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Mr. John Lee (Pendle) : With regard to outlets, my hon. and learned Friend may be interested to learn that my hon. Friend the Member for Hyndburn (Mr. Hargreaves) and I met the senior management of Post Office Counters earlier this week. Post Office Counters has about 20, 000 outlets, 19,000 of which are sub-offices. If a national lottery was introduced, Post Office Counters would be very keen to participate. That is an indication of the scale of the potential.

Mr. Lawrence : I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Mr. Lee), who has done sterling work in support of this cause. He knows more about it than I do, and I am happy to rely on his advice and experience.

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Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North) : I am sure that, during his researches, the hon. and learned Gentleman has come across the cautionary tale of Skillball, which was also to install computer terminals in every corner shop, post office and village store, as a result of which the right hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) was to preside over a fund which also was to dispense millions of pounds to good causes. Will the hon. and learned Gentleman confirm from his researches that the founder of Skillball decamped to Barbados with a rather large sum of money, and that the right hon. Member for Chingford did not dispense a single penny to charity as a result of those terminals being installed?

Mr. Lawrence : I do not wish to discuss Skillball, about which I know nothing. Of course it is very important that the national lottery should be properly monitored and properly policed so that no possible element of fraud or dishonesty can be allowed to enter. I am confident that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary--he has sent me a note saying that, unfortunately, he cannot be present today, although he wanted to be, and I am most grateful for that--will be most astute to make sure that the regulations that he lays down and the people who are appointed to the national lottery regulatory authority will be of the greatest integrity, and will be sure to maintain that none of that criticism can arise. If the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) has any doubt about those matters, perhaps he should convey them to his hon. Friends who support the national lottery and are not dissuaded in any way by the hon. Gentleman's point.

The pools promoters have warned us--the hon. Member for Bassetlaw touched on this point--that they may not be able to manage the £60 million they give to sport and the arts if their income is weakened. I pass over the fact that that money is largely taxpayers' money, anyway--it is the 2.5 per cent. tax reduction deal that they struck with the Government last year, less tax and the money to sport and the arts. I have already said that, if they are more efficient, they will not be weakened.

In any event, is not it extraordinarily selfish--I am surprised that the pools promoters are not ashamed to make this point--to suggest that £60 million will be of more benefit to art and sport than the £600 million that they are likely to get from the national lottery? Also, the pools give nothing to the heritage, and the lottery will give a further £100 million a year specifically to charities. That is the answer to the points that the hon. Member for Bassetlaw has made.

I have heard--doubtless we shall hear it again--that the national lottery would be the ruination of charities. I have already dealt with the Northern Ireland point--the Irish point--which is very ill founded. The connection between charities and a national lottery, as suggested, is manifest nonsense. Other countries with successful lotteries do not appear to have had their charities obliterated. Why is that? It is because they are two different kinds of spending. One gives money to a charity--we play the lottery. That is a very different mental process, and it is very different money. If I go up to somebody and say, "Will you buy a lottery ticket, or will you give to the local church group?", he or she is not likely, in common sense, to say, "I am sorry, I have already bought a ticket, because I am playing the national lottery." If I go up to somebody and say, "Will you help to stop water coming into the local scout hut or

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mend its windows and give some money to the lottery for that?", they will not say, "I am sorry, I have already given to the national lottery." The same applies to people who raise money for local hospitals. People who are committed to a particular form of charity will not say, "I am sorry, I am not going to give because I am already playing the national lottery."

The national lottery will not affect corporate giving to charity, which has risen by 50 per cent. over the past five years. It will not affect the giving of those who have never given to charity. In fact, 56 per cent. of the population do not give to charity. However, the national lottery will channel more money to charity. Charities that find that their income may have been adversely affected can put in their bids to the trustees for further charitable giving. I am very sorry that whoever it was from some kind of charitable body or institution who circulated a letter to every Member of Parliament last week--I do not have the letter with me--said that there is no provision in the Bill for charities. They simply have not read the Bill. It behoves everybody who circulates letters to Members of Parliament to make an important point to know what on earth they are talking about ; otherwise we will never be able to trust such circulars again.

Mr. Stuart Randall (Kingston upon Hull, West) : I wish to comment on the figures that the hon. and learned Gentleman presented before he started to talk about charities. We should recognise that no hon. Member knows what revenue will emanate from a national lottery. We do not even know whether it will be viable because we do not know what tax regime will be in operation. We do not know what possible regulation will be in operation. We need also to take into account the fact that Britain is rather different in the sense that there is a far wider range of gambling opportunities here than in many other countries. Hon. Members must refrain from pushing figures on what we would like to spend, because none of us knows.

Mr. Lawrence : Of course I concede that nobody knows precisely the detail, but one conclusion to which we can come is that it will be a jolly good thing for everybody to whom I referred. Perhaps my figures are wildly optimistic, although they are tied to the Gallup poll findings and to what happens in other countries. I have already given an account of the massive incomes in other countries that are no more sporting-oriented than we are. Perhaps it is wildly pessimistic to assess that we can raise very much more money than I have postulated. I said that I have taken the middle line between the £2 billion figure and the £4 billion figure. If it is £2 billion, it will still be a fantastic advance in raising the quality of life in Britain. If it is £4 billion, it will be even more fantastic.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : Will my hon. and learned Friend give way?

Mr. Lawrence : I am sure that my hon. Friend will make his contribution. I must come to the end of my speech. I hope that he will forgive me. When he was at the Dispatch Box, he had many opportunities to be interrupted. From time to time, he had to take a hard line and refuse to accept interventions.

In summary, much of the criticism of the Bill is ill-informed, unsubstantiated and downright unlikely, and splendid examples of special pleading against the wider

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national interest. No one is perfect, and certainly no Bill is without fault, least of all mine. My Bill is enabling legislation. I doubt whether the Government will like it very much because it is enabling legislation. I have no doubt that that is why the Government have decided not to send Ministers into either Lobby : they are leaving the matter to us. This is a real Back-Bench day. I hope that Back-Bench Members will show the Government precisely how they feel about this matter.

This enabling legislation clearly sets out limited aims for the national lottery to help arts, sport, heritage and charities, and I have explained why that is so. It establishes the framework of the national lottery regulatory authority, which, under regulations to be made by the Home Secretary, will agree the kind of lottery, the proportion of prizes, the kind of game, the granting of an operator's licence, the selection of the operators, and the policing of the operation. I do not intend that that body should comprise civil servants because that would make it a state enterprise, which is not what I foresee. It must be totally private. However, I have no objection to a member of the civil service being on the authority to ensure for the taxpayer that the scheme is properly policed. The Bill establishes that the lottery will be conducted by operators under regulations made by the Home Secretary. It sets up a board of trustees to allocate the revenue--90 per cent. to arts, sport and heritage and 10 per cent. to charities. It lays down requirements for monitoring activities and for ensuring that that monitoring comes before Parliament and the Home Secretary. It also provides for the Treasury to extract its share.

I have drafted the Bill in such a way as to avoid arguments and limitless interventions and interruptions-- [Interruption.] It is not sensible to go into detail at this stage. Everybody's representations will be heard in due course by the Home Secretary and the regulatory authority. There must be more specific rules and regulations, and I recognise immediately that that means that there will have to be consultation and discussions between the interested parties. Everybody must have the chance to make his or her pitch. Those who are interested in running or taking part in such a lottery will have nearly everything to play for and can make their representations in due course.

What I want of the Government today is for them to face up to the necessity for a lottery and to the need to resolve its complexities speedily. Not only are we almost alone among the enlightened nations in not having a national lottery ; if we are not careful, foreign lotteries will flood into the country in a few months, taking British money for other countries' good causes. I want to see--I expect that the House will want to see--British money going to British causes to improve the quality of British life.

Why might we lose out if we do not move soon? There are moves afoot in the European Community to harmonise the service industry. I know that the Government are not enthusiastic about giving up any British powers, and I want to ensure that that eventuality is narrowed, although, of course, sometimes we can do very little about the efforts that are made in the European Community. If hon. Members are not sure that that is what is happening in the European Commission, I refer

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them to a letter written by the Vice President of the European Commission as recently as 1 August 1991. It stated :

"Lawful gambling activities are considered service activities. The transfer of winnings linked to a lottery is therefore a current transaction and thus liberalised according to relevant provisions of the Treaty and Directive".

The Vice President of the European Commission is saying that, as far as he is concerned, such activities are very much a matter of the removal of barriers because there will be a restraint of trade if the barriers remain. Even now, a committee is sitting to consider how far forward that point can be taken.

I realise that the Government do not propose to lose control of the area, but, if the Commission and our other colleagues in the European Community decide to dismantle the barriers and to allow the free play of lotteries, will they say, "No, this is a matter of such fundamental importance to the survival of Britain as a nation that we shall not go along with it or make that concession for the purpose of being communautaire" ? I doubt very much whether this is the sort of issue on which the British people would expect the Government to stand up to the rest of the Community.

If foreign lotteries are to be available in Britain, the only effective way of dealing with that is to have our own domestic national lottery. If the Government feel that their position on this issue is stronger than some of us believe, I have two warnings for them. First, when asked in a Gallup poll whether they would buy foreign lottery tickets if they were available and if British tickets were not, 40 per cent. of people said that they would. That is strong evidence that the British public want to buy foreign lottery tickets if we do not have our own national lottery.

Secondly, because Denmark had been so slow to establish its own national lottery after international lotteries had been allowed into the country, even a year or two after the establishment of the Danish national lottery, 10 per cent. of the Danish money that is spent on lotteries still goes to the Germans. Even if European lotteries are not to be allowed in by law, who can stop them coming in illegally? Last year, our police and Customs and Excise confiscated 3 million lottery advertisements. They were not just for European lotteries, but for the United States and Canada where there are substantial lotteries. Who knows how many British people even now are playing foreign lotteries illegally, perhaps blissfully unaware that it is illegal? How many foreign lottery tickets are being sold in Britain? How much money is currently going abroad that could be used to raise the British quality of life?

Mr. Lee : My hon. and learned Friend might be interested to know that I have with me a totally unsolicited letter that was recently posted in Brussels, containing details of the Australian national lottery. Such things are circulating freely.

Mr. Lawrence : While getting this Bill together, I have seen very many foreign lottery tickets that have not been stopped from entering the country by Customs and Excise. About 3 million tickets have been stopped, but many have not. I have heard stories of people playing foreign national lotteries, although that is unlawful.

For more than 200 years, lotteries have played an important part in the public life of Britain.

Mrs. Audrey Wise (Preston) : I have waited to intervene until it became clear that the hon. and learned Gentleman

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was concluding his speech because I have been expecting him to tell us where the £3 billion that his lottery would raise is being spent at present, but he has not done so. Will he enlighten us on this important point?

Mr. Lawrence : Perhaps I can answer the hon. Lady quickly with this statistic. An average of 27p per head of the population in Britain is now spent on the football pools. The average spend in Europe is £1 per head on lotteries and similar forms of gambling. Unless this country is a lot less sporting than European countries and a lot less liable to engage in a flutter, that means that there would be 73p per head of the population to be spent on the national lottery for a start. It would be new money. All our experience shows that, if people are presented with a sensible, rational and inviting alternative, they can and do find the money for the causes that they think are right.

I am trying to come to my conclusion, Mr. Deputy Speaker--

Mr. Ashton : Hear, hear.

Mr. Lawrence : I have given way many times. The hon. Member for Bassetlaw may well say, "Hear, hear", but I have spent about half of my speech answering the inane points that he has made on behalf of the Pools Promoters Association. If the hon. Gentleman had not made those points, I should not have had to deal with them.

For more than 200 years, lotteries have played-- [Interruption.] Let us be ecumenical. For more than 200 years, lotteries have played an important part in public life in Britain. In 1569, a national lottery raised money to repair the Cinque ports. The British Museum was built with lottery money. Manuscripts and art collections have been purchased by public lotteries, which have numbered the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons among their patrons. From 1709 to 1824, a national lottery was authorised by Act of Parliament to raise money for public works. It was removed from the statute book by 19th century moralists, who are much reviled by Opposition Members, because it was thought to be a temptation to the indigent poor to be offered a lottery against which it was necessary to protect them and everyone else in our society.

Now the time for a national lottery has come again. It will be good for the poor and everyone else. It will strengthen the parts of our quality of life that taxes do not reach. It will be popular. Recent press reactions since I published the Bill proved that. The number of letters from the public proves that. The arguments put against the Bill, as the royal commission concluded as long ago as 1978, are feeble. There is no longer any excuse for not reviving the national lottery. In addition--I say this in all seriousness to my hon. Friend the Minister--a national lottery will be a vote winner for whichever party is in government and implements it.

I ask my hon. Friend the Minister to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to the principle of a national lottery now and to give the House a copper-bottomed undertaking that it will be implemented soon. If he does not like my Bill--and I will understand why--let him say to the House that the Government intend to introduce a national lottery through their own Bill as speedily as can be arranged, following consultation and the acceptance of representations from all the interested bodies. As my offering to assist in achieving that end, I commend the Bill to the House and invite it to support it.

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Mr. Deputy Speaker : May I remind the House of Mr. Speaker's earlier appeal for brief speeches? A large number of right hon. Members wish to take part in the debate.

Mr. Skinner : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Towards the end of today's proceedings it is likely that the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) will move the closure of the debate. I hope that you will bear in mind that Deputy Speakers and others take into account the nature of the debate, and the fact that a Member takes up 20 per cent. of the time in moving the Bill, in deciding whether a closure is warranted.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : We shall deal with matters if and when they arise, not hypothetical matters.

10.41 am

Mr. Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool, Walton) : The Bill is a dog's breakfast of a scheme and I am opposed to it. I hope that the Bill will be disposed of, not merely because I come from Liverpool, but because it is based on a string of fallacious propositions. The arguments made either today or in any of the lobbying briefings that I have received have not changed my mind one iota. It is argued that billions would be raised for art and sport and that no damage would be done to the pools, the lotteries or the general gambling industry. It is argued that somehow we shall be flooded with European lottery tickets post-1992, if not before.

It is argued that we shall get out of a lottery grand public works catering for sport, the arts and so on. It is understating the case to say that the various projections of income from a national lottery are open to question. To put it mildly, they are confusing. In his letter of 16 December, the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) said that the lottery might raise as much as £1 billion. The Sports Council briefing note claimed that the lottery would raise at least £2 billion. Not so long ago we were being told that the scheme would raise £3 billion. There is no guaranteed return on a national lottery and it is misleading to suggest otherwise.

Mr. Lawrence : I would not like the hon. Gentleman to make a bad point and I am sure that he would not want to do so either. If he reads my letter carefully, he will see that I said that £1 billion would be liberated for arts, sports and heritage. The total take would be £3 billion.

Mr. Kilfoyle : With respect, that is exactly what I am saying. But it still confuses the issue. The various parties that support the Bill cannot agree on the exact figure. The amount is limited. That is an important point to make. Not so long ago the hon. and learned Member for Burton suggested that somehow there is an unlimited amount of gambling take to be spread about. That is just not true. It is possible to speculate about what income would be generated for sports and arts projects, but it would be merely speculation.

The Sports Council is a strong supporter of the Bill. In its briefing note it could not even decide on the basis of its own projections whether sport and the arts would receive £600 million or £800 million from the scheme. The whole idea is based on over-optimistic and simplistic analysis of what people might spend on gambling in the future. Any national lottery scheme would have a devastating effect on other lotteries and the gambling industry in general.

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There is widespread opposition to the Bill among responsible bodies. We were given a list of people who support a national lottery but not of those who are against it, such as the Lotteries Council. The Lotteries Council represents bodies as diverse as the Children Nationwide Medical Research Fund, MIND, and the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Professional rugby, football and cricket clubs are vigorously opposed to the Bill.

Mr. Ken Hargreaves (Hyndburn) : The Lotteries Council is not against a national lottery. I speak as president of it. The council is against this Bill because it believes that it would not help it.

Mr. Kilfoyle : I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. The Lotteries Council is against the Bill, not a national lottery. Nevertheless, we are dealing with the Bill this morning.

Equally implacable in its opposition is the Betting Office Licensees Association. It is a major employer in Britain. Some 50,000 people are employed in betting offices around Britain. But obviously my particular anxiety is the effect that a national lottery would have on the pools industry. I make no apologies as a Liverpool Member of Parliament for arguing that industry's corner.

In Liverpool we have more than 4,500 people employed in the pools industry. Most of them are women. Indeed, some of my relations are employed or have been employed in the industry. An awful lot of those women are the only breadwinners in their household. In my constituency we already have the highest number of unemployed women in Britain. I do not want to see any addition to that number. I am absolutely convinced that a national lottery would have a devastating effect on the pools and would cost those women their jobs. We are told that a national lottery will not impact on the pools industry. To me it is nonsense to suggest that. I was in Australia when the soccer pools were devastated by the national lottery scheme--Tatts Lotto. Anyone who suggests that one does not have an effect on the other is talking nonsense. Soccer pools in Australia were destroyed by the national lottery. Without a shadow of a doubt, exactly the same thing would happen to the pools industry in Britain. That has been independently confirmed by Coopers and Lybrand Europe. It was engaged recently by the European Commission to do a study on gambling in the Community. It was in no doubt about what the Bill would do to the pools industry. It said :

"A UK national lottery would effectively kill off the football pools in a period of weeks."

It gave the example of what happened in Belgium. I have heard the contrary argument put this morning about that. Belgium's pools industry was killed off within three weeks. Coopers and Lybrand was particularly pointed about the effect that a national lottery would have on the pools industry in Britain.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : I shall speak against the Bill, if I catch Mr. Deputy Speaker's eye, but it is probably worth saying on the football pools point that because many people go in for a blanket entry, a national lottery could not possibly have the immediate impact that the hon. Gentleman suggests. Whether it would have an impact in the longer term is a matter for genuine debate. It is a weak point to claim that the pools would disappear so fast.

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Mr. Kilfoyle : The hon. Gentleman may think that it is a weak point, but I am convinced that Coopers and Lybrand has a comprehensive view of the effect that a national lottery would have. It seems to be convinced that the effect would be fairly immediate. Certainly, the effect on soccer pools in Australia was immediate. All the statistics show that.

Gambling currently generates more than £1 billion in tax and duty for the Government. Obviously, that includes the element from the football pools. I believe that much of that will be imperilled by the scheme, especially if the football pools and small lotteries are damaged and the betting industry generally is damaged. I am sure that the Treasury would not want to lose the money that it already rakes in from the gambling industry.

Mr. Ashton : Is it not a fact that the vast majority of pools coupons are collected? Would not those collectors push state lottery tickets instead of collecting the pools? Is not that the reason why the pools would suffer instantly?

Mr. Kilfoyle : I can only assume that there would have to be some collection system--

Mr. Ashton : On commission.

Mr. Kilfoyle : Yes, on commission. I assume that that is what hon. Members are talking about when they mention all the jobs that will be generated by a national lottery. The only alternative is to have on-line terminals of the sort promised with the Skillball game--or whatever it was called--which never came into being. I can see no other way round that and it will obviously cost those jobs.

Mr. George Howarth (Knowsley, North) : Does my hon. Friend agree that the fact that only 10 per cent. of pools entries are standard forecasts--where people do the pools several weeks in advance--negates the argument of the hon. Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) a few moments ago?

Mr. Kilfoyle : Absolutely. Also, it can be argued that some skill is involved in the pools. It is not the simple gambling trick that a lottery would be.

I am sure that the Treasury would want to make up any lost income. Surely, that will affect the portion set aside for tax anticipated in the briefing notes that I have seen. That would mean that less money would be left to be disbursed on the arts, sport and heritage. They cannot have it both ways-- it is a finite piece of cake.

I am less than optimistic about the running costs and profit margins of such a scheme. The hon. and learned Member for Burton did not really answer the question posed by my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner). I am concerned about the involvement of American companies such as Reebok and Control Data in promoting the proposals. We ought to know exactly how they are funding the campaign behind the Bill and what their future role will be. They do not put money in unless there will be some return for them. It is all very well and good to make snide comments about the pools industry. I want to know the exact position of those companies as regards the proposals. One thing that I am sure of is that if those companies have a future role of any sort in a national lottery, they will want a far higher return than the 3 per cent. which the pools companies take.

Those in favour of a national lottery say that we are about to be overwhelmed by foreign lottery tickets. A few

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moments ago, the hon. and learned Member for Burton said that that was happening already. Yet the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Lloyd), confirmed to my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) on 12 March 1991 that that was not the case. Foreign tickets will not be allowed into the country. Whether the law is being broken now is immaterial. It was suggested that post-1992 we would be flooded by such tickets. On 12 December the hon. Member for Fareham confirmed that there would be no change in the Government's policy and that gambling controls are matters solely for national authorities. Following the aforementioned Coopers and Lybrand report for the European Commission, it is clear that most European Community member states are totally against any cross-border sales of lottery tickets. Each fears the consequences for its own national lottery. On 12 December the hon. Member for Fareham stated to the House in a written answer that a range of measures had been taken here and abroad to prevent the importation, promotion and sale of foreign lottery material. In short, the argument about post-1992 and the flood of foreign lottery tickets is unsustainable.

Despite the figure of 27p which was mentioned earlier, as a nation we spend far more on gambling than France, Germany, Italy or the Netherlands. In Europe, only Spain, Ireland and Greece spend more on gambling. Home Office figures that I have seen suggested that £4.50 per week is spent for every man, woman and child in the country. I do not believe that that amount can be substantially increased ; nor ought it to be. That begs the question where the extra income will come from. The hon. and learned Member for Burton skirted round that. There is no doubt that it will come from other forms of gambling, whether from the pools, racing or small local lotteries. That is why many people have argued that this is a bad scheme. It will have a devastating effect on fund-raising activities at a small, local level. That must be unacceptable to the House.

There has been no mention of the potential effect of the Bill on football, our national game. Research at Leicester university shows that, on average, 10 per cent. of football's income comes from small lotteries. The smaller the club, the more dependent it is on lottery income and the more vulnerable it will be to competition from a national lottery. I want to know whether supporters of the Bill have taken that into account. Have they thought of the devastating effect that it will have on football clubs?

The game as a whole receives more than £40 million from pools-related sources. It has been computed that if the scheme went ahead, the Football Trust alone would have its income slashed from £33.8 million to just £6.5 million by 1994-95. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that that money would be replaced by a national lottery. It would be merely one of many interests competing for money from the proposed scheme. There will be no guarantee that our national game would have any prior claim to any part of it.

I am also sceptical about the grandiose claims that have been made about the benefits of the scheme for sport and the arts. The Sports Council has produced a long list of worthy projects to be funded by the scheme--it hopes. Frankly, I find it a sign of desperation that such organisations are seeking funds in that way. They recognise that grants in aid have declined in real terms and that local authority expenditure on sport and recreation

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has been slashed by more than 25 per cent. in the past five years, due to what they euphemistically describe as pressures on public finance.

The Government waste billions of pounds on the poll tax, yet cannot provide sports and arts facilities commensurate with a civilised society. We want them to go and I hope that the Bill will go with them.

10.56 am

Sir Richard Luce (Shoreham) : The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle) represents a Merseyside constituency and one would expect him to speak on behalf of football pools, but he did not do the promoters of the pools a great service by what clearly was a gross exaggeration about what might or might not happen. No hon. Member knows precisely what the effect of a national lottery will be on overall levels of gambling and how it might affect the football pools. To state that there will be a mass decimation of the football pools--which is what I think that he was implying--must be a gross exaggeration and does not do a proper service to the discussion of this issue. The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that football pools and national lotteries co-exist in many countries successfully and examples have been given by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence).

I congratulate my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton most warmly on his decision to introduce the Bill and on the way in which he has presented it, on his great good humour--which was much needed when dealing with some of the neolithic tribesmen who opposed him--his approach to the Bill, his profound hard work on it, his research and the rational case which he produced so sensibly and fully for the House. He has done a great service and I am proud to be one of the sponsors of the Bill.

Like the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell), I should declare an interest, although it is unremunerated, as I am a member of the Lottery Promotion Board. It is a good thing that the board exists to collate all the facts and to put forward evidence about the advantage to the country of a national lottery. My reasons for supporting the Bill go back to my experience as Minister for the Arts for five years. After two or three years I came to the view that it was vital to find new ways to finance the expansion of the arts in our country, and that it would not be right to depend solely upon the taxpayer or potential benefactors to support the arts and cover all the requirements of the arts in the long term. Bearing in mind the constant pressures and needs of our national health service, education system and road system as well as all the other areas which the Government are obliged on behalf of the taxpayer to support with public expenditure, I came clearly to the view that one had to look at new ways to find support for the arts and sport. The arts and sport need a substantial injection of extra resources, particularly capital sums to improve facilities, buildings and our heritage. That can be illustrated clearly. Above all, we need a large injection of capital funds to improve facilities. We need to follow the American example and establish endownment funds as the basis of funding and, in the long term, of running costs of many arts bodies.

Mr. Tony Banks (Newham, North-West) : Would the right hon. Gentleman support the concept of income from

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a national lottery being ring-fenced? I am a sponsor of the Bill, but many of us have reservations. A problem is that any Government will see the income as a replacement for central Government funding, so in the end the arts will not be a net beneficiary.

Sir Richard Luce : I understand that important point. The money must not be seen in any way as a substitute for public expenditure. It is important to find ways of strengthening that point in the Bill. It is absolutely essential that a national lottery should in no way be seen as a substitute for taxpayers' support. That is why it is right that as large a part of the proceeds as possible should be isolated for capital and endowment funds which are desperately needed in sport and the arts.

Many arts building were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries and need refurbishment. We need new buildings, such as concert halls. Our theatres undoubtedly need refurbishment. The south of England is much in need of a new dance centre. I am sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Dicks) is not here. I know that he would not agree with that, but there is no doubt about the need and there is a great deal of discussion about using the Lyric theatre. Our cathedrals and churches need extra support, as do our national museums and galleries. The Museums and Galleries Commission estimates that we need capital expenditure of £300 million a year to get the fabric in good condition.

There is the whole question of works of art. There should be as much international free trade as possible, but it is absolutely essential to preserve some works of art for the nation. We cannot constantly make demands of taxpayers to save works of art. When one compares the price of a hospital with the price of a work of art, often the priority is to spend the money on the health service.

Mr. Cormack : Does my right hon. Friend agree that the present system has excellent rules, but has collapsed ? Despite all his valiant efforts and those of his successors, the system is not working because the money is not there. Does he agree that a national lottery is one potential source of that money ?

Sir Richard Luce : My hon. Friend, who knows so much about this subject and has been the Chairman of the Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts, makes an important point. This is exactly where a lottery could assist and help to save important objects for the nation, thus lifting the burden from taxpayers.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : Although I disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Dicks), has my right hon. Friend seen table 32 on page 232 of the Rothschild report on the perceived appeal of a national lottery? It shows the groups most likely to take part and that 1 per cent. want to keep art treasures and stately homes intact and less than half a per cent. go to operas and theatres. I agree with my right hon. Friend that it is right that we should find the money for these good causes, but we should not go to a group where less than 1 per cent. wants the money to go to those destinations.

Sir Richard Luce : I know about the 1978 report, but I have not seen that specific page. More recent research by the Arts Council demonstrates widespread support for

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participation in a lottery, with money going to different types of arts and heritage causes. I have no doubt that that is the case. Even if the predictions and forecasts are half true, a national lottery scheme would without a shadow of a doubt produce enormous extra sums which would help to improve the quality of life. The forthcoming millenium, with the targets set by Lord Palumbo and the Government that we should strengthen our heritage and the fabric of our buildings, is an added reason.

Many hon. Members will argue all the reasons why we need improved sports facilities, so I shall not detain the House on that. I believe that sport is as important as the arts. It is just that I have not had experience of sport.

Mr. David Bellotti (Eastbourne) : The right hon. Gentleman referred to sport. Would he care to comment on the local situation with Brighton and Hove Albion? The club says that it takes about £1 million gross in its bingo scheme, which is greater than the gate receipts from our joint local professional club and that that scheme would go by the wall if a national lottery came in. If that is the case, can he suggest another way in which we could jointly support our local professional club in Sussex?

Sir Richard Luce : The club should have regard to the views expressed by the Sports Council which strongly supports such a scheme because of the advantages that it would bring to sport. It has listed a whole range of facilities, from hockey to tennis and water sports to athletics, which would be advantaged.

It is important to keep our sights on the overall advantage to the nation of the introduction of a national lottery. Many people have, understandably, referred to the arts and sports foundation scheme. It is right that they should do so and right to welcome the scheme, but we need to look at the difference in scale. The money spent on that scheme is about £60 million, but a national lottery could bring benefits to the tune of £1 billion a year. We must keep our sights on the big issue. The scale of operation would be enormously enhanced and would bring dramatic benefits to the arts, sport and charities. The arguments about football pools have been dealt with effectively. Of course there are fears and, naturally, we must abate them. The evidence from research that my hon. and learned Friend produced demonstrates that many people who do not take part in the pools would participate in a national lottery and that the vast majority who take part in the pools would also take part in a lottery. That is important evidence, as is the fact that in Italy, Spain and France the two schemes co-exist. We need to keep in perspective how a lottery might affect the other industries. Some competition is inevitable, but a great deal of complementary work will be done by the different methods of raising money.

Some charities have expressed concern because they operate local lottery schemes under the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. About £23 million is raised in that way. It is right for us to have regard to that. My hon. and learned Friend is absolutely right to provide in the Bill that 10 per cent. of the proceeds could be given to charitable causes. Certainly, it is important to monitor the effect of a national lottery on local lottery schemes to ensure that good charitable causes are not damaged. The Bill makes good provision to deal with that.

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To suggest that the Bill would encourage gambling is sheer nonsense. As everyone knows, we are one of the biggest gambling nations. What could be better than to channel those gambling instincts--I do not believe that the lottery represents hard gambling--into beneficial causes from which the whole nation would gain?

I am delighted to support my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton and I hope that the Bill passes its Second Reading by a large majority. We must keep our sights on the overall benefit that a national lottery would bring to the nation. Therefore, we must support the Bill.

11.9 am

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, East) : I oppose the Bill and the principle behind it because I believe that it is a substitute for Government action.

The right hon. Gentleman for Shoreham (Sir R. Luce) was a distinguished Minister for the Arts, but, during his term of office and beyond, expenditure on the arts has been cut. Local government expenditure on the arts and sport has also been reduced with a detrimental effect on the number of playing fields and other sports facilities available. In Salford and Greater Manchester, there have been devastating cuts in arts facilities.

Sir Richard Luce : I must stress that there has been a real increase in the resources available to the arts in the past 10 years. The right hon. Gentleman should be fair to local government and accept that, during the same time, it has also given more money to the arts. The right hon. Gentleman is not using a good argument.

Mr. Orme : I think that it is a good argument. The ballet company based in Manchester was virtually driven out because the Arts Council had insufficient money and, therefore, expenditure on it was cut. If we have a national lottery, the Government will no longer be involved in a proper sense in the financing of the arts and sport through direct taxation. Such money will, in future, be distributed in an ad hoc manner.

In common with many of my hon. Friends, I have a strong interest in association football. I have seen the letter from the Lotteries Council, of which the hon. Member for Hyndburn (Mr. Hargreaves) is president. That letter suggested that the council was basically in favour of a national lottery, but, two thirds into it, the council then makes out a devastating case against it. The list of members of the Lotteries Council includes all manner of sports clubs and football clubs that exist because of the funds that they raise through their own small lotteries.

It is not just small clubs that benefit from small-scale lotteries. The development association of one of the wealthiest clubs in Britain, Manchester United, has provided facilities to make Old Trafford one of the finest grounds in the United Kingdom. The national lottery would put all that in jeopardy. It would threaten small clubs such as Bradford City, Bolton Wanderers and Darlington, which exist because of their development associations and lotteries. It is also important to note that Manchester United has not just creamed off the money for its own benefit, but has helped local associations, charities and hospitals.

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