Wednesday, 18 October 1939
Dáil Éireann Debate
The resources of the Red Cross Society are very limited, and the society have put forward a proposal to the Government that they should be allowed to hold sweepstakes to raise funds. Hospitals Trust, Ltd., have agreed to promote the sweepstake for the Red Cross Society. The Bill is intended to adapt the Public Hospitals Acts, 1933 to 1939, to enable sweepstakes for the Red Cross Society to be organised on the same lines as the Hospitals Sweepstakes.
Any sweepstake held under this measure will be governed by the restrictions contained in the Public Hospitals Act, 1933, and the scheme for each sweepstake will require the sanction of the Minister for Justice. The Public Hospitals Act, 1933, fixes 30 per cent. of the receipts as the maximum which may be charged as expenses, and if the expenses exceed that percentage the excess will have to be borne by the promoters. No claim can be made by the promoters for compensation under the Public Hospitals (Amendment) Act, 1939, as Section 8 of the Bill provides specifically that that Act will not apply to any sweepstake held under the Bill.
 It is, I understand, contemplated that the Red Cross Society will make contributions from the proceeds of sweepstakes to similar societies throughout the world in accordance with the wishes of the subscribers.
I should like to make it clear that the present proposal has the full approval of the Hospitals Committee. I understand that it is intended to organise a sweepstake in aid of the hospitals, on the Grand National of 1940, or on some substituted race.
Mr. Boland: Whenever the Red Cross Society feels that they have no funds or that the funds are running low they have to ask permission to run a sweepstake. This Bill will enable such sweepstakes as are required to be run, and one is to be held, I understand, on a special race to be organised some time in January. Only one sweepstake is contemplated at present.
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