They will do so in a way that leaves adequate scope for the successful promotion of lotteries within the financial limits laid down in the Act, and in a way that gives neither societies nor local authorities any discriminatory advantage in the conduct of lotteries.

After the draft lottery regulations have received approvel in both Houses of Parliament a commencement order will be made to set a date for the coming into operation of the outstanding provisions of the Lotteries Act 1975. That will also be the date when the regulations come into operation. An order prescribing the fees payable to the Gaming Board in connection with the registration of lottery schemes and with the lotteries promoted under those schemes will be made to come into operation on the same date.

It will be necessary after the publication and making of these instruments to allow time for societies to prepare lottery schemes, for printers to make any necessary changes in the material and for the Gaming Board to get ahead with the registration of the schemes. In view of all the necessary stages, the Government think that the operative date for these instruments should be 1st May 1977.

Legislation on lotteries naturally tends to raise such questions as the proper scope for gambling, what bodies should promote it and what contribution might be made from the proceeds of gambling towards the support of other activities. These broader issues are now being considered by the Royal Commission on Gambling, although it would not be appropriate for me to comment on that while we are considering regulations that relate only to the area permitted by the 1975 Act. I have explained that the approval of the House of the draft is required before the Lotteries Act 1975 can be brought fully into operation.

The draft regulations have been prepared after careful deliberation and wide consultation. The Government—

Mr. Hector Monro (Dumfries)

The hon. Lady appears to be reaching the end of her remarks without coming to the crucial issue, the answer to which we must surely know before we can proceed. That question is whether she has come to an agreement with the Gaming Board on whether instant lotteries are legal. The whole matter stands or falls on that point.

Dr. Summerskill

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At the beginning of the debate did you not warn the House that you would preclude discussion on instant lotteries or bingo-type lotteries?

Mr. Speaker

The ruling I gave was to prevent a discussion on the whole wide issue of whether there should be lotteries. We are to discuss what is included in these regulations.

Mr Maxwell-Hyslop

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Am I right in interpreting that ruling as meaning that the question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro) to the Minister as to whether instant lotteries are covered by these regulations is a permissible question for her to answer in this debate?

Mr. Speaker

It is in order to ask whether that is within the regulations, but it is not in order for me to tell the hon. Lady whether she has to answer.

Dr. Summerskill

Instant lotteries, or what are sometimes called bingo-type lotteries, are lotteries in which a purchaser of a ticket can immediately ascertain, by devices such as tear-off flaps, whether his ticket would attract a prize. I have received many recommendations on this matter and I am aware that it has caused some concern among hon. Members on both sides of the House.

The Gaming Board of Great Britain cannot register a scheme which is contrary to law. I understand that the Board was advised that some dummy instant lottery schemes submitted to it could conflict with the provisions of the 1975 Act. This was due to the fact that there might not be a gap of seven days between the dates when the winners were ascertained in lotteries held in successive weeks. Therefore, it would not be possible under the registration requirements to hold 52 lotteries in a year as the dummy schemes proposed.

Mr Graham Page (Crosby)


Dr. Summerskill

This is a complicated issue and I should like to finish what I am saying.

The Board is considering this matter further, and it may well be that in the outcome there will be no insuperable difficulties about the registration of schemes. I spoke to Sir Stanley Raymond, Chairman of the Board, on the telephone this morning, and he assured me that the Board intends to clarify the doubt that exists by making clear to everybody what it understands the law to be in regard to the registration of these schemes.

The Board is taking legal advice and will come to a decision before the end of this month—which is well in advance of the Act's becoming operative on 1st May. I must state clearly that this is not a matter that can be dealt with in regulations under the Lotteries Act 1975, nor is it a matter on which it would be wise to attempt to legislate at this juncture when it may not be necessary to do so. Any such legislation might well create rather than solve problems. I have explained the problems about his own Bill in a letter to the right hon. Member for Crosby, who naturally is disappointed that his Bill was not accepted by the Government. But, as I have said, there is no point in legislating at the moment when it may not be necessary to legislate at all. It may be that the Gaming Board will not find any insuperable difficulty. It is considering the matter further and will let my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary know its conclusions.

I have explained that the approval of the House for the regulations is required before the Lotteries Act can be brought fully into operation. The regulations have been prepared after careful deliberation, and I urge the House to approve them so that the Lotteries Act can be brought fully into operation.

Mr. Speaker

I have to tell the hon. Member for Lambeth, Central (Mr. Lipton) that his amendment is out of order, but if he is lucky enough to catch my eye he will be able to make his point in the debate.

10.31 p.m.

Mr. Patrick Mayhew (Royal Tunbridge Wells)

Our first reaction to the appearance of these regulations is to say "about time". The Lotteries Act 1975 received the Royal Assent about 18 months ago. It was a Government measure in its final form, having been taken over from my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Page). One might therefore have hoped that the Government would put some steam into it and would have brought it quickly into force. But major parts of the Bill are still not in force because the Government have delayed for a year and a half in the drafting of the regulations. One wonders whether their hearts were in the job.

It is bad enough that the consultative document was delayed until May of last year. That meant that the local authorities missed out on the season of classic fixtures for the autumn and winter 1975 and for the following spring. But we have had to wait for another eight months before the regulations were brought forward. So the fixtures have been missed again.

Mr. Dan Jones

I do not think that the hon. and learned Gentleman should flog that one too much because I know personally that in the meantime the Minister has seen almost every sports organisation for consultations. That task could not be completed overnight.

Mr. Mayhew

I have no intention of flogging it too much, but I have every intention of flogging it enough.

We had to wait for another eight months, and, although it is impossible to measure, the amount of funds which have been forgone is enormous. This is an intolerable delay, and I do not think that it would have occurred had the Bill been left in the hands of my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby.

Our second reaction to the appearance of the regulations is that even now, after the delay, the Government have not got it right. We are talking about the sale of 25p tickets for lotteries got up by charities, sporting or cultural organisations or by local authorities. I shall concentrate on the sporting and charitable organisations, which the Government have said they want to help. That message came through in the debates on Second Reading and in Committee. The Government see the Act as a means of helping football clubs to meet the cost of making their premises safe, and this is necessary assistance.

If the tickets can be sold in pubs, shops and the streets—and we are glad that under the draft regulations, contrary to what was in the consultative document, this will be possible—why should they not be sold in licensed bingo clubs? Regulation 6 forbids that. Yet under the old law—Section 45 of the 1963 Act—these charitable and sporting clubs and societies which the Government want to help were allowed to tap that market—a very rich market—as represented by the licensed bingo clubs. They were allowed to sell tickets for small lotteries with a maximum turnover of £750 in these clubs.

The outlets have, therefore, been cut down by the regulations, by the Act which the Government said all along it was their intention to bring forward in order to help. What an achievement that is after 18 months of cogitation. Local football clubs and charities such as those that provide riding for the disabled or holidays for the disabled and rely, amongst other things, on licensed bingo clubs as outlets for their tickets will be denied that outlet. What is the justification for that? I hope that we shall be told. Why should these lotteries not have access to licensed bingo clubs?

I cannot help thinking that if Home Office Ministers were more in touch with ordinary people they would know that 6 million people go every week to licensed bingo clubs. About 85 per cent. of them are women, and that is their principal outing of the week. I hear laughter from the Home Secretary who, I dare say, is not a habitué of his local working men's club, and if he is he should not be laughing. Women go to licensed bingo clubs for a modest gamble, and that is what they get. Why are they to be stopped from buying lottery tickets for charity while they are there? Why should it be all right up the road at the working men's club for their husbands to buy lottery tickets, and all right round the corner at the miners' institute, but all wrong for women who go to their bingo? How does the Under-Secretary of State, of all people, equate that with her egalitarian principles? Are such people not grown-up enough in the opinion of the Ministers? What is the explanation for denying them the right to buy 25p tickets for a charitable lottery in a licensed bingo club? If such people are not to be trusted, why are they allowed to buy a ticket with their liquor in a pub?

The Under-Secretary says that the Government do not think it right that people who go to an establishment to gamble in one way should be brought under pressure to gamble in another way. What sort of pressure to buy a 25p ticket does she envisage in a licensed bingo club? If the reason is that the limit for prizes has gone up from £25 to £100, let the prizes be kept at the existing level for licensed bingo clubs. The Government can do this by a regulation under Section 12 of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. We want a satisfactory explanation of why the outlets for sporting and charitable lotteries have been cut down. What was the basis under the 1963 Act that necessitated the cutting down?

Why has this been done before the Royal Commission on Gambling has reported? I remind the hon. Lady of the terms of reference of the Commission which was appointed in October 1975. They were to inquire into existing law and practice relating to, amongst other things, lotteries, with particular reference to the adequacy of the restrictions imposed on the provision of facilities for different forms of gambling, including lotteries. Why is it that the Government went to the trouble of setting up a Commission to inquire into this and then jumped the gun and changed the law on lotteries?

What is wrong with selling tickets at betting shops or in a casino? We hope that we shall receive a better explanation than the one that the Under-Secretary advanced about people being pressurised, because that is a pathetic and rather insulting explanation.

These regulations are certainly an improvement on the proposals in the consultative document that tickets should not be sold in pubs or shops or be advertised on television and radio. Goodness knows who drew that up. We refuse to accept that because the totally unacceptable has been withdrawn, the largely unacceptable is all right. We have now learned from the Under-Secretary that the Gaming Board has given warning that it is to adopt an interpretation of Section 8 and Section 16 of the 1976 Act that is diametrically opposed to the meaning of the Act that the Government gave the House. That is relevant to our debate because these regulations are made under Section 10, which says that it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to consult the Gaming Board before making regulations.

The Board says that weekly instant bingo schemes will not be possible for the reasons which the Minister has given. Does the hon. Lady not realise that such schemes account for £30 million of the £45 million raised by lotteries each year? If they are hit by the regulations and can be held only every fortnight or even less frequently, this will mean a catastrophic cutback in the advantages that the Bill is supposed to yield for charitable and sporting organisations. Such bodies will be faced with a diametrically-opposed interpretation from the Gaming Board. I do not criticise the Board for examining the legislation, but why have the Government not either taken the opportunity afforded by the regulations to put the matter beyond doubt or, if that is not possible for technical reasons, helped instead of hindered the simple and short amending Bill of my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby? We want answers to these questions.

The response of the Minister to letters from my right hon. and hon. Friends has been that it is for the courts to say what the law is. That is a pathetic excuse from a Government who are responsible for legislation. Perhaps I should declare an interest, but time and again it is left to the lawyers to persuade the House to legislate clearly.

Mr. Roy Hughes (Newport)

Has the hon. and learned Gentleman not missed another point? What will happen to the people who transgress and sell or buy tickets? Are they to be classified as criminals?

Mr. Mayhew

The hon. Gentleman has made an important point. It will be left to those people to test at their own expense, perhaps in the House of Lords, the interesting question whether they are criminals. This is because of sloppy draftsmanship by the Government, their failure to take this opportunity to make the matter clear or their failure to help the Bill of my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Is my hon. and learned Friend not being grossly unfair to the Minister? Surely the duty to inform the House of what the law is rests not with her but with the Law Officers, who are not present. Is it not their duty to be here and to tell us what the law is before we vote on the regulations? The Minister has been left bereft, as have the rest of us, of advice from those who owe a duty to the House and are not here to discharge it.

Mr. Mayhew

I am sure that the Minister would be glad to get any help that she could; so should we all. However, the Government have had an opportunity of clearing up the matter and they have not taken it.

We hear that the Gaining Board is about to send a circular to all the charities concerned giving its interpretation of the law. The Minister seemed to rely on that as a justification for not helping the Bill of my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby. This is another extension of government by circular from which we have suffered for far too long under this Government. It is for Parliament, and not for a statutory or non-statutory body, to say what the law is.

Do the Government really want charities to put their funds at risk by taking a test case to the House of Lords to discover whether their instant-bingo schemes are alright? Will the Government instruct the Gaming Board not to issue its circular, but instead legislate quickly to clear up this matter?

Until we have the answers to these questions we must conclude that the last 18 months have culminated in a lost opportunity and a botched-up job.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Marcus Lipton (Lambeth, Central)

I anticipated that my amendment would not be called, and for the sake of good order and discipline I shall address myself to the motion—which will enable me to say exactly what I would have said had my amendment been called. The Minister is asking the House to buy a pig in a poke. She said that in the next few weeks we shall have a ruling on the situation from the Gaming Board. The House should know what the Gaming Board has to say before it passes the regulations.

I am in considerable agreement with the hon. and learned Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew)—and I am not a practising lawyer. I gave up practice a long time ago. Now I only preach.

It was made clear in the Lords that the Government had to see an enormous and detailed number of comments before issuing the draft regulations. I agree that they are drafted in a less restrictive manner than was proposed in the consultative document that was circulated in an undated form some time in the summer of 1976. Although the Government talk of careful deliberation and consultation, two organisations representing bingo clubs —the British Bingo Association and the National Association of Licensed Bingo Clubs—knew nothing about the consultative document until last November. They have had only since then to make representations to the Government.

The millions of people who patronise bingo clubs throughout the country—and there are a large number in the borough of Lambeth—will be prejudiced by the regulations that the Government are asking the House to accept. Charitable organisations will lose a considerable amount of money if bingo clubs are not allowed to sell lottery tickets on the premises. They are forbidden to do that by Regulation No. 6.

For example, the British Bingo Association, the President of which is Mr. Eric Morley of the Mecca organisation, raises large sums of money for charity. Much of that money comes from bingo games, the participation fees of which go to charity. About £2 million has been raised in that way in the last two or three years. It naturally views with horror the proposal to prohibit such lotteries in bingo halls.

The Government argue that they do not wish to see people who attend bingo clubs being harassed by lottery ticket sellers. I should like to see someone try to harass any of the women who attend the bingo clubs in Brixton. They would give them short shrift. The Government will not protect the women of Brixton by prohibiting bingo clubs from selling lottery tickets.

Charities will lose considerably if the regulations are passed. I have a note from Mr. Eric Morley, the head of the Mecca organisation, who says that it is running a monthly lottery in bingo halls, the entire proceeds of which are going to the Variety Club for children's charities. This in turn helps the Government, because some £50,000 has been donated for the bone marrow type machine at Westminster Hospital, and previous to that £250,000 was devoted to a chair in child psychiatry at Great Ormond Street. Last year Mr. Butlin put up £200,000 for a brain scanner at Great Ormond Street, and, previous to that, another £100,000 went to Westminster Hospital, and so on.

I could cite many cases in which hospitals and charitable organisations would be severely prejudiced if Regulation 6 went through in its present form. I therefore ask the Government to reconsider this regulation and not to shelter behind the excuse that they want to protect the women of Brixton and Kennington who go to bingo clubs from harassment from odd people who might want to sell lottery tickets.

I hope that the Government will reconsider this section of the scheme that they are now asking the House to endorse.

10.51 p.m.

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

These regulations are made under Section 10 of the Lotteries Act 1975, so I should like to refer at once to that section because it is an extremely wide section giving the Secretary of State extremely wide powers to make these regulations: The Secretary of State may by regulations make such provision with respect to the promotion of society's lotteries or local lotteries as he may consider necessary or expedient. There is a following subsection that sets out certain paragraphs which can be included in such regulations, but it says, Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2) above". We know that the Act is not yet in force. It has not yet been brought into operation. We need to wait for these regulations before the Act is brought into operation. We have heard tonight that the hon. Lady the Under-Secretary thinks that we need another three months, after an accumulation of 18 months' waiting for these regulations and for the Act to be brought into operation. The Royal Assent to the 1975 Bill was in August 1975. It took nine months for the Home Office to give birth to an ugly consultative document. It was so ugly that it caused tremendous protest among all those concerned. It took another nine months of gestation—

Mr. Ogden

The right hon. Gentleman knows who its father was.

Mr. Page

I do not know to whom the hon. Gentleman is referring. No one on the Opposition side of the House was the father of that consultative document. That came out of the imagination of the Home Office. It then took another nine-month period of gestation to produce the draft regulations. We are then told that another three-month period is needed before clubs and local authorities can take advantage of the 1975 Act, the advantage of having lotteries larger than they have at present.

During that 18-month period, two football seasons have gone by, and all the money that could have been gained by the football clubs has been lost. Football clubs are being pressed to put safety precautions into their grounds, yet the Government will not let them earn the money required out of lotteries. The whole summer season for many local authorities, particularly those of holiday resorts, could have earned a lot of money for the relief of the rates out of lotteries. However, we are told that we have to wait for another three months for this Act to be put into operation.

We must ask the hon. Lady to consider again and to bring this in much more quickly. There is no need for further delay. Normally when the House approves a draft order it can be brought into effect the very next day. I hope that we shall have some rapid introduction of the regulations so that the Act can come into operation.

I should like again to refer back to the power under which these Regulations are to be made, and the very wide power of the Secretary of State under Section 10(2). It is true that the regulations as set out here probably come within the paragraphs in the following subsection. But there is one matter which could have been cleared up in the regulations which the Secretary of State has failed to do. What are commonly known as instant lotteries or instant bingo have been mentioned. I should declare an interest. I can say that over the period of 20 years no harm has come from what is known as instant bingo. I had something to do with its invention 20 years ago for Fulham Football Club. I have had an interest in it ever since. Now the Government are trying to kill instant bingo.

Dr. Summerskill

indicated dissent.

Mr. Page

The hon. Lady shakes her head. She could have removed all this doubt by use of the powers of the Secretary of State under Section 10 (2), which gives him almost complete power. All he has to do is look at the definition of "date". Section 8 in effect says that there must not be more than 52 lotteries a year, and that one must not hold more than one a week.

The Gaming Board, by an extraordinary interpretation of "date"—the Act says that the date is when the winners are ascertained—has said that every time one tears open that sealed bingo ticket which one gets at a football game, the date of the lottery is the date that one tears the ticket open if one happens to be the winner.

The result is that the Board—it has said so—will refuse to register schemes for instant lotteries or instant bingo because its interpretation is that there will be hundreds of dates for one lottery a week, and each time a winner tears his ticket open and finds that he has the corresponding number or has amassed numbers to his bingo card, that is the date of the lottery.

I can think of nothing more stupid. I was so astonished that I sought legal opinion. I am sorry that the Law Officers are not here. I obtained a legal opinion from eminent counsel that the Board is dead right. I have been to the Board and have tried to argue it out with officials there. I was given a promise by the responsible official that the Board would decide one way or the other before we debated these regulations. I have asked over the telephone again and again if the Board has come to a decision and have been told that it could not—this was in the last few days —fulfil its promise before the debate. So we are left in this doubt.

Mr. Dan Jones

I know the contribution that the right hon. Gentleman has made and that he is able and in earnest. Since he has had these deliberations with the Board, what precise reason could it have given before tonight's debate? If these people were so sure on the question he posed, could they be equally sure now?

Mr. Page

The Board was taking legal advice. It received counsel's opinion a few weeks ago. It has deliberated on the matter again since then. In the last day or so, I have been told that it is still deliberating and trying to work out what counsel really meant, or something of that sort. That is why I say that the Secretary of State should have put the matter right in the regulations by using Section 10 powers. He had only to improve the definition of "date" in Section 16 and say that winners are ascertained on such and such a date, or to make a regulation that every lottery should state the date on which the winners are ascertained. The hon. Lady cannot deny that the Secretary of State has that power. He has power to lay down the rules for promoting these lotteries. He could easily say that every lottery must state the date on which the winners are ascertained. That would solve the whole problem.

If the hon. Lady does not want to do it in these regulations, why is she blocking my Bill? I have given the Government a chance to solve the problem by quickly producing a Private Member's Bill. It has been blocked on two Fridays. Why? If she will not do it by regulations or legislation, will she tell the Gaming Board—

Dr. Summerskill

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman appreciates that the letter that I sent him explaining in detail why the Government blocked his Bill and criticising some aspects of it would answer his rhetorical question to the House. I did not read out the letter that I had written him. I could have done, but I did not think that this debate concerned the rights and wrongs of the right hon. Gentleman's Bill. Instead of protesting ignorance of why this Bill was blocked and asking the House why it was blocked, I suggest that he reads the letter that I wrote him.

Mr. Page


Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

On a point of order. As the Minister has now referred to an official document—namely, a letter that she sent as a Minister to a Member —will you order her, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to lay a copy on the Table so that I may read it?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Myer Galpern)

I do not think that the hon. Member is on a winner this time. The rule does not apply to correspondence.

Mr. Page

I refrained from reading to the House the letter which the hon. Lady sent me because I did not want to hold her up to ridicule. That letter merely made a number of Committee points about my Bill and said that the Government would not allow it through, that the matter had to be decided by the courts. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew) has asked, are we really to wait for this matter to be decided by the courts when it could be settled by regulations or by legislation? I do not mind which way is chosen but it could be done one way or the other without having to wait months.

Does the Minister realise that because of this doubt being thrown on these bingo lotteries run by every Football League club the responsible clubs will decide that they can no longer carry on with them? About £30 million a year will be lost because the hon. Lady will not do something about it here and now.

Mr. Rees-Davies

It goes a little further than that. My right hon. Friend has suggested that the courts can deal with it, but they can do so only if there is an issue before them. If the Gaming Board refuses to register because of this proposal, there will be no issue before the courts.

Mr. Page

My hon. and learned Friend is perfectly right. I am sure that someone will find some way of bringing it before the courts, but that will mean another delay of 18 months before we get a decision because it will no doubt go through all the processes of appeal. This is not the way to treat the House. After 18 months, when both Houses of Parliament have passed an Act, we are left in complete doubt about whether most of the lotteries from which the sports clubs earn their money are legal. It is not as if the Minister did not know about this doubt months ago. We have all been pressing for it to be settled.

I do not want to flog this, but it is a serious matter, not a technical, esoteric, or minor legal matter. Tens of millions of pounds are involved. Football clubs will fail if they cannot earn money as they have been used to do. They will not be able to afford to instal the safety measures which both Opposition and Government want to see.

11.5 p.m.

Mr. Dan Jones (Burnley)

First, I should explain that I know nothing about legal matters. Incidentally, I am damned pleased that such is the case. [Hon. Members:"Oh."] That is so, and hon. Gentlemen may pick the bones out of that.

On 4th August last year we had a debate precisely on this subject. On that occasion the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) and I were practically the only Members present. We were then proposing improvements similar to those which have been announced tonight. I cannot help but express surprise and indignation that those who are present tonight were not in attendance on 4th August. [Hon. Members: "0h."] It is a fact. Hon. Gentlemen can go on bantering if they like. They can ricochet off me. I do not give a damn.

May I claim your attention, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for just a few minutes?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am always interested in what the hon. Gentleman says. However, he referred to these regulations being before the House on 4th August. I was inquiring to satisfy my memory whether that was the fact. I am advised that these regulations have not previously been before the House.

Mr. Jones

I do not want to enter issue with you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It may be that these precise regulations were not before the House, but the issue that we are debating was before the House. That is the point.

Having settled that, I go on to talk about legal affairs—although I know nothing about them. But the Home Office has legal people who advise my hon. Friend. [Interruption.] I wish that hon. Gentlemen opposite would control their stupid banter. While they are bantering, many clubs—not only soccer clubs, but cricket, rugby, and other sports clubs —are financially against the wall.

Many hon. Members present tonight have addressed themselves to me on the question of sport, knowing of my involvement with these people, and begged me to do what I can, together with the right hon. Member for Crosby, to bring about a satisfactory solution. I wish that they would adopt the same attitude in the House as they adopt in the corridors of the House.

I shall make known to the Football Association, to the Rugby Football Union and to the cricket authorities that, when it comes to getting the succour they need, their interests are made use of in banter by the Opposition. That has been the characteristic tonight. The only Opposition Member who has made out anything like a reasonable argument is the right hon. Member for Crosby.

I should like to put two questions to my hon. Friend. Frankly, I thought that coming into the House tonight to debate these regulations would be a matter of form. I thought that we were going to endorse this proposal in little or no time and that, in consequence, clubs would be given the help that they deserve. But now I find that there is to be no mid-week participation. That will be harmful to soccer clubs. Those who know the clubs—I excluded the Opposition, because they do not know them; it is no use pretending that they do—realise that this aspect will be harmful to them. In the League and FA Cups we find that where there are replays in mid-week—the most lucrative part of the season for these people—they cannot hold lotteries. I am damned if I know what possible harm this can do. That is the first point. Why is it that we have to wait some three months?

I should like hon. Members Opposite to consider this in practical terms rather than legal terms. There is a distinction because some of these clubs are going to the wall. But we would not think so, listening to the bantering of the Opposition tonight.

Secondly, the right hon. Member for Crosby is very certain that his scheme is watertight. Apparently it involves no less than £30 million over one season. Surely that would be of substantial help to soccer, rugby and cricket clubs? If the application of the scheme is so easy, my hon. Friend should tell us tonight precisely why this scheme, with so many definite advantages, does not deserve the support of hon. Members on this side of the House.

1 assume that hon. Members opposite will treat this matter as it deserves to be treated, in terms of sport in this country which has a tremendous therapeutic effect on our young people, notwithstanding the few young hooligans who spoil the game. Will my hon. Friend tell us precisely why the scheme of the right hon. Member for Crosby is not accepted by the Government and put into operation so that the people who need this help badly can get it as soon as possible?

11.12 p.m.

Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Thanet, West)

The Home Secretary's right eardrum has nearly been split by the passion of the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Jones).

Mr. Dan Jones

The hon. and learned Gentleman has never been poor otherwise he would know what it means.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Bantering or no, over the last 18 months I would have been delighted to have the assistance of the hon. Gentleman in the pile of letters, which is now about a foot high, that I have accumulated with the hon. Lady and others in the Home Office pressing for the introduction of these regulations. There have been so many letters that it has been like confetti passing between us. With my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) we have pressed this almost month by month.

Originally the Home Office was thinking along the lines of employing local authority civil servants to sell the lottery tickets and dealing with it by door-to-door house canvassing. It was felt that in some way they would come under the complete control of the local authority.

But the Home Office was prevailed upon to recognise that there would be an appalling waste of public money if any public servants were involved in the selling of these tickets either for local authorities or for any other private lottery. Secondly, it was important to draw to the attention of the Home Office that householders would be appalled if there were to be canvassing door to door.

The Home Office was right to recognise that we did not want the tickets to be sold in the betting office licensed houses. But the question was a very difficult one because of the general feeling that in some way it is all wrong to sell anything connected with gaming in a place where people can also get a drink. The Home Office was, therefore, apparently, opposed to the tickets being sold in public houses because it was thought that people under the influence of drink might buy a lottery ticket and in some way that was regarded as improper. All that prejudice had to be surmounted.

Furthermore, it was thought quite wrong to sell tickets in kiosks or in shops, because it was felt that these were public places. If they were sold in clubs, it was felt to be all right. But in a public place, it would be wrong. Earlier in the debate the hon. Member for Burnley will have heard me support the right hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) and attempt to clarify my own mind about whether tickets could be sold on a cricket field or a football field. I thought that that would be permissible, and I was delighted when the Minister confirmed that. But again there was considerable doubt whether tickets would be allowed to be sold on a football or cricket ground—for example, inside the Canterbury cricket ground, where we have very important cricket occasions and where we would want to sell them.

Nor is it only sport which is affected. The delay which has been occasioned is a grevious one of 18 months. I do not suggest that these proposals could have been implemented immediately. On Third Reading, I suggested that a period of six months was reasonable for canvassing views, for producing a consultative document and for inviting local authorities to reply to that document with their recommendations. But I do not accept that 18 months is a reasonable period. As I understand it, the consultative document laid before my local authority—the Thanet District Council—was received by it in October of last year, 15 months after the Act was passed. For some reason which I believe to be, in a curious way, mixed up with the Royal Commission on Lotteries, there was an intolerable delay which went on for months before finally the Home Office got into gear and began to act.

As a result of the endless pressure from my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby and me, to say nothing of those associated with bingo clubs, Mecca and many other organisations in all parts of the country, someone in the Home Office finally persuaded the Government that it was not immoral or improper to sell tickets publicly either for a society's charitable purposes or for a local authority—that is to say, in shops and public houses, on cricket, football and rugby grounds and, indeed, in kiosks suitable for the purpose.

At long last, subject to the one point about bingo clubs, which I agree with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew) ought to have been included but are not, we have a satisfactory solution.

But it is the duty of the Home Office to advise the Minister if there is a point of law which in its opinion raises an inherent conflict. I have no doubt, therefore, what the Department duly advised the Minister when it heard from the Gaming Board that there was trouble about instant bingo. If there was, and the Department recognised that the intention of Parliament was clear and that we in- tended to have instant bingo on a weekly basis, it was its duty to advise the Minister to bring in remedial and amending legislation. The Department failed in its duty to do so. There is no question about this. My right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby is right. It is not just a matter of blocking his Bill. It was the Department's duty and statutory responsibility to carry out the intent of Parliament before the regulations were laid.

I greatly hope that the Department will do it. I do not share the opinion of my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby that it can be done in these regulations. It is my opinion that it cannot. Therefore, to that extent it is borderline whether it is in order. The matter should be remedied by the Home Office at the first opportunity because it is plainly the will of the House that it should be amended. I profoundly hope that that will happen.

As a result of the delay I have lost the Minster Community Centre in Thanet, which could have been built by now, and the changing rooms at the Kenny Baker hockey ground, which many who have an interest in international hockey may know as a leading ground. In 12 months we could have made enough money to carry both schemes into effect.

There is plenty of time to bring the regulations into force by 1st April. I agree that we need a few weeks, but it is not necessary for us to wait until 1st May. I hope the House will invite the Minister to bring the date forward by at least one month. Every month is valuable. We want to be able to sell tickets over the Easter period at the seaside resorts and other places, which could produce a first-class lottery. That would be a real boon. I appeal to the Minister to bring the date forward.

11.22 p.m.

Mr. Hector Munro (Dumfries)

In rising. I apologise to the many Members who wish to speak, but we are reaching the final moments of the debate and I wish to sum up some of the points that have emerged during the debate.

It stands out head and shoulders above everything else that the Government have made a thorough mess of this matter and have mishandled it just as badly as the Scotland and Wales Bill. It seems incredible that the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland should be laughing. The hon. Gentleman has been laughing all night. Does he not realise that this is a serious issue that affects Scotland as well as England and Wales? I hope that he will take the matter seriously. It could affect the hon. Gentleman's football club in his constituency of Stirling, Falkirk and Grangemouth as it could affect every other club in the football league.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Harry Ewing)

I have been laughing all night because of the frivolous nature of the attitude adopted by the hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends. I have been laughing at the way in which they have treated the debate.

Mr. Monro

The hon. Gentleman is compounding his failure. My right. hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) and my hon. and learned Friends the Members for Thanet, West (Mr. Rees-Davies) and Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew) have spoken extremely seriously in the debate, as have some of the hon. Gentleman's colleagues. Many Labour Members have a guilty conscience tonight and that is the only reason that they have entered the Chamber.

It is of the utmost importance that we have had a debate that has shown that the House is most dissatisfied with the evening's proceedings. I hope that the Government will feel that the regulations should be withdrawn and brought back when the Home Office has come to its conclusions following negotiations with the Gaming Board. Without that information the whole debate is null and void. When we bear in mind that the debate must finish at 11.41 p.m. and that so many Members wish to speak, that is obviously the right procedure to adopt.

I press upon the hon. Lady the Under-Secretary of State the importance of speed in this whole matter and how the Government have let the House down like a ton of bricks, and more especially the sports clubs. The Minister responsible for Sport, who I am surprised has not joined us tonight, said in June 1975, nearly two years before the regulations will come into force, The proposals of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary are very important, and they have been welcomed in football circles. The new Lotteries Bill substantially raises the turnover and the prizes of small lotteries, so it will become legal to conduct a small lottery up to a turnover of £10,000 a week."—[Official Report, 19th June 1975; Vol. 893, c. 1795.] The right hon. Gentleman was impressing upon the House how important it was to get this money into football.

In July 1975 the hon. Lady said that in spite of the doubts that had been expressed, the provision of the Lotteries Bill would be a considerable help to the clubs. She added that the Government had the football clubs very much in mind in introducing the Lotteries Bill. The Government have taken nearly two years to introduce the regulations, which give clubs the opportunity to increase their financial reserves and to implement the Safety of Sports Grounds Act, which is being treated in a dilatory fashion by the Home Office and others who are concerned.

The result of the delay has been that innumerable football clubs, voluntary sports clubs and other organisations throughout Britain have been unable to raise the finance which they need, at a time when they are severely affected by inflation. This goes for football clubs such as Burnley and Montrose, which are well represented in the House tonight.

I appreciate consultation carried out with my hon. Friend the Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison) and myself on the consultative document and subsequently. There were some suggestions about the percentage of expenses that could be charged in covering lotteries. The key issue, which has been brought out so clearly by my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby and by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Thanet, West, relates to the instant lottery and to the reason why the hon. Lady has decided to take no action on Section 10 of the 1975 Lotteries Act.

It is wrong for the Minister to give the impression that because these matters were not raised during discussions on the Bill, what has happened since is not the Government's fault. I think that the contrary is the case. It is the Government's duty— and it is the Government who had the advantage of the services of the finest draftsmen in the land—to see that any measure is drafted so as to cover one of the most important points—namely, instant bingo and the instant lottery.

The Minister should withdraw these regulations tonight and bring the matter back to the House when a decision has been reached with the Gaming Board. If the situation is not clarified, the whole matter becomes complete nonsense. This is crucial to the debate.

The local authorities have lost the opportunity of obtaining income through lotteries in the last 18 months. Charities have also suffered, as have sports clubs and other organisations. All these bodies have missed many millions of pounds because of the dilatory action by the Government.

I hope that the hon. Lady will offer to withdraw the Bill and also will seek to clear some of the points made by my right hon. and hon. Friends. I hope that she will comment on the strange regulation that forbids the sale of tickets in bingo halls, betting shops and casinos. A person who is already in any of those places is surely unlikely to be corrupted any further, and the price of 25p per ticket sold in a casino will be peanuts compared with what might be won or lost there. This displays a restrictive attitude, and it is unnecessary in this legislation.

I wish to make a point which has not been made so far in the debate, and it relates to the taxation of lottery profits. I understand that some tax inspectors are insisting on the payment of corporation tax.

By and large this issue is straightforward and simple. These regulations are unacceptable to most hon. Members present tonight. Hon. Members on both sides of the House are interested in sports clubs of all kinds and charities gaining from this provision, but as a result of this debate they are not clear what will happen. The Home Office has rushed forward, after 18 months' work, with regulations that are not practicable. Therefore, the hon. Lady should ask the Minister to withdraw these provisions and to bring the matter back to the House when it is sorted out.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I put it to you that pursuant to Standing Order No. 4(2)(b) when the hour for the close—11.30—would normally arise, you should excercise your discretion? The provision says that if the Chair shall be of the opinion that … (b) because of the importance of the subject matter of the motion, the time for debate has not been adequate, he shall interrupt the business and the debate shall stand adjourned till the next sitting". I do not think that it is in dispute that the matter is of great importance. My right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) was given a positive assurance by the Betting and Gaming Board that its interpretation of the law would be given before this debate. Correspondence to my right hon. Friend which the Under-Secretary has not thought it right to put before the House has failed to convey that information. No Law Officer has had time during this debate—in other words, the time has apparently not been adequate—to present himself in the House to tell hon. Members the Law Officers' opinion on the instant lottery question. It is the duty not of a Minister but of a Law Officer to interpret it to the House. Therefore, I put to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that in the exercise of your discretion under Standing Order No. 4(2)(b) it would be in the interests of the House that this debate should be adjourned without the Question being put.

Mr. Ogden

Further to that point of order—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Time is getting short and the Minister must reply.

I am much obliged to the hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) for having given me advance notice of his point of order. First, I must correct him. He is referring to the wrong Standing Order. It is Standing Order No. 3(1)(b) that particularly applies to the matter he is seeking to raise.

I have given careful consideration to all aspects of the matter, even to the point of being rebuked by the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro). I was considering the question when the hon. Gentleman alleged that I was not listening to him.

Having considered all the relevant aspects, I have decided that the Question will be put at the end of the debate.

Mr. Alick Buchanan-Smith (North Angus and Mearns)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We are also debating Scottish regulations. Not one Back Bencher representing a Scottish constituency has had a chance to speak. We represent sporting clubs and football clubs in Scotland, but we have not had a chance to put our point of view or that of our constituents. The only Scottish Member to speak was my hon. Friend on the Front Bench, the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro). The Scottish Office Minister promoting the order has not had the grace to come and speak in support of it. In the circumstances, Mr. Deputy Speaker, surely you cannot possibly agree that the regulations have been properly debated, and surely the debate should be adjourned to another occasion.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I have considered that aspect also. The only difference between the two Statutory Instruments is is that one refers to England and Wales and the other to Scotland.

Mr. Harry Gourlay (Kirkcaldy)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The point just made by the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) is very valid. Would it not be in order for you to determine that the vote tonight should be purely on the English regulations and that we can have a further debate on the Scottish regulations?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

At the conclusion of the debate I shall put each Question separately.

11.33 p.m.

Dr. Summerskill

This debate has been dominated by the subject of instant lotteries. I am gratified that, with the exception of Regulation 6 concerning bingo clubs, there has appeared to be fairly general acceptance of the regulations, which is what we were here in the beginning to debate.

Mr. Gourlay


Dr. Summerskill

I have very little time.

Mr. Gourlay

I wish to intervene on the very point my hon. Friend is making. I wanted to refer to Regulation 8 and did not have the chance. If a member of a sporting club or the Labour Party or the Conservative Party happens to be an insurance agent, will he be guilty of a criminal offence if, after he has collected his insurance money from his client, he offers him a bingo ticket? If he goes out of the house and comes back a second time is he in order? It seems ridiculous.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Further to the point of order that I raised with you previously, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I respectfully draw to your attention that the Standing Order to which you were good enough to refer me, No. 3(1)(b), says: proceedings in pursuance of any Act of Parliament, save in so far as Standing Order No. 4…otherwise provides". That is why I drew to your attention Standing Order No. 4 and not Standing Order No. 3. That is why it was pursuant to Standing Order No. 4(2)(b) that I respectfully asked you when the time came to adjourn the debate.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I hope to be able to hear the Minister's reply. Standing Order No. 4 refers to motions for annulment.

Dr. Summerskill

I must reiterate the point I made at the beginning of the debate. It is my legal advice—

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I cannot see anything in Standing Order No. 4 that refers only to annulments. The side heading is "Statutory instruments, &c. (procedure)". It says: Except in such cases as the House may otherwise order…". It goes on to say—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member is wasting time. If he looks at page 10 of Standing Orders he will see that I am right.

Dr. Summerskill

Instant lotteries cannot be dealt with within these regulations. That is a view that has received the agreement of the hon. and learned Member for Thanet, West (Mr. Rees-Davies). Much as the House would like to deal with them, I cannot deal with instant lotteries within these regulations tonight. The Bill of the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) might not have removed such difficulties and seems likely to have created others and could have made it impossible to hold some lotteries on a weekly basis, as I explained to him in my letter. We are not here tonight to discuss instant lotteries. We cannot do anything about them within these regulations. I urge hon. Members to pass these regulations tonight in order that the rest of the Lotteries Act 1975 may be put on the statute book.

There has been criticism of Regulation 6, which is concerned with bingo clubs. I have listened carefully to the criticisms. There is some feeling about this matter. If experience of the application of the regulations suggests that this restriction is causing difficulty to the various people who have been instanced, we shall consider whether any workable amendments to the regulations should be made.

The subject of licensed bingo clubs is obviously causing a great deal of anxiety among hon. Members, particularly the hon. and learned Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew). Although under the 1963 Act the turnover of lotteries generally may not exceed £750, under the 1975 Act and these regulations lotteries will be on a much larger scale. Because of that the Government think that there should be certain restrictions, as for example in Regulation 6, on where the tickets are sold.

My reasons for including Regulation 6 are still relevant. We have a duty to control the way in which lotteries are run, and that is what the regulations do. That is a statutory duty which those who passed the Act wished the Government to exercise.

I was pleased to note that, with the exception of Regulation 6, there was not

excessive criticism of the regulations. Certainly I should like the date to be nearer than 1st May, but it takes time for societies to prepare lottery schemes and it takes time for the Gaming Board to register all the schemes. That cannot be done in the time that has been suggested. I have said 1st May as a result of careful consideration of what would be necessary to implement this very important legislation.

I believe that we should welcome the regulations, as did my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley (Mr. Jones) in a passionate and eloquent speech. We urge the House to approve the regulations so that the 1975 Act can at least be brought fully into operation. It will be welcomed by a large number of people all over the country. I hope that hon. Members will vote in favour of it tonight. This Act results from a great deal of hard work over a long time by hon. Members on both sides of the House. We are at last seeing the fruits of our efforts. I hope that those efforts will not be destroyed by the Opposition—

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3 (Exempted Business).

The House divided: Ayes 151, Noes 26.

Division No. 60.] AYES [11.41 p.m.
Anderson, Donald Davidson, Arthur Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Archer, Peter Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Armstrong, Ernest Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Hunter, Adam
Ashton, Joe Dempsey, James Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Dormand, J. D. Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)
Atkinson, Norman Dunnett, Jack John, Brynmor
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Eadie, Alex Johnson, James (Hull West)
Bates, Alf Ellis, Juhn (Brigg & Scun) Jones, Alec (Rhondda)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Evans, loan (Aberdare) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Bidwell, Sydney Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Kaufman, Gerald
Blenkinsop, Arthur Faulds, Andrew Kerr, Russell
Boardman, H. Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Lamborn, Harry
Bray, Dr Jeremy Flannery, Martin Lee, John
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Buchan, Norman Ford, Ben Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Buchanan, Richard Forrester, John Loyden, Eddie
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Luard, Evan
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Freeson, Reginald Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Campbell, Ian George, Bruce Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Cant, R. B. Gilbert, Dr John McElhone, Frank
Carmichael, Neil Gould, Bryan MacFarquhar, Roderick
Clemitson, Ivor Graham, Ted McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael Grant, George (Morpeth) Mackenzie, Gregor
Cohen, Stanley Hamilton, James (Bothwell) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
Coleman, Donald Hardy, Peter McNamara, Kevin
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mages, Bryan
Cowans, Harry Hart, Rt Hon Judith Marks, Kenneth
Crawshaw, Richard Hooley, Frank Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Horam, John Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Cryer, Bob Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Mendelson, John
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiten) Huckfield, Les Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Newens, Stanley Rowlands, Ted Ward, Michael
Noble, Mike Sedgemore, Brian Watkinson, John
Oakes, Gordon Shaw, Arnold (llford South) Wellbeloved, James
Ogden, Eric Skinner, Dennis White, Frank R. (Bury)
O'Halloran, Michael Small, William White, James (Pollok)
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Whitehead, Phillip
Palmer, Arthur Snape, Peter Whitlock, William
Parry, Robert Spearing, Nigel Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Pavitt, Laurie Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Price, C. (Lewisham W) Stoddart, David Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Price, William (Rugby) Stott, Roger Wise, Mrs Audrey
Radice, Giles Strang, Gavin Woodall, Alec
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Woof, Robert
Rees-Davies, W. R. Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW) Young, David (Bolton E)
Robinson, Geoffrey Tierney, Sydney
Roderick, Caerwyn Tinn, James TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rodgers, George (Chorley) Urwin, T. W. Mr. A. W Stallard and
Rodgers, Rt Hon William Varley, Rt Hon Eric G. Mr. Joseph Harper.
Rooker, J. W. Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Beith, A. J. Lamond, James Sims, Roger
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Lawrence, Ivan Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Buck, Antony Lipton, Marcus Steel, Rt Hon David
Canavan, Dennis McCartney, Hugh Stradling Thomas, J.
Durant Tony Macfarlane, Neil Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Eyre, Reginald Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Farr, John Mayhew, Patrick
Gourlay, Harry Monro, Hector TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Penhaligon, David Mr. Michael Latham and
Lambie, David Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Mr. Fred Silvester.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the Lotteries Regulations 1977, a draft of which was laid before this House on 18th January, be approved.

Motion made, and Question put, That the Lotteries (Scotland) Regulations 1977, a draft of which was laid before this House on 18th January, be approved.—[Mr. Harry Ewing.]:—

The House divided: Ayes 149, Noes 28.

Division No. 61.] AYES (11.52 p.m.
Anderson, Donald Dunnett, Jack Lamborn, Harry
Archer, Peter Eadie, Alex Lee, John
Armstrong, Ernest Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Ashton, Joe Evans, loan (Aberdare) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Loyden, Eddie
Atkinson, Norman Faulds, Andrew Luard, Evan
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Bates, Alf Flannery, Martin Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McElhone, Frank
Bidwell, Sydney Ford, Ben MacFarquhar, Roderick
Blenkinsop, Arthur Forrester, John McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Boardman, H. Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) MacKenzie, Gregor
Bray, Dr Jeremy Freeson, Reginald McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) George, Bruce McNamara, Kevin
Buchan, Norman Gilbert, Dr John Magee, Bryan
Buchanan, Richard Gould, Bryan Marks, Kenneth
Butlor, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Graham, Ted Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Grant, George (Morpeth) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Campbell, Ian Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mendelson, John
Cant, R. B. Hardy, Peter Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Carmichael, Neil Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Clemitson, Ivor Hooley, Frank Newens, Stanley
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael Horam, John Noble, Mike
Cohen, Stanley Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Oakes, Gordon
Coleman, Donald Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Ogden, Eric
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Huckfield, Les O'Halloran, Michael
Cowans, Harry Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Crawshaw, Richard Hunter, Adam Palmer, Arthur
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Parry, Robert
Cryer, Bob Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Pavitt, Laurie
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) John, Brynmor Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Davidson, Arthur Johnson, James (Hull West) Price, William (Rugby)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Radice, Giles
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Dempsey, James Kaufman, Gerald Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dormand, J. D. Kerr. Russell Robinson, Geoffrey
Roderick, Caerwyn Stott, Roger White, James (Pollok)
Rodgers, George (Chorley) Strang, Gavin Whitehead, Phillip
Rodgers, Rt Hon William Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Whitlock, William
Rooker, J. W. Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Rowlands, Ted Tierney, Sydney Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Sedgemore, Brian Tinn, James Wise, Mrs Audrey
Shaw, Arnold (llford South) Urwin, T. W. Woodall, Alec
Skinner, Dennis Varley, Rt Hon Eric G. Woof, Robert
Small, William Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Walker, Terry (Kingswood) Young, David (Bolton E)
Snape, Peter Ward, Michael
Spearing, Nigel Watkinson, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham) Wellbeloved, James Mr. A. W. Stallard and
Stoddart, David White, Frank R. (Bury) Mr. Joseph Harper.
Beith, A. J. Lamond, James Steel, Rt Hon David
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Latham, Michael (Melton) Stewart, Rt Hon Donad
Buck, Antony Lawrence, Ivan Stradling Thomas, J.
Crowder, F. P. Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Durant, Tony Mayhew, Patrick Watt, Hamish
Eyre, Reginald Monro, Hector Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Farr, John Penhaligon, David
Gourlay, Harry Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Silvester, Fred Mr. Dennis Canavan and
Hunt, David (Wirral) Sims, Roger Mr. Hugh McCartney.
Lambie, David Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the Lotteries (Scotland) Regulations 1977, a draft of which was laid before this House on 18th January, be approved.