CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - MATER HOSPITAL SWEEP.

To ask the President if the statement which he made in replying to the Deputy for Sligo and Leitrim some time ago, that he understood that the accounts in connection with the Mater Hospital Sweep would be submitted to a reputable firm of Chartered Accountants for audit, has been verified; and that he is satisfied that all the books, vouchers, etc., in connection with the Sweep will be examined and a public statement subsequently issued, showing the total number of tickets printed, the total number circulated, the total number returned as sold, and the aggregate money value of same, with the view of arriving at a correct idea of the surplus or profit remaining after all legitimate expenditure—hospital donation, £10,000, prize money £10,000, organising and other expenses (whatever sum these amount to) has been defrayed. And whether he, the President, on behalf of the Government, will see that the person or persons who benefit by the said surplus will pay their proper individual share of income tax assessable thereon, and thus help the State, at present so badly in need of money for housing schemes for the workers, the relief of unemployment, and other social reforms of pressing urgency. Further, if he (the President) is aware that several similar sweeps are in contemplation, and if he can state if the same or similar facilities will be extended to the promoters as those conferred on Mr. R.J. Duggan and his confreres?

I have nothing to add to the reply given by me in this Dáil on 10th October, 1922, to the question on the subject asked by Deputy Tomás Mac Artuir. I do not, on behalf of the Government, see that any particular person pays his income tax—that is the duty of the income tax officials. I have been informed of the proposed holding of only one other sweep of a somewhat similar nature. Facilities for the holding of Sweeps are not extended by the Government to the promoters—the question which arises in such a connection is whether or not the power under the Lottery Acts of prohibiting the holding of the Sweep should be exercised.

Arising out of the answer of the President, may I be permitted to ask whether the Government has considered the policy of legalising Sweeps or not?

No; the Government has not considered that question.

May I ask whether that question was not involved in the consideration of this particular Sweep?

No. I have already answered that. It was not involved in it.

Am I to understand from the statement of the President that the accounts in connection with this Mater Hospital Sweep would be submitted to a reputable firm of Chartered Accountants for audit?

The Government is not interested in the case beyond what I have explained in my answer.