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Hospital Building And National Health Service (National Lottery)

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 14 December 1965

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will initiate a national lottery as a means of financing the National Health Service, and especially hospital building.

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that his mind is not completely closed on this matter? Can he say how on earth we are to get all our hospitals modernised within a generation unless some such unorthodox policies are adopted? Would he not consider it preferable to gear the natural gambling instinct to a valuable social purpose such as that mentioned in the Question?

Treasury minds are always very flexible, both upwards and downwards, but on balance we believe that the arguments, both financial and moral, are against the Government sponsoring lotteries.

What is the difference between a straight-out lottery and the present system of Premium Savings Bonds, in which there is a lottery on the interest?

The difference has been well explained—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—perhaps the hon. Member was not in the House at the time—by the right hon. Gentleman who introduced the scheme.