I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. This Bill makes provision for the discharge, in the case of an emergency which could not reasonably be foreseen, of the expenses incurred in holding a sweepstake under the Public Hospitals Act, 1933, in excess of the total amount lawfully applicable under that Act. Section 12 of that Act—that is, the Act of 1933— provides that a specified proportion of the amount derived from the sale of tickets can be applied to expenses incurred in the holding of a sweepstake, and while the proportion so applicable has so far been found to be ample, it has been represented to the Government by the promoters of sweepstakes that a sudden change of circumstances might render the provision in Section 12 totally inadequate. To meet such a contingency it is proposed in the Bill to establish a reserve fund. It is quite common in large undertakings to set aside a reserve for specific purposes. The Sweepstake Committee and the promoters whom they engage to conduct a sweepstake on their behalf must in the ordinary course incur heavy expenses long before money is received from the sale of tickets in the sweepstake. It is, therefore, considered desirable to establish a reserve to meet expenses that would not be fully covered by the percentage of receipts from sale of tickets fixed by the Act of 1933.
The reserve fund will be allowed to accumulate until it reaches a limit of £250,000, and when that limit is reached there will be no further accumulation. Any interests or dividends that accrue will be transferred to the Hospitals Trust Fund. The reserve fund will be in the hands of the Hospitals Trust Board, and no payment will be made out of it unless the Minister is satisfied that the expenses cannot be met owing to an emergency that could not have been reasonably foreseen by the committee. It will take some time before the reserve fund reaches the limit fixed. If it happens that the reserve fund is insufficient payment of the expenses to such extent as may be necessary can be made out of the Hospitals Trust Fund on the direction of the Minister.