National Lottery

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:59 am on 6th March 1992.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Baker Mr Kenneth Baker , Mole Valley 10:59 am, 6th March 1992

I congratulate my hon. and learned Friend on being a pioneer in introducing his Bill in January, thus concentrating discussion on the matter. He brought the matter to a head in the House. There was considerable support for his Bill not only from the Government side, but from many Opposition Members. However, during the debate on my hon. and learned Friend's Bill, the Opposition spokesmen were rather lukewarm. The plain fact is that the Labour party would have made no decision on a national lottery. I doubt whether it will be mentioned in the Labour manifesto, although perhaps now it may be —it is a johnny-come-lately.

I agree with my hon. Friend that, if we do not do this, other lottery tickets will be sold here and it will be increasingly difficult to stop that, so this is a sensible move. The important point is that, in the words of Lord Rothschild in 1978, this is a harmless entertainment, a mild flutter, for many people, and our public life will benefit from it.